E.coli bug fears on estate

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RESIDENTS on a village estate are concerned that a killer bug could be in their water supply.

The worries were raised after tests by Anglian Water revealed the presence of E-coli bacteria in the tap of a resident in Hornbeam Avenue, Red Lodge.

Tests carried out on neighbouring properties proved not to contain the bug and Anglian Water has said the water is safe.

But residents have reported months of sickness on the new-build estate, which has a large proportion of social housing.

There have also been complaints about the smell coming from water sources in the properties, with one resident describing it as ‘like raw sewage’.

Residents who have used only bottled water since the scare was first raised have reported that their health has improved and they believe it is the water supply that has caused problems.

Geoff Johnson, who lives with Suzanne Marshall and daughter Nikita Marshall, said it was not until they spoke to neighbours that they realised the sickness was widespread.

“We have all been ill since we moved here,” said Mr Johnson.

“It’s been things like headaches, stomach pains – we assumed it was a winter bug.”

“But we’ve never suffered with them before and when we spoke to our neighbours we realised that everyone round here has had it.”

Rebecca Ilsley, 19, said she was ‘really worried’ about her 11-month- old daughter Callie, who has suffered with diarrhoea since they moved to the house in June.

“She struggles with her immune system anyway, so this has really scared me.”

A spokesman for Anglian Water said: “Since concerns were first raised in October, we have taken a number of water samples in Hornbeam Avenue and neighbouring streets.

“The only trace of E.coli bacteria found was in a sample taken from a kitchen tap in a property in Hornbeam Avenue. When this tap was disinfected and re-tested no more bacteria were found.

“The sample results indicate the bacteria were on the tap itself, perhaps due to cross-contamination from food or other items washed in the sink near to the tap. There is no indication they came from the water supply.

“As a precaution Suffolk Housing Society replaced the tap and we took a sample from this new tap four days later. It was clear of bacteria.”

He added that tests show that the water in Red Lodge is clean and safe to drink.

Suffolk Housing Society, which runs the homes, said it was working with Anglian Water and Forest Heath District Council’s environmental health department on tests.