A north-east couple were left without safe water for months after work on a Travellers site left the supply so contaminated that “not even a dog could drink it”.
Ron and Kathleen Jamieson, of East Smallburn near Peterhead, last night relived the ordeal – which they say “caused a lot of stress” – and criticised the council for being “unresponsive” to their concerns.
The couple’s problems began in May when digging started for a three-pitch travellers site, which would allow parking spaces for up to six vehicles, on land next to their home.
Mr Jamieson said the preparatory works which caused the supply to become contaminated should “never have been allowed to happen in the first place” as the scheme was later scrapped on public safety grounds.
Their water was sampled that month by Aberdeenshire Council and the high iron content meant it failed to meet safety requirements for using.
Mr Jamieson said: “We’ve lived here for 23 years and we’ve never had problems like this before. It caused us a lot of stress that we really didn’t need to go through.
“Not even the dogs could drink the water.”
The couple had no alternative but to haul clean water to and from their daughter’s home about three miles away in Hatton.
From July to September, Mr and Mrs Jamieson also needed to visit their daughter in order to have a shower. A subsequent test of the water at their property during that time also found it unusable.
A water treatment vessel was later installed at the couple’s home, which has provided them with safe drinking water.
However, they claim the council “hasn’t been very responsive” to their calls and say they were only visited a few times during the saga.
A spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council said: “These matters relate to a private water supply and officers from our environmental health service have visited Mr and Mrs Jamieson on several occasions over a number of years to provide advice and guidance.
“In connection with the couple’s most recent concerns with regards to water quality, we can confirm we have conducted an investigation and are considering our next steps.
“Meanwhile, we have also recently approved a scheme which will enable the couple to improve their water supply with the aid of a Scottish Government grant.”