United Utilities investigates after Blackburn householders' water turns dirty

The tapwater supply turned brown in 2,000 homes

Jack Donlan’s tapwater was brown

First published in News
Last updated
This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

HUNDREDS of people were left unable to wash, cook, or clean their teeth this week after tapwater turned a murky brown colour.

Residents across a large part of Blackburn, mostly in the Wensley Fold area between Montague Street and Preston New Road, turned on their taps to find the water coming out was discoloured and dirty.

United Utilities said it had received more than 100 calls from properties in the BB2 postcode on Monday and yesterday.

Around 2,000 households had potentially been affected, the company said, and yesterday engineers were still carrying out investigations although most homes had returned to normal.

The company was unable to confirm what had caused the discoloured tap water, or to say whether the problem was likely to recur.

Residents who called United Utilities were met with a recorded message saying there was no cause for concern.

The message said discoloured water was unlikely to be harmful and would settle down again with time.

Customers were advised to let the cold water tap run at a slight trickle until water ran crystal clear again.

But some said that drinking the dirty water had made them ill.

Alice Crookham, 70, who lives in Melville Road, drank a glass of water without noticing the colour, and later suffered an upset stomach.

She said: “I’m diabetic and I wanted a drink.

“I drank it and it tasted funny, there were bits in it, it was like a dirty grey colour.

“I chucked it away, but I had a belly ache afterwards.”

Her neighbour Selme Patel, 24, said her water had been discoloured for several hours on Monday. She said: “The tapwater is still a little bit smelly. We bought water from the shop.”

But John Ljevari, 61, who lives in New Park Street, said United Utilities had visited him yesterday.

He said the representative had taken some samples away for testing, but had told him the water was now up to standard.

He said: “We had to go out and buy bottled water because it was unfit to drink, we couldn’t cook with it or do anything with it.”

Jack Donlan, 74, who lives in Denville Road, was warned by a neighbour that the water was discoloured.

He said: “She said ‘don’t use the water Jack, it’ll be brown’, and it was.

“I had some pop in the house, but that makes you dry, and I like a cup of tea or coffee.”

John Martin from United Utilities said: “We are very sorry to our customers for the change to the quality of their water supply.

“We are pleased the water to almost all areas has now returned back to normal. But we will continue to carry out checks to confirm that the water is completely back to its usual high standard.”

Comments (12)

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10:04am Wed 2 Apr 14

Angusam says...

No mention of what caused this problem, just that it returned to normal...???????????
????????????????????
????????????
No mention of what caused this problem, just that it returned to normal...??????????? ???????????????????? ???????????? Angusam
  • Score: 12

10:23am Wed 2 Apr 14

sen c b l says...

There's a burst somewhere and sucking up soil or previous maintenance to existing pipe work and debris is being pushed out and if you were to leave a container of water standing for a length of time the sediment within the water will settle to the bottom.
You could leave the tap running till it clears but if you've got a water meter fitted then see your money run down the drain!
You learn something new everyday.
There's a burst somewhere and sucking up soil or previous maintenance to existing pipe work and debris is being pushed out and if you were to leave a container of water standing for a length of time the sediment within the water will settle to the bottom. You could leave the tap running till it clears but if you've got a water meter fitted then see your money run down the drain! You learn something new everyday. sen c b l
  • Score: 12

10:27am Wed 2 Apr 14

doylerf says...

Angusam wrote:
No mention of what caused this problem, just that it returned to normal...???????????

????????????????????

????????????
They said they were unable to confirm what had caused the discoloured tap water, or to say whether the problem was likely to recur.
[quote][p][bold]Angusam[/bold] wrote: No mention of what caused this problem, just that it returned to normal...??????????? ???????????????????? ????????????[/p][/quote]They said they were unable to confirm what had caused the discoloured tap water, or to say whether the problem was likely to recur. doylerf
  • Score: 12

12:03pm Wed 2 Apr 14

:-)*_=¬^(~+/@:-) says...

none of my coffee drinking customers seem to have noticed yet
none of my coffee drinking customers seem to have noticed yet :-)*_=¬^(~+/@:-)
  • Score: -6

3:03pm Wed 2 Apr 14

Akkybro says...

Moral of the story: Don't poo in the local reservoir.

:)
Moral of the story: Don't poo in the local reservoir. :) Akkybro
  • Score: 3

3:43pm Wed 2 Apr 14

Cimbri says...

Ooooh, is that what it is!
I thought that it was me, as I don't flush, when getting up for a pee in the middle of the night and when I saw it the next morning, I got a bit worried about the old kidneys.
And, those out and out scoundrels of people, in Wetherspoons said, it was all Thwaites' fault; they were no longer recycling pee, to make my cask beer!

