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SES water says no sign of E. coli contamination in hundreds of Kent homes


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A water company has confirmed its supplies aren't contaminated with E. coli after thousands were told to boil their tap water.

Earlier today tests found 443 postcodes in the county and neighbouring Surrey were told they could be affected by the potentially deadly bacteria.

Hundreds of people were told to boil their water after an E. coli scare. Picture: Stock
Hundreds of people were told to boil their water after an E. coli scare. Picture: Stock

People in TN8 of Edenbridge near Sevenoaks and TN16 of Tunbridge Wells were told to boil their water before drinking it after the problem was uncovered.

SES water apologised to all of its customers and began carrying out further tests immediately.

Now, the water company has confirmed over the last few hours there has been no indication of contaminated water leaving the treatment works.

SES spokesman Tom Kelly said: “Following a positive result for E-coli from one sample at our Westwood Water Treatment Works on Thursday, we put in place a precautionary boil notice for customers whose mains water is supplied from the site – this is around 6,500 properties in and around Oxted in Surrey.

“We apologise for the inconvenience and concern this may be causing to some of our customers, but it was the right thing to do, based on the information available at the time.

'There is no indication of contaminated water...'

“I am pleased to say that through our investigations over the last 24 hours, involving sampling and analysis of water quality throughout the area covered by the precautionary boil notice, there is no indication of contaminated water leaving the treatment works.

“We are awaiting final confirmation of this with a third set of tests within the next 24 hours but at this stage, based on the latest sampling results, we are increasingly confident we can lift the precautionary boil notice tomorrow."

Following the news earlier today the NHS said the E. coli bacteria is not harmful as long as it stays in the gut, but can cause problems if it finds vulnerable areas of the body, such as open wounds, potentially causing infections.

People considered at most risk if they happen to become infected with E.coli include the elderly, people suffering with dehydration, prostate problems, gall bladder or kidney stones, open wounds or ulcers, or with long term conditions such as COPD, bronchitis or diabetes, and those with urinary catheterisation.

Read more: All the latest news from Sevenoaks

Read more: All the latest news from Tunbridge Wells

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