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Lochinver residents urged to boil water before drinking due to potential public health risk

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Everyone living in the Lochinver, Inverkirkaig and Achmelvich areas was advised to boil water before drinking or cooking with it due to possible contamination.

Scottish Water said there is a risk that there is cryptosporidium in the water, causing a potential risk to public health.

The issue is thought to have been caused by problems at Lochinver Water Treatment Works and supply was turned off while these are dealt with.

Works began to return supply to normal since Friday afternoon. Scottish Water reported the issue was resolved at about 5pm on Sunday following discussions with NHS Highland.

In the interim, all households and businesses were asked to boil water before drinking it or using it while cooking.

Bottled water was also dropped off at Inverpark Stores, the car park opposite the Spar in Lochinver and The Culag Hotel for customers to collect.

Advice for those living in the affected areas

Scottish Water posted the following advice from its incident management team on its website: “Water that has been boiled is safe to use for drinking, preparing food (including ice cubes and salads), preparing babies’ feeds and disinfecting feeding equipment, cleaning teeth, pet food and drink, and washing open wounds, provided it has been allowed to first cool.

“In the affected areas, water can still be used for bathing and washing (including babies), washing dishes (provide you use hot water and dry thoroughly before use), washing clothes and flushing the toilet.

“Water which has been boiled and allowed to cool should be stored in clean containers in a fridge or other cold place.

“Water filters will not guarantee that water is safe to drink and people should also avoid drinks and ice dispensing machines, which are often supplied from mains water.”

Scottish Water customers who need extra support while supplies are down can call the dedicated helpline on 08000 778778 or get in touch via this link.

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