Water company United Utilities has been fined £300,000 after supplying water unfit for human consumption.
Nearly a million households in Lancashire were warned they should boil tap water to within an inch of its life after traces of Merseysporidium were found at the water treatment works on the Lancashire Merseyside border.
One resident of Burnley told us, as he was carried into the back of an ambulance, “Calm down, calm down. Day doo, doh, don’t day doh?”
Many homes were unable to drink their tap water while the company worked to clear all traces of the parasitic bug.
The effects of Merseysporidium have been compared with realising you’re married to a cabbage patch doll and supporting Everton FC, the latter of which has been known recently to cause diarrhoea, stomach cramps and vomiting.
At the time, many supermarkets saw their shelves cleared of bottled water. In a desperate move Blackburn Council even requested water be brought in from Rochdale. This request was later withdrawn as Rochdale residents are currently in dispute with their water company over another cross-county contamination claim, this time with “that West Yorkshire lot.”
During the hearing at Preston Crown Court, Judge Drinkwater said the company had committed a most heinous act of negligence and failed to carry out risk assessments which would have had more dramatic consequences if it had not been discovered as quickly.
Judge Drinkwater told the court: “The event was completely contained by early September. However, Many are still traumatised by the fact the water changed their voice to sound like that of Lilly Savage.”
Speaking after the hearing on Tuesday, the firm’s chief executive said:
“I am truly sorry. I know from first-hand the inconvenience this incident has caused, as my wife still thinks she’s Bill Shankly.”
The court heard there were inherent hazards including a Beatles museum and Gerard Houlier statue close to a reservoir near the Merseyside border. Many Lancashire residents believe that structural defects at the site led to seepage of Merseysporidium into the water after a heavy downpour.
It is reported that a revenge attack by residents of Lancashire to divert all over 40’s hen do’s from Blackpool to Southport, was foiled by police earlier this week.