It’s good to see the Cryptosporidium outbreak in Brixham now being dealt with properly.

Having the directive to boil all water lifted for households fed by the Alston reservoir is a good step forward.

We hope residents served by Hillhead follow them sooner rather than later. The compensation offered - £115 to Alston affected residents and £215 to Hillhead - though welcome, seems unlikely to even get close to fully compensating for such disruption and threat to health.

The priority is that everyone in Brixham is safe and normality resumes. Thanks to all who have contributed to that within SWW, and to the people of Brixham who have rallied round to help each other. It’s great to see such community spirit.

Soon though, when it is all behind us, the hard questions will have to begin. The first key question is should SWW have their water supply license revoked given their response of ‘deny everything until it becomes impossible to deny’? This put people’s health, wellbeing and even lives at risk. If it is not to be revoked, then what is to be different, and how is it to be policed?

The second is did medical authorities not register earlier that something was wrong? By Wednesday 15 May a Brixham resident had received 1,200 posts on Facebook reporting illness. School attendances were low. Many people must have contacted their doctor. Did no-one notice, ask why, then contact SWW?

The situation is Brixham is not a one off. Many other places in the UK are at risk of health outbreaks caused by water pollution.

Anthony Mangnall, our current MP, told Newsnight recently ‘We need to make sure the Environment Act we passed a few years ago actually implements those policies of stopping dividend payments, revoking licenses, sending executives to jail. Those powers are there. We have to use them.’

I couldn’t agree more - so why isn’t he and his Government using them? Last year water companies paid £1.4 billion in dividends and were fined £11.4 million. That means fines are far too low to be a deterrent and companies will continue to dump sewage and risk the fines. That’s how they make most money.

Recently the Chair of River Action UK told a committee of MPs, ‘Someone is going to die’ because of this.

Are we going to let that happen? Or do we have to force SWW, the Government, the Regulatory Authorities and our MP to up their game? Or elect a Government that will put the health of our communities - and our environment - before the profit of these companies?

:: Caroline Voaden is the Liberal Democrat candidate for Totnes and South Devon