Crypto probe is still looking for answers

United Utilities test for contamination

United Utilities test for contamination

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Scientists admit they still can’t say what caused the drinking water crisis across Lancashire in 2015.

An investigation into the cryptosporidium contamination, which hit 300,000 homes and businesses exactly 18 months ago this week, continues with no sign of a solution being found.

The Drinking Water Inspectorate, the independent body carrying out the inquiry, confirmed it was still unable to announce its findings. A spokesperson said: “The length of the investigation is really a product of the size, complexity and nature of the event.”

And water suppliers United Utilities, whose Franklaw Treatment Plant near Garstang has been at the centre of the probe for the past year and a half, say they are still in the dark about the findings. The company could be facing prosecution for allowing the microscopic bug to get into mains supplies.

The contamination, strongly rumoured to be caused by a dead pheasant in a water pipe, was picked up on August 6, 2015, causing large areas of the county to be put on a boil water alert for up to a month. It cost United Utilities more than £25m in compensation to customers affected.

The DWI said after the investigation passed the year mark: “There are a number of lines of inquiry which need to be pursued to their conclusion.”