About 100,000 households in Worcester and 24 outlying villages were warned not to drink the water on Friday after Severn-Trent received complaints about its taste and smell. Analysis revealed it had been contaminated by a cocktail of solvent residues which were traced to a firm on the Wenn industrial estate in Shropshire, about 85 miles upstream from Worcester.
Residents were told on Saturday afternoon that the tap water was safe to drink. By Tuesday the water should also have lost its sulphurous smell and unpleasant taste, the water company said.
Yesterday afternoon the 200 water tanks distributed in the area by Severn-Trent were being withdrawn. The company said: 'The source of the contamination has been identified and contained and the concentration of chemicals is steadily reducing.'
The extent of the contamination had been tiny, but there were many reports of people vomiting or getting diarrhoea after drinking tap water.