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Lancashire boil water notice: households to get compensation

Hundreds of thousands of people will get compensation payments after having to boil their tap water following the outbreak of a parasitic bug.

More than 300,000 homes in Lancashire have had to boil their water for the last seven days after traces of the microbial parasite cryptosporidium was found in a water treatment works on August 6.

Water firm United Utilities said customers will be getting compensation - but did not say how much.

In a statement, the firm said: "We will be compensating all homes and businesses who have been affected by the boil water notice, and will be contacting you proactively in the coming weeks.

"We're looking at how this will work to be as easy as possible for all of our customers and we'll provide more details in the coming days. Compensation for businesses will be looked at on a case by case basis."

The firm said the situation continues to improve each day, with traces of cryptosporidium reducing but the boil water notice had to stay in place until supplies were back to normal.

The statement added: "We know how inconvenient it is and thank you for your support, once again, whilst we work to get back to normal."

The affected area covers a large swathe of Lancashire, including Preston, Blackpool and the Fylde coast.

Residents are having to boil all water for drinking, food preparation and for brushing teeth.

United Utilities said it is continuing testing water and flushing the bug out of its water systems, with more than 1,000 staff out across Lancashire to speak to customers and get information to them about the situation.

The source of the outbreak has been identified as the Franklaw water treatment plant in Preston.

Cryptosporidium exists in the environment in a form called an oocyst, which is less than a tenth of the thickness of a human hair.

Infection with the parasite can cause diarrhoea and abdominal cramps.

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