Bacteria spark 'boil water' warning in west Cornwall

Residents in west Cornwall are being told to boil water before drinking or preparing food with it after bacteria was found in a reservoir.

About 1,500 homes in the high areas of St Ives, towards Nancledra and in the Carbis Bay and Lelant area have been given the warning.

It comes after coliform bacteria was found at the Steeple Service Reservoir, South West Water (SWW) said.

The firm said it was working to resolve the issue "as rapidly as possible".

'Potential problem'

Water should be boiled and allowed to cool for drinking, washing food, cooking, and cleaning teeth, SWW said.

The company added: "We apologise for the inconvenience and we are working hard to resolve the issue as rapidly as possible."

Coliforms are a family of bacteria, which include E. coli, that everyone has in their gut.

In most people they are present but harmless but they can cause significant illness in the frail, the elderly, sick and the very young.

The head of SWW's drinking water services, James King, said: "These are indicator organisms that suggest there may be a potential problem with the supply.

"Clearly it needs to be investigated where they [bacteria] come from so we can put things right."

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