Scottish Water supplied contaminated water to thousands

gross tap water

Scottish Water has been fined after supplying water unfit for human consumption to thousands of homes in North Lanarkshire.

Around 6000 properties were affected during the incident, which lasted for two days in June 2015.

Residents of Carfin and the surrounding area complained of drinking water that smelt and tasted unacceptable.

Tests revealed the water contained high concentrations of hydrocarbons, iron and manganese.

Around 6000 properties in North Lanarkshire were affected in June 2015.

Residents were warned not to drink the water or to use it for cooking or cleaning. Business and schools across the area were closed as a result of these restrictions.

An investigation revealed the inadvertent shutdown of the water main supplying the area during a planned repair resulted in contaminated water from two sources on the Newhouse Industrial Estate being drawn back into the water supply system.


Although some of the contamination arose from a third party industrial source, some was residual contamination left in a length of redundant water main that remained connected to the water network.

At Hamilton Sheriff Court on Tuesday, Scottish Water was fined £3250 after pleading guilty to the offence.

Sue Petch, drinking water quality regulator for Scotland, said: "This incident caused considerable inconvenience and worry to a large number of consumers in North Lanarkshire.

"People's confidence in the safety of the water supply was compromised and our investigation found deficiencies with Scottish Water's operational processes.

"It was for this reason that we took the highly unusual step of reporting the case for prosecution."

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