Sheffield gran drank dirty water

Lynn Hobson with dirty water
Lynn Hobson with dirty water
Have your say

A frail gran with cataracts unwittingly drank discoloured water caused by a pipe leak for days - because she could not see the cloudy, brown liquid.

Doreen Darwent, aged 82, did not known the supply at her Walkley council home was affected because she is partially sighted.

Doreen Darwent , 82, is in hospital after drinking dirty and discoloured water at her home

Doreen Darwent , 82, is in hospital after drinking dirty and discoloured water at her home

When her horrified family saw the problem they called Sheffield Council, which referred the issue to Yorkshire Water.

The family says the problem was first reported at least two weeks ago, and several relatives chased it up, but they were ‘passed from pillar to post’.

Doreen was rushed to the Northern General Hospital last Monday after falling unwell and has been diagnosed with pancreatitis.

Although the council and Yorkshire Water say tests show the water is not contaminated, Doreen’s family believe it could have worsened her condition.

Doreen’s daughter Lynn Hobson, of Walkley, said: “Mum can hardly see so when I saw the water brown I got straight on to the council, but they just kept passing the buck.

“I asked the hospital if her illness could be due to the water and they said it could. We’re angry because someone should have come and sorted this straight away.

“They say the water is safe but everyone who sees it says it is disgusting.”

Environmental health officers were at Doreen’s Heavygate Avenue home yesterday to look at the leak in a supply pipe, the family said.

A council spokesman said: “We have been in contact with Yorkshire Water in relation to alleged problems with the water supply. Extensive enquiries have taken place and we understand no contamination of the water has been identified.

“During those investigations, a small leak was discovered and this has since been repaired.”

Yorkshire Water staff visited the house last week and took samples.

A spokesman said inspections made after they were contacted suggested discolouration was caused by a leak in the supply pipe and said repair work affecting a council property was the council’s responsibility.

He added: “We advised the customer of this and provided bottled water while the issue was being resolved.”