People in Lancashire have been warned their water could be contaminated after traces of a tiny parasite was discovered in the local treatment plant.
United Utilities is advising customers in Preston, Blackpool, Fylde, Wyre, Chorley and South Ribble to boil their water for drinking, food preparation and brushing teeth as a precaution until further notice.
It comes after routine tests at Franklaw Water Treatment Works in Preston detected traces of cryptosporidium – a microscopic parasite which can cause sickness and diarrhoea.
Martin Padley, Chief Scientific Officer at United Utilities, said: “The advice is being given purely as a precautionary measure as we carry out additional tests today.
“We apologise for the inconvenience but the health of our customers is absolutely paramount.”
The company added it is “monitoring water supplies and hoping to be able to lift the water warning as soon as possible”.
It added: “Residents can continue to use tap water without boiling for general domestic purposes such as bathing, flushing toilets or washing clothes.”