Oxford

Abingdon smelly water: Burst main 'causes unusual odour'

Water bottles handed out by Thames Water Image copyright KatKinLee
Image caption Thames Water handed out 22,500 bottles in the area after residents reported the strange odour

Smelly water in an Oxfordshire town has been caused by a burst water main dispersing the plastic compound used in its lining, a water firm has said.

Thames Water handed out 22,500 bottles in the Abingdon area after more than 50 residents reported the strange odour.

It said repairs may not be completed until the weekend because of the pipe's "tricky" woodland location.

Salesmen spotted in the area trying to sell water filters were not associated with the company, it said.

The compound is said to be only present in tiny levels and not dangerous.

'Poses no risk'

The odour was first reported after a pipe burst in Culham on Wednesday, causing low water pressure in Abingdon.

David Reynolds, water quality manager, said: "This compound, particularly at the levels we have discovered, poses no risk to public health and is not harmful.

"We're sorry to customers who were alarmed at the changes to their tap water and would like to reassure them our engineers will be working around the clock to push water through the network in order to clear the last of the compound."

Ian Noble, head of water networks, said: "It's situated in a tricky location, off the road and in woodland, so our initial work has been to put in an access point for our repair equipment.

"We're sorry to customers in Abingdon who may see ongoing fluctuations in their water pressure while we fix this pipe."

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