Chlorine warning removed for thousands of people

Bottled water
Image caption Severn Trent Water has been handing out bottled water to affected customers in Derbyshire and Leicestershire

Most of the thousands of people who could not use their water because of a high level of chlorine have been told it is now safe to do so.

Severn Trent issued a warning in Derbyshire and Leicestershire on Friday after it found high levels of the chemical at Castle Donington reservoir.

About 3,700 properties were affected until 15:00 GMT on Saturday.

A safe water supply has yet to be restored to 241 properties in the DE73 and DE74 areas.

Latest updates: Severn Trent Water problems

Image caption Customers reported lengthy queues to get bottled water from Severn Trent

Severn Trent said that, after flushing the network and testing the water, the supply is safe to use.

Customers should run their cold tap on full for five minutes before use.

Work is still ongoing to make the water safe for a further 241 properties in the DE73 and DE74 areas.

The firm has been handing out free bottles of water to affected customers at Sainsbury's in Swadlincote, Derbyshire, and Tesco in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire.

Nigel Thornylowe, who lives in Woodville with his two children, said it was a "nightmare".

"We got caught up in the frenzy yesterday and unfortunately... we haven't got any bottled water," he said.

"We've tried in vain but all the supermarkets have run out."

At the scene: BBC News reporter Alison Freeman

There's a steady flow of people collecting bottled water in trollies in one of the supermarket car parks in the centre of Swadlincote - and another lorry-load has recently arrived.

People here say they've been kept well informed by Severn Trent Water about the problems with the supply to their homes since yesterday afternoon.

Most say they are coping well, using the free bottled water or visiting friends and relatives - who are not in one of the five affected areas - to take showers.

But many are concerned about the elderly or vulnerable people who don't have cars to go to the collection points.

Householders have been told they can now flush their toilets and they will be notified by social media and hand-delivered letters when the supply is fully back in use.

He said the situation had been poorly managed and bottles of water should be distributed at more locations than just the two supermarkets.

But other residents have been looking out for their neighbours, with one couple filling up the water carrier in their caravan and distributing it to elderly neighbours.

Image caption Residents told the BBC people were "fighting to buy the last bottle of water" in shops

And another woman said she coped on Friday night by "drinking spritzers" instead of water.

In a statement, the firm tried to reassure customers who may have drunk the water that, if they did not notice a strong chlorine smell or taste, then it was "unlikely to have caused any harm".

But it added that anyone with concerns should speak to a doctor.

"We're very sorry for the inconvenience this has caused but we want to reassure customers that this is a precautionary measure due to the levels of chlorine in the water supply," it said.

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