UpdateTuesday 7th AugustAt last, tap water is safe

When will the water supplies come back?

The tap water for most of Cheltenham will return on Tuesday 31 July 2007. The advice below is all about what to do when that happens.

What should I do first?

Before the water returns make sure that all your taps are turned off. If possible, also turn off the stop cock (the valve on your water supply), this is often under your kitchen sink.

When water pressure returns taps should be opened carefully as there may be air under pressure in the water system.

Will I be able to drink the water?

No. When the water supply first returns it will not be fit to drink. Even with boiling it will not be fit to drink. It should not be used for any human consumption.

So, do not use the water, even after boiling, for any of the following:

  • drinking
  • food preparation or dish washing
  • teeth cleaning
  • baby bathing and feeding

Continue to use bottled water or bowser water for all the above.

What can I use the water for?

You can use the water for things outside the human body. So you can use the water for the following:

  • flushing toilets
  • adult bathing
  • house cleaning
  • laundry

Will the water quality be tested?

Severn Trent will test the water across town and will publish a clear statement when the water is fit to drink. We will publish that information on this website.

For any further advice please call Cheltenham Borough Council on 01242 262626

4 Responses to “When water supplies return”


  1. 1 Neil 31 July 2007 at 12:29 pm

    I realise this is not an easy question to ask … especially when there are still those without any water supplies … but how long are we likely to have to wait before the water supplies can be used for drinking (or at least washing up)? … More importantly than a specific time/date (although that woukd be nice), is it likely to be hours, days or weeks?

  2. 2 cheltenhamboroughcouncil 31 July 2007 at 12:42 pm

    Thanks Neil, unfortunately that is information that we just don’t have, but as soon as we know we will pass it on.

    The Severn Trent website is getting updated regularly each day so it should be announced there.

    Cheers for the comment.

  3. 3 Neil 31 July 2007 at 2:36 pm

    So the article in the Telegraph indicating a timescale of weeks is the only information that we have to go on then?

    See 2nd paragraph of http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/07/29/nfloods229.xml

    Perhaps the Council would care to comment on their estimate?

    As you are no doubt well aware … in any “Crisis” timely dissemniation of information is vital … it is required to allow those effected to plan how they will cope … now that the intial 10 days of confusion is behind us it is essential that people are given the information that they need to plan for the recovery period ahead.

    Whilst having water to homes is an improvement (at least one can “flush”) … the lack of drinkable quality water is still a critical factor for many.

    If water quality for the majority of homes is likely to improve to drinkable standards within the next few days this lack will impact far less than if this does not happen for at least a couple of weeks.

    Severn Trent must have an idea as to how long it may take to improve the water quality to drinkable quality … and to not release this information to those who are paying the water bills (for a service they are patently not receiving) is wrong.

    Now that for many the “clear up” has commenced perhaps the time has come for Council to champion a more open information regime with Severn Trent … finding out water may not be drinkable for weeks (or could it be months?) might upset a lot of people but will be far less damaging politically than just keeping people in the dark.

    As a final note … if Severn Trent expect to be able to pass the costs of all of this debacle on to the bill payers they had better think twice … the funding would be better sourced out of the corporate profits and shareholder dividends !!

  4. 4 Cheltenham emergency team 1 August 2007 at 12:36 pm

    For the time being Severn Trent cannot guarantee the water safety. The situation is unprecedented; the system has never been drained down before. In the circumstances the water company is being cautious; the water coming out of the taps looks clean enough but that doesn’t mean it is safe. For the time being follow the advice – do not drink the tap water even after boiling.

    The good news is that the water supply is restored to all areas of Cheltenham. Severn Trent expect to make a further announcement on the improvement in water quality by close of play on Friday.


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