E.Coli scare: Kent and Surrey water company ‘awaiting confirmation’ to end ‘boil notice’

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SES Water has said one of its samples from Westwood Water Treatment Works tested positive for E.coli on Thursday. For the time being people living in areas of Surrey and Kent are being told to boil their drinking water after the issue was discovered on Thursday.

Pets have also been advised to be given boiled tap water.

The areas most affected include Oxted, Redhill, Horley, Biggin Hill, Tonbridge, Limpsfield, Godstone and Sevenoaks.

The boil notice covers 443 postcodes and around 6,500 postcodes.

Initially SES Water released a statement to inform the public which said: “The issue was discovered during routine tests, and our teams are working to investigate the problem and restore supplies to their usual high standards.”

E.coli bacteria can cause different infections including urinary tract infection, and intestinal infection, cystitis (infection of the bladder).

Some strains of E.coli can be harmless. Others can cause serious illness including stomach cramps and vomiting.

However, the water is expected to be cleared for drinking soon after undergoing multiple tests.

On Friday evening, Tom Kelly, SES’ wholesale director said: “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.”

He also apologised for the “inconvenience and concern.” However, he said it was “the right thing to do, based on the information available at the time”.

SES Water supplies water to east Surrey, West Sussex, west Kent and South London.

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The company serves around 282,000 homes and 675,000 people.

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