Cryptosporidium contamination still a mystery

United Utilities Franklaw Treatment Plant near Garstang is at the centre of the investigation
United Utilities Franklaw Treatment Plant near Garstang is at the centre of the investigation

Scientists admit they still can’t say what caused the drinking water crisis across Lancashire in 2015.

An investigation into the cryptosporidium contamination, which hit 300,000 homes and businesses exactly 18 months ago this week, continues with no sign of a solution being found.

There are a number of lines of inquiry that need to be pursued

The Drinking Water Inspectorate, the independent body carrying out the inquiry, confirmed it was still unable to announce its findings.

A spokesman said: “The length of the investigation is really a product of the size, complexity and nature of the event.”

And water suppliers United Utilities, whose Franklaw Treatment Plant near Garstang has been at the centre of the probe for the past year and a half, say they are still in the dark about the findings.

The company could be facing prosecution for allowing the microscopic bug to get into mains supplies.

The contamination, strongly rumoured to be caused by a dead pheasant in an outflow pipe, was picked up on August 6, 2015, causing large areas of the county to be put on a boil water alert for up to a month.

Homes and business premises across the Fylde coast were among those affected by the alert which ultimately cost United Utilities more than £25m in compensation.

The DWI said after the investigation passed the year mark: “There are a number of lines of inquiry which need to be pursued to their conclusion.”

Despite the scare not one case of the illness was officially confirmed in Lancashire.