People living in areas affected by contaminated water MUST boil it before they drink it or use it for cooking - and the warning will remain in place until at least Monday, says Yorkshire Water.
Here is everything we know about the water contamination so far:
-‘High levels’ of bacteria were detected in the DN8 postcode in Doncaster, which includes Thorne, Sandtoft and Moorends and affects almost 4,000 households, on Friday (July 29).
-Residents were told NOT to drink the water on Friday evening, and the ban remained in place until it was updated on Sunday (July 31) to state that it can be made safe by boiling. Initially, the firm advised not to boil it, but changed that stance.
-Free water collection points were set up at two points, but they have since closed and now any water must be collected from Trinity Academy School. But this water MUST also be boiled before use.
-So far more than 100,000 litres of bottled water have been delivered, with more on its way. But with the new advice, collection points are slowly being phased out.
-Residents reported fighting in the aisles at local supermarkets on Friday night as people scrambled to buy up clean bottled supplies - especially when the free water points ran out.
-Police were called out to water collection points after locals reported ‘mayhem’ due to the sheer number of cars descending on the locations.
-The Coulman Industrial Estate has been identified by Yorkshire Water as a potential source of the problem.
-The water can be used for showers or bathing, but it must be boiled for any other use.
-The Boil First warning will remain in place until AT LEAST Monday morning.
-Affected postcodes are those starting with: DN8 4B; DN8 4D; DN8 4E; DN8 4H; DN8 4J; DN8 4L; DN8 4N; DN8 4P; DN8 4Q; DN8 4R; DN8 4S; DN8 4S; DN8 4T; DN8 5A; DN8 5B; DN8 5D; DN8 5E; DN8 5F; DN8 5G; DN8 5J; DN8 5N; DN8 5Q; DN8 5R; DN8 5S; DN8 5T
-It is still not known what caused the contamination. A rumour began that highly lethal element Mercury had been found, but this rumour was quashed by Yorkshire Water. But it has not yet revealed what it is that’s made water unsafe, other than stating ‘high bacteria levels’.
-Between 4pm and 10pm on Sunday, Yorkshire Water warned some people may notice ‘discolouration’ in the water due to flushing out the affected water. The firm said it poses ‘no additional risk’, once boiled.
-Chlorine has been added to water supplies, which will also discolour it. But this will be safe to drink when boiled, the firm says.
WHAT YORKSHIRE WATER HAS TO SAY FOR ITSELF
“This position will remain the case throughout Sunday, until further sample results are received. Sample results on Sunday were encouraging but Yorkshire Water have put customer safety first and will not remove the Boil First instruction until further samples confirms the water is once again fully safe to drink.”
-Charlie Haysom, the company’s Director of Service Delivery, said:
“I am pleased that sample results are encouraging and that we may be able to restore normal service early next week. However, we must emphasise that until we receive further sample results, water has to be boiled first before being used in cooking or for drinking.
“We acted swiftly once initial samples on Friday afternoon indicated the water was not safe to use for drinking or cooking at all. By Saturday lunchtime that had been downgraded to a boil first instruction and we hope full normal service may be restored on early next week.
“Yorkshire Water’s investigations as to the cause of the incident are ongoing and continue to focus on the Coulman Industrial Estate as a potential source of the problem.”
MERCURY RUMOUR QUASHED
“I can confirm categorically that it is not mercury. I can refute that and put people’s minds at rest,” a Yorkshire Water spokesman said.
Rachel Marklew, aged 28, from Thorne, is one of those affected by the tap water ban.
The school teacher is 21 weeks pregnant and has been drinking the tap water all day - and feeling unwell.
She said: “I have had several glasses of tap water today and a couple of cups of tea and I’ve been feeling unwell all day.
“As soon as I saw it on Facebook I Tweeted Yorkshire Water and when I said I’m pregnant, they rang me straight away.”
Rachel says residents have been fighting in the supermarkets in Doncaster to get hold of bottled water.
She added: “My mum went to Sainsbury’s in Thorne and she said it was carnage. There were people fighting over the water and it quickly sold out.”
A letter The Star received on Saturday:
“I am from Thorne and i regularly drink a lot of water ... for the last couple of days soon as I have consumed it I have felt unwell and spent several hours in bed. It has given me a lack of appetite ..I’m waking up in the middle of the night sweating and shivering at the same time. My eyes are bloodshot.... in the meantime both of my dogs have suddenly became unwell ..I feel as if I have been truly poisoned.”
Steve Kendell emailed The Star to say:
“I live in Belton just outside Thorne. We are DN9 postcode
“My wife and I have had a upset stomach accompanied with Diarrhoea for two days now. Don’t know if it is a coincidence or not.”