A farmer has voiced his concerns about giving his livestock Cumbrian water after several people reported suffering rashes, sickness and diarrhoea which they blamed on the local supply.
In June 2017, United Utilities scaled back the amount of water which could be taken from lake Ennerdale in order to protect freshwater mussels in the River Ehen, on the advice of the Environment Agency.
The Ennerdale water was replaced by borehole water from Egremont.
Though the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) took ‘extensive samples’ from all the boreholes, and concluded the water was safe to drink, the local community remains suspicious of the new supply.
The farmer, who did not want to be named, said: “There is something in the water which is not right. Why are we drinking this water and why have all the livestock have got to drink this water?
“In the morning when I let my lambs out, as soon as they have had their feed, they are off looking for a puddle or a different source of water.
“It does not seem right. You could put it down to chlorine, but there is something in this water.
“When I go to the auction, all the farmers complain. Some of them have put filters in, for their domestic use mainly, and they have got to change the filters weekly because it is covered in slime.
“Nobody will listen to us.”
A DWI spokesman said: “The borehole water is a little harder than the local population is used to, but it is completely safe to drink.”