Water company offers pounds 10 as goodwill after bug scare

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The Independent Online
Households forced to boil their tap water for 16 days following a contamination scare are to receive just pounds 10 each as a "goodwill payment".

Nearly a million people, in Hertfordshire and north-west London, will be given pounds 3m in compensation by the French-owned Three Valleys Water. The boil-water notice was issued as a precaution after low-levels of cryptosporidium, a microscopic parasite