March 11, 2016 - thousands in Derbyshire England warned not to use high chlorine water


On March 11 the BBC News ran a story 'Thousands of residents warned not to use 'high chlorine' water.  It reported

"Severn Trent has warned thousands of customers not to use water while it investigates problems with high levels of chlorine in its supply.

The company said it is investigating an issue at the Castle Donington reservoir in Derbyshire.

It has told residents in the DE11, DE15, DE65, DE73 and LE65 areas of Derbyshire and Leicestershire not to use water for any purpose.

A total of 3,700 properties have been affected."


The Daily Mail story

On the same day March 11, The Daily Mail Online also reported on the issue givena more comprehensive explanation and information.

'Contaminated water supply triggers panic buying after thousands of households are warned not to drink or wash with it - and it's even too toxic to clean TOILETS'.
The article continued

  • Severn Trent Water warned many customers in Derbyshire, Leicestershire
  • As many as 3,700 homes could have been affected by the chlorine problem
  • Water company did not disclose exact chlorine levels, how problem began
  • Superstores, local shops in the area completely sold out of bottled water
People living in the DE11, DE65 and DE73 areas of Derbyshire have been instructed not to use their water supply

People living in the DE11, DE65 and DE73 areas of Derbyshire have been instructed not to use their water supply

Earlier today, Severn Trent spokesman Jonathan Smith warned locals not to use tap water in any capacity, adding: 'Don't drink it, don't wash with it, don't even brush your toilet with it.'

Up to 0.7mg of chlorine per 1litre of water is considered safe, but Smith told MailOnline he could not disclose the levels found in the Castle Donington reservoir.

He said: 'There is more chlorine than there should be in the water... We can't give you the levels that are in the water.

'We don't know if the level will be high enough that it will do damage to your skin.'

When asked if Severn Trent knew what caused the high chlorine levels, Mr Smith said: 'No, we have to look at that in detail.'

He said the systems should be flushed by midday tomorrow and claimed people will have safe running water by evening time.

But the lack of information given out to residents has concerned many, with one mother, Maria Fowler, tweeting: 'Will this affect my pregnancy? Slightly concerned as I have been drinking the water?'

Mother of two Sarah Yarnall, 34, of Woodville, Derbyshire, tweeted Severn Water at 7pm to ask if she was in the affected area.

Her husband Lee Shakespeare, 39, only found out about the water issue when his children's school texted him.


Chlorine is used to purify water and although low levels of the substance in the water is harmless, the chemicals it can create are known to cause cancer.

Chlorine can react with substances in the water supply to produce compounds known as disinfection byproducts (DBPs), according to a study by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

It said the main byproducts, trihalomethanes (THMs), are mostly responsible for health hazards. 

The agency added the compound 'mainly slows down regular brain activity' and prolonged exposure 'can cause liver and kidney cancer, as well as heart disease, unconsciousness, or death in high doses'.

Severn Trent Spokesperson levels of chlorine higher than a swimming pool

Severn Trent said they have 'cut off the service' to the reservoir where the problem was observed.
Principal inspector Sue Pennison said earlier today: 'The normal level in a swimming pool is between two and four micrograms – this is a little bit higher than that.'
The company is now in the process of 'flushing the pipes' at the reservoir so the contaminated water is washed out.
'This will take as long as it takes for us to be 100 per cent certain that our customers are safe,' Mr Smith told Sky News earlier today. 


Sources:  BBC News
               Daily Mail Online          
               Fliuch Off Irish Water Ltd