South west water fined £233,000 for supplying “Just add lemon” water

A Court has fined South West Water £233,000 for supplying water unfit for human consumption affecting Bratton Flemming and other communities in North Devon in 2018.

South West Water had told customers to add a slice of lemon to the water but the court found that blaming the weather wasn’t acceptable and that South West Water should have reacted earlier to algal bloom in summer 2018.

According to a report on last night’s BBC Spotlight.

This is why your drinking water tastes weird at the moment 


“It’s the terrible taste of it, so earthy and mouldy flavour. How much longer do we have to put up with it?”

“Why is our water slightly brown and tastes like mud? What’s going on?”

“Some customers in north east Devon may have noticed a change to the taste or smell of their tap water over the last two weeks.

“The warm, dry weather has caused a natural change in the raw water at Wistlandpound reservoir, which supplies Bratton Fleming and Horedown Water Treatment Works.

“The earthy or musty taste is not harmful to health.

“We have installed an extra treatment stage at both water treatment works, and customers should notice a return to normal over the next few days.

“In the meantime, chilling a jug of tap water in the fridge and adding a dash of lemon can assist with lessening the taste and odour issue.”