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Action group joins forces with United Utilities on water supply

L-R: Charmian Abbott, Chief Scientist, and Sally Ainsworth, Head of Complaints, at UU; Leigh Puddifoot and Gemma Dinsdale, WCAG; Louise Beardmore, Customer Services Director at UU; Mark Jennings, WCAG.

United Utilities and West Cumbria Action group have joined forces to reassure local residents about their water supply.

A joint letter has gone out to households across West Cumbria, following a meeting with the group and a tour of United Utilities’ laboratory and control centre in Warrington.

The letter, from Louise Beardmore, Customer Services Director at United Utilities and Mark Jennings, Founder of the West Cumbria Action group, sets out a range of actions agreed at the meeting to provide residents with more information, help and reassurance.

Louise Beardmore said: “I was really pleased that Mark and other members of the group came to meet us in Warrington and it was a pleasure to show them round our laboratories and 24 hour control centre.

“I think it is fair to say that the meeting and the tour was eye-opening for all concerned, and there really is no substitute for getting together in person to address concerns and misunderstandings.

“It was an open, informative and positive discussion. We may not have agreed on everything, but we agreed on a number of ways to move forward, to make sure people’s concerns are heard and to address some of the issues that could be causing unnecessary worry.”

  • A dedicated email address and phone number has been set up for local people to use if they need to get in touch with United Utilities about their water supply.
  • A programme of water mains cleaning is being drawn up which will help resolve localised water quality issues such as naturally occurring particles and sediment.
  • A series of roadshows will take place, with information about United Utilities’ lead pipe replacement scheme, aimed at encouraging householders in older properties to replace their internal lead plumbing which can give rise to water quality issues.

These will be held at:

  • Sainsbury’s, Cockermouth – Wednesday 10 July.
  • Dunmail Park, Workington – Thursday 11 & Friday 12 July.
  • Tesco, Whitehaven – Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 July.

A fact sheet with answers to common questions and concerns has been drawn up and this will be sent to residents with the letter.

The letter also urges any resident concerned about illness to visit their GP.  All water quality test results to date have been shared with Public Health England and there is no evidence of anything in the water that could be causing illness. However, it is vital that any illness is reported to make sure that nothing is missed.

Residents can see their local water quality results at https://www.unitedutilities.com/help-and-support/your-water-supply/drinking-water-quality/

Both United Utilities and the West Cumbria Action group have committed to keep talking, and there will be another meeting in September.

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