Golly, gosh and Saag ghosht!
I need a drink after that news and... I have to catch up on what I gave up, when my pee went brown. Shame they don't do them 2 pint glasses here, like they do in Skelmersdale. Had a great time in the Mucky Duck, on buckets, as they are called.
I gave up drinking beer in favour of that Polish stuff, as it's a more purer thing but, am alive to tell you that, half a pint of that, is a drink to forget. You don't recall your name, your legs don't work, as you are drunk from the hips, down. Were it not for the fact that, the taxi firm knows name, from my phone number and where I was, I'd never have got home, to sleep it off. Hellfire, that Spirytus Rektyfikowany, from Gdansk, made me legless but had me speaking Polish, in no time flat though.
And now, some Lithuanian bloke, from work, tells me that there is a stronger version of Vodka that they make, putting the 140 proof stuff, to shame. Of course, in the spirit (hehehe) of cultural cohesion, am going to try it out. It's only fair, since I've tried nearly everything else that's available in the town.
And to think that, Voda, in some languages, means water.
How do you say, half a pint of water in Lithuv, anyone?
Ooooh, is that what it is! I thought that it was me, as I don't flush, when getting up for a pee in the middle of the night and when I saw it the next morning, I got a bit worried about the old kidneys. And, those out and out scoundrels of people, in Wetherspoons said, it was all Thwaites' fault; they were no longer recycling pee, to make my cask beer! Golly, gosh and Saag ghosht! I need a drink after that news and... I have to catch up on what I gave up, when my pee went brown. Shame they don't do them 2 pint glasses here, like they do in Skelmersdale. Had a great time in the Mucky Duck, on buckets, as they are called. I gave up drinking beer in favour of that Polish stuff, as it's a more purer thing but, am alive to tell you that, half a pint of that, is a drink to forget. You don't recall your name, your legs don't work, as you are drunk from the hips, down. Were it not for the fact that, the taxi firm knows name, from my phone number and where I was, I'd never have got home, to sleep it off. Hellfire, that Spirytus Rektyfikowany, from Gdansk, made me legless but had me speaking Polish, in no time flat though. And now, some Lithuanian bloke, from work, tells me that there is a stronger version of Vodka that they make, putting the 140 proof stuff, to shame. Of course, in the spirit (hehehe) of cultural cohesion, am going to try it out. It's only fair, since I've tried nearly everything else that's available in the town. And to think that, Voda, in some languages, means water. How do you say, half a pint of water in Lithuv, anyone? Cimbri
  • Score: -6

5:22pm Wed 2 Apr 14

It's a spade! says...

Akkybro wrote:
Moral of the story: Don't poo in the local reservoir.

:)
I think they poo'd in the sink!
[quote][p][bold]Akkybro[/bold] wrote: Moral of the story: Don't poo in the local reservoir. :)[/p][/quote]I think they poo'd in the sink! It's a spade!
  • Score: 5

6:29pm Wed 2 Apr 14

Openminded? says...

Here comes the insurance claims for "distress"!
Here comes the insurance claims for "distress"! Openminded?
  • Score: 10

11:14pm Wed 2 Apr 14

ConcernedOssy says...

Yet another example of privatisation failure get used to it
Yet another example of privatisation failure get used to it ConcernedOssy
  • Score: 7

11:14pm Wed 2 Apr 14

ConcernedOssy says...

It's a spade! wrote:
Akkybro wrote:
Moral of the story: Don't poo in the local reservoir.

:)
I think they poo'd in the sink!
Possibly the bath !!
[quote][p][bold]It's a spade![/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Akkybro[/bold] wrote: Moral of the story: Don't poo in the local reservoir. :)[/p][/quote]I think they poo'd in the sink![/p][/quote]Possibly the bath !! ConcernedOssy
  • Score: 9

11:17pm Wed 2 Apr 14

ConcernedOssy says...

doylerf wrote:
Angusam wrote:
No mention of what caused this problem, just that it returned to normal...???????????


????????????????????


????????????
They said they were unable to confirm what had caused the discoloured tap water, or to say whether the problem was likely to recur.
Cra*
[quote][p][bold]doylerf[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Angusam[/bold] wrote: No mention of what caused this problem, just that it returned to normal...??????????? ???????????????????? ????????????[/p][/quote]They said they were unable to confirm what had caused the discoloured tap water, or to say whether the problem was likely to recur.[/p][/quote]Cra* ConcernedOssy
  • Score: 6

11:52am Thu 3 Apr 14

mrcool says...

“We had to go out and buy bottled water because it was unfit to drink, we couldn’t cook with it or do anything with it.”

“I had some pop in the house, but that makes you dry, and I like a cup of tea or coffee.”

1st world problems, eh?
“We had to go out and buy bottled water because it was unfit to drink, we couldn’t cook with it or do anything with it.” “I had some pop in the house, but that makes you dry, and I like a cup of tea or coffee.” 1st world problems, eh? mrcool
  • Score: -6

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