Waterworks at centre of big scare will not be closed down

THE water treatment plant at the centre of the cryptosporidium scare in Lancashire will not be shut down, company bosses have vowed.

Monday, 31st August 2015, 7:24 am
Activity at the Franklaw Water Treatment plant on Catterall Lane, Garstang, after news of water contamination

A criminal investigation is still ongoing at the Franklaw works near Garstang more than three weeks after contamination was found in supplies.

But, despite strong rumours locally, United Utilities chiefs are adamant there are no plans to close the site, whatever the inquiry finds.

“I can discount that,” said Gary Dixon, the company’s customer serices director. “Franklaw is a key plant, it is one of our biggest, producing up to 140 million litres a day.

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“This plant has operated perfectly well for many years. We have invested heavily to improve it over the past 10 years, particularly the last five.

“It performs extremely well and that performance speaks for itself.

“Something has clearly gone wrong there and a full independent investigation is going on to find out what it was.

“We are not able to comment on the investigation because this is a formal process carried out by the Drinking Water Inspectorate.

“They will identify what they believe to be the source of this and whatever consequences they may set from that.”

The DWI has promised to make its full findings public. But the Inspectorate has not put a timescale on when it should be able to reveal details of what caused the contamination and why the bug was allowed to get into drinking water.

Meanwhile 80,000 households are enjoying clean tap water for the first time in more than three weeks after the partial lifting of the alert in parts of Preston, Chorley and Blackpool. But the remaining 220,000 homes and businesses must wait up to another week.