Lancashire schools take delivery of bottled water ahead of term time

IN STOCK: Schools have thousands of bottles of water ready for the arrival of pupils
IN STOCK: Schools have thousands of bottles of water ready for the arrival of pupils

It was a case of water, bottled water, everywhere today as schools started to return from the big summer break.

Despite tap supplies to more than two-thirds of primaries and secondaries in the cryptosporidium scare area already declared bug free, many youngsters could still be getting free drinks for up to a week once the new term is in full swing by Monday.

They sent us a wagonload of water on Tuesday and, when we pointed out the alert in our area had been lifted on Sunday night, they still delivered it.

One high school revealed today it had taken delivery of almost 4,000 litres of bottled water and a dozen water coolers, two days after being given the all-clear.

A spokesperson said: “United Utilities have been very good over this. We phoned up last week to ask what we should do because we have more than 100 staff in today and tomorrow, with the children returning on Monday. They sent us a wagonload of water on Tuesday and, when we pointed out the alert in our area had been lifted on Sunday night, they still delivered it.

“It was a worry as the new term got closer. But I’ve got to say the company were first class. They couldn’t do enough to help us.”

Education chiefs met with United Utilities bosses last Friday to plan for the new school year, even though the company had already started lifting the boil water notice in certain parts of the county.

The fourth batch of of 26,000 households and businesses were given the good news late yesterday, bringing the total now cleared to more than 210,000 of the 300,000 affected. But, with the scare now entering its fifth week today, there are still 83,000 properties still under restrictions.

Most of those are in the more rual areas around Preston, Chorley and Blackpool, although United Utilities is hoping to clear most, if not all, of those in the next few days.