South West Water increases compensation for Brixham cryptosporidium victims

Broadsands water distribution operation in response to the Cryptosporidium outbreak
Broadsands water distribution operation in response to the Cryptosporidium outbreak -Credit:Chris Slack

People in Brixham are set to receive an increased compensation payout following an outbreak of cryptosporidium in the town. South West Water (SWW) has confirmed that residents will get £115 rather than £15 as a "sorry for the stress and worry the situation has caused".

The water company detected small traces of cryptosporidium in the Hillhead area of its network yesterday (Wednesday, May 15). Public Health said that 22 cases of the infection have been confirmed while up to 100 people have reported symptoms in the last week.

SWW issued a boil water notice to around 16,000 households and businesses in the area. People are advised not to use their tap water for drinking or washing without boiling and cooling it first.

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As part of the notice, customers were told they would be given £15 in compensation. However, SWW announced today (May 16) that this figure would rise by £100.

The money will be paid automatically to customers and the company will continue to keep the level of compensation under review. South West Water is also setting up a dedicated phoneline to talk to local businesses and water retailers about the impact this may have had on them and to fast-track any compensation due.

Laura Flowerdew, South West Water’s Chief Customer and Digital Officer, said: “We sincerely apologise for the impact this is having on our customers in the Brixham and Alston areas.

“Protecting the health of our customers and providing them with a clean, fresh drinking water supply is our number one priority and we will continue to work around the clock to make sure that happens as soon as possible.”

SWW added: "South West Water is working closely with the UK Health Security Agency and other public health partners to urgently investigate how cryptosporidium is getting into its network so it can be fixed and the drinking supply returned to the high quality standards expected by its customers as quickly as possible.

"The company has set up two bottled water collection points at Broadsands Car Park in Paignton, and Fresh Water Quarry Public Car Park in Brixham, where customers can collect bottled water. It continues to deliver bottled water for those customers that need it."