South West Water: You could be owed £15 compensation if your supply is contaminated – here's how you can check

stock image of tap

The parasite was detected in parts of South West England

Solen Le Net

By Solen Le Net

Published: 15/05/2024

- 18:52

Updated: 15/05/2024

- 20:00

The waterborne parasite found in south Devon causes diarrhoea and vomiting

Britons in parts of South West England could be eligible for compensation after a waterborne parasite was detected in local water systems.

Residents in the Alston and Hillhead areas of Brixham have been urged to boil their drinking water following the detection of Cryptosporidium.

Households impacted by the contamination will be compensated with £15, South West Water (SWW) has confirmed.

The water provider announced on its website: “We are issuing this as a precaution following small traces of the organism identified overnight and this morning.


Residents areas of Brixham have been urged to boil their drinking water


“We are working with public health partners to urgently investigate the source.

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused and will continue to keep customers and businesses updated.

“Bottled water stations will be set up in the affected areas as soon as possible. For those customers registered for Priority Services we will be delivering bottled water to your address.

“For all customers who have been issued with the Boil Water Notice you will receive an automatic payment of £15, as part of our Customer Promise when services are interrupted.”

Doctor Lincoln Sargeant, Torbay’s Director of Public Health, said: “We’re working with SWW and the UK Health Security Agency, NHS Devon and the Environment Agency to investigate 22 confirmed cases of cryptosporidium.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that causes the diarrheal disease cryptosporidiosis.

Doctor Sargeant confirmed that cases of diarrhoea and vomiting have been reported among residents and visitors in affected areas, with further confirmed cases expected.

He added: “I would advise people to wash their hands thoroughly when handling food and after using the toilet, to help prevent the spread of further infection.

“Please follow the advice to stay away from nursery, school and work for 48 hours since the last episode of illness and do not swim for two weeks after being unwell.

“Anyone with diarrhoeal illness should drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and if they have severe symptoms like bloody diarrhoea, they should contact NHS 111 or their GP surgery.”



​Symptoms could last for up to two weeks in people with healthy immune systems


The CDC lists the following symptoms for Cryptosporidium:

  • Watery diarrhoea
  • Stomach cramps or pain
  • Dehydration
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Weight loss

According to the health body, symptoms typically last about one to two weeks in people with healthy immune systems.

“Occasionally, people may experience a recurrence of symptoms after a brief period of recovery before the illness ends," adds the CDC. “Symptoms can come and go for up to 30 days.”

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