• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Positive E.coli test left Oxfordshire village without water


Aug 13, 2022

DOZENS of homes in an Oxfordshire village were left without water after E.coli was found in a nearby reservoir.

Positive samples of the bacteria were found in Stokenchurch reservoir by Thames Water, prompting disruption of its services to 68 properties in Northend village, between Christmas Common and Stonor.

Low water pressure and lack of supply meant the homes had to be supplied with bottled water by Thames Water while residents had tankers parked outside their houses to ensure continued supply.

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Oxford Mail: A tanker from Thames Water pumps water into another tanker in the village of Northend (Andrew MAtthews/PA)A tanker from Thames Water pumps water into another tanker in the village of Northend (Andrew MAtthews/PA)

The firm said E.coli was found in two samples in one half of the Stokenchurch reservoir on Friday (5) and Sunday (7) last week as part of a routine water quality sampling process.

To protect customers, Thames Water said it shut the affected half of the reservoir to the water mains and used another water plant in Chinnor to maintain local supplies.

The company has also notified the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI).

Radiologist Gina Brown, 57, who moved her mother, 83, who has arthritis, and father, 97, into an annexe by her house in Northend so they could be closer to her, said the issues with water in the area made her question whether that was the right decision.

Dr Brown told the PA news agency: “I think it’s the worry about how my parents are going to manage, because I brought them here to live with me, to build the annexe to keep them safe.

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“And I feel like I’ve, you know, brought them here, and almost in some ways made it worse for them.

Oxford Mail: Gina Brown, who lives in Northend (PA)Gina Brown, who lives in Northend (PA)

“Because they, they have been put in a situation where they weren’t before, where they did have access to water and everything was fine.”

Dr Brown said she has had to repeatedly boil kettles and “lug” the boiling water upstairs to wash herself.

“It was very laborious,” she said. “9t took far longer than it should have. And quite frankly, lugging kettles of hot water up and down the stairs to be able to have a wash isn’t the easiest thing.

“And then if you imagine my elderly parents trying to do that, I wouldn’t recommend that they should be carrying kettles, hot water, up and down.

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“Nor can they even lift the two kilogramme bottles of water that they were supplied with. They couldn’t flush the toilet. My dad is housebound. So what are they to do?”

A Thames Water spokesperson apologised for the disruption in Northend and said the reservoir had been disinfected.

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