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Nwicker60
04-Sep-12, 16:28
Water carries risk of stomach infection say council

HIGHLAND Council has two thousand private water supplies which serve around seven thousand properties throughout the area. Improvements have been made to many supplies over the last few years but the council are urging anyone on a private supply to ensure the supply is maintained and meets the Scottish Government’s recommended standards.
New research carried out by Professor Paul Hunter of the University of East Anglia has shown that young children, particularly under tens, who drink water from private supplies are five times more at risk of picking up stomach infections. It has shown, for the first time that this is due to the fact that the children’s immunity system has not had time to build up. The research recommends to parents to either ensure adequate well-maintained treatment such as filtration or chlorination, or provide alternate sources such as drinking bottled water.
While many of the supplies in Highland will be well managed, the quality of water from others may vary. To help improve the quality of these supplies, there is a non-means tested grant of 800 in Scotland for improving the supply and installation of treatment. Owners and users of private water supplies are encouraged to make use of this grant and further information can be obtained from Highland Council’s Environmental Health Service.
Councillor Graham Phillips Chairman of the TECS Committee said: “I would encourage those who drink water from an untreated private water supply to contact their Environmental Health office. Officers will visit to risk assess the supply, advise on any improvements required and explain how to claim the 800 grant.”
Private water supplies are the responsibility of their owners and users, while local authorities have duties to carry out risk assessments and sampling of supplies in their area. Private water supplies which have water treatment processes such as ultraviolet (UV) disinfection should be operated and maintained in accordance with manufacturers’ advice.