Severn Trent water 'fine to use' as chlorine warning dropped

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

Thousands of people who could not use their water because of an abnormally high level of chlorine have been told it is now safe to do so.

Severn Trent had warned customers in Derbyshire and Leicestershire on Friday after finding high levels of the chemical at Castle Donington reservoir.

About 3,700 properties were affected.

"Before using your water, run your cold tap at full flow for five minutes, but after that it will be fine to use," the company said.

"As our network gets back to normal there may be times when your water supply is interrupted or you have discoloured water.

"This shouldn't persist and everything should settle down shortly, but you may see tankers travelling through the area."


It said although discoloured water was "unappealing" there was "no reason to believe there is any risk to your health".

The company said it was still investigating what caused the problem and "identifying how we can compensate" customers who were "directly affected for an extended period of time".

The latest advice came after Severn Trent said it had flushed the network and tested the water.

On Saturday, it had handed out free bottles of water to affected customers at Sainsbury's in Swadlincote, Derbyshire, and Tesco in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire.

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

Some of those affected criticised the way the situation had been handled and said bottles should have been distributed at more places than just the two supermarkets.

Severn Trent tried to reassure customers who may have drunk the water, saying the warning was a precautionary measure.

It told customers that, if they did not notice a strong chlorine smell or taste in the water, it was "unlikely to have caused you any harm".

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

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