Page last updated at 14:59 GMT, Monday, 14 July 2008 15:59 UK

Rabbit contaminated water supply

Pitsford reservoir
Water supplies were declared safe on 4 July

A rabbit has been named as the cause of a sickness bug which was found in water supplies in Northamptonshire.

Customers in 100,000 homes were told by Anglian Water to boil tap water for up to 10 days after the Cryptosporidium outbreak on 25 June.

The firm said a rabbit gaining access to the treatment process led to the bug at Pitsford Treatment works.

"We have already taken steps to ensure this cannot happen again," Peter Simpson, of Anglian Water, said.

"We have concluded that this occurrence was due to a combination of unusual circumstances."

Anglian Water is not sure how the rabbit got into the treatment works

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said that six out of 15 confirmed Cryptosporidium cases in the last month had the same "genetic fingerprint" as the cases involved in the water supply incident.

An Anglian Water spokesman said investigations with the HPA would continue.

The firm said the treatment works have been free from the bug since 26 June.

After the outbreak 1,000 miles of pipes in the water network were flushed and supplies were declared safe on 4 July.

Q&A: Cryptosporidium
30 Nov 05 |  Wales
Ban on drinking tap water lifted
04 Jul 08 |  Northamptonshire
Work to clean contaminated water
28 Jun 08 |  Northamptonshire
Source of water bug is discovered
27 Jun 08 |  Northamptonshire
Ultra-violet to fight water bug
27 Jun 08 |  Northamptonshire
Scientists test for sickness bug
25 Jun 08 |  Northamptonshire

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