Thousands waterless in Glasgow

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More than 54,000 people living in Glasgow, where water supplies have been contaminated by a diesel leak, were yesterday relying on emergency street water tanks, as the elderly, infirm and housebound waited for water to be delivered by the council.

And for a simple wash, residents were having to traipse to relatives living in other parts of the city or down to sports centres to take advantage of free showers.

Residents in parts of Clydebank, Bearsden and Milngavie have been unable to drink or wash in tap water since Wednesday, after a leak from a power generator at a treatment works polluted the water supplies for more than 22,000 households.

West of Scotland Water was "working round the clock to resolve the situation," though it could be days before supplies were restored. Restrictions would only be lifted when it was "absolutely sure" the water was safe, said customer services director, Charles Schooling.

John Wilson, at Allander Sports Centre in Bearsden, said people had been flocking to use the free facilities - supplied from a different source - after the offer was publicised on local radio. The centre will also be used to make packed lunches for schools affected by the polluted supply.

"It is upsetting, and very disturbing for young families," Mr Wilson said. "You can flush the toilet but you can't wash. It's like camping in your own home."