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Water nightmare: Residents still plagued by disgusting water

Fed-up Lanarkshire residents have demanded answers from Scottish Water, after two months of putting up with “disgusting” drinking water.

Homeowners and householders across the region are still turning on taps to discover brown water – which the water company insists is safe to use and drink.

However, many residents have contacted Lanarkshire Live claiming they’ve felt unwell after consuming the water.

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Scottish Water maintains the discolouration has been caused by naturally occurring manganese levels in the water supply, which was first reported in August and a unusually dry spell over the summer.

The unexpectedly dry Scottish summer left water reservoir levels low, as well – something locals feel should have been noticed long before the problems affected households.

Heather Ross, who lives in Cambuslang, said: “There’s clearly a difference with the water. It is still brown and disgusting a lot of the time. My sister’s dog started vomiting after having it the other week and this has been going on for months now.

“I know of people who were having some stomach problems after trying to use it too. It’s so hard to get any response from Scottish Water – at first they were providing bottled water but now they’re just insisting that the water is OK again. I’d want to know if they are comfortable using it?

“They’re now talking about the procedures they’re putting in place, but if the water levels were getting low over the summer then why was there never a hose pipe ban or advice to take showers rather than baths?”

Other residents have reported a foul smell, with some claiming they have found “particles” in their tap water.

One expectant Hamilton mum said: “They provided me with water as I told them I’m pregnant and have two children.

“They said they will chase up a statement to say it is safe for pregnant women to bathe in it. My problem is that there is grit in the water and when the bath is drained away it leaves a mucky residue, which I’ve never experienced before.

“How am I supposed to bathe a baby in this? It’s really stressing me out.”

Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey has been approached by a number of constituents about the ongoing issue.

She said: “I have been in correspondence with Scottish Water for several weeks on this matter, after a number of constituents contacted me.

“While the public and my office have been repeatedly assured by Scottish Water that the water is being tested regularly and is safe to use and drink even if it is discoloured, I completely understand why concerns remain.

“I recognise that there is no easy solution that Scottish Water can action because the issue has been caused by extremely low levels of rainfall. However, this does not make the situation any easier or pleasant for my constituents to deal with.

“Scottish Water has offered home visits and support to residents, and I would encourage anyone who is still experiencing issues with their water supply to contact them directly or to get in touch with my office.”

Scottish Water continues to insist that only a small number of homes are affected.

However, correspondence shows the company admit that “more work is required to encourage customers to use water more wisely.”

A Scottish Water spokesperson said: “We continue to work as hard as possible to help the small number of customers still experiencing water discolouration in parts of Lanarkshire.

“We are liaising with the Drinking Water Quality Regulator (DWQR) and NHS Lanarkshire on this matter and the Consultant in Public Health Medicine at NHS Lanarkshire has confirmed that they are satisfied the water is safe to use.

“While we have implemented a number of actions to help mitigate the impact this is having on the appearance of the water supply, there is still a need for significant rainfall to allow the discolouration issue to be fully resolved.

“We are supporting those customers still affected. We urge anyone with concerns or anyone who requires additional support to get in touch with us direct via one of the methods on our Contact Us page at

“We apologise for the inconvenience and thank those customers still affected for their patience and understanding while we work to resolve this matter.

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