Water firm in England fined for past incident generated by presence of a microbial parasite

Water firm United Utilities in England has been fined now £300,000 after supplying water unfit for human consumption to 700,000 customers. The incident took place in 2015. People in Lancashire were forced to boil their water for almost three weeks in the summer of 2015 after the microbial parasite cryptosporidium was found in the Franklaw water treatment works in Preston.

It was a difficult moment for community. The lack of safe drinking water caused supermarkets to restrict the amount of bottled water bought per customer after there was a surge of panic buyers. Cryptosporidium can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps and vomiting if ingested. "There was significant disruption to domestic consumers but also to businesses as well," the judge said.The company, which has an annual turnover of £1.7bn, has invested £100m into improving its treatment process so further contamination does not occur, the court heard.


United Utilities' chief executive Steve Mogford said the firm was "very sorry for the impact this has had on our customers". He also specified: "We have learned valuable lessons from what happened and have put technology and processes in place to guard against a repeat of this type of incident." United Utilities says on its website it was rated by customers 4.6 out of 5 of delivering great service.