DWI takes United Utilities to court over 2015 gut infection that hit 700,000

The Drinking Water inspectorate (DWI) has summonsed United Utilities to a court hearing where the firm will face charges relating to an outbreak of cryptosporidiosis in some 700,000 people near Preston in August 2015.

The bacteria were found at United’s Franklaw Water Treatment works which supplies about 300,000 homes. Compensation payments for the outbreak have so far cost United Utilities £25 m.

United Utilities will face three charges: • supplying water unfit for human consumption • failure to properly disinfect water that was supplied for domestic purposes 
 • failure to design and continuously operate an adequate treatment process before supplying water for domestic purposes.

The court case is scheduled for 30 June. In a statement United Utilities said it had “taken a full and open role with DWI during their investigation and complied with all requests for information.”

United and DWI have each declined to share further information prior to the decision of the court.