A boil water notice was lifted for more than 700 properties in South Devon last week (July 2) following May’s cryptosporidium outbreak.

In total, 731 properties in the Summercombe and Chestnut Drive area of Brixham had a boil notice lifted by South West Water (SWW).

The announcement came days after more than 850 households in Kingswear, Noss Marina, Hillhead Park and Raddicombe were also told they would no longer have to boil their tap water.

The notice remains in place for 678 households in the Higher Brixham, Southdown, Upton Manor and St Mary's areas, as the supply zones are on a different part of the network, the company said.

Residents in these areas will continue to receive supplies of bottled water, as well as through three bottled water collection points.

SWW said it had flushed the network 27 times and installed filters, while laying more than 1.2 kilometres of new pipework since the outbreak more than two months ago.

David Harris, SWW’s incident director, said: “Our extensive programme of work has involved flushing over 34km of water pipes, ‘ice pigging’ and swabbing the network, and installing ultraviolet treatment and microfilters to provide barriers to remove cryptosporidium within our network.

“We have worked with specialists internally and externally to deliver interventions into our existing network safely, efficiently and often much quicker than would normally be expected.”

At the height of the outbreak, in excess of 16,000 households were affected and more than 100 people reportedly fell ill, with two needing hospital treatment.

Landmark ruling

In an unrelated development, water companies could be sued for causing sewage spills following a landmark ruling last week by the UK’s highest court.

The Supreme Court last week ruled that the Manchester Ship Canal Company could sue United Utilities over the alleged dumping of raw sewage into the canal.

The ruling paves the way for companies and even private individuals to lodge claims against other water and utility companies.

Previously, firms could not sue water companies for damage caused by sewage spills as the courts had ruled that this was a matter for the regulators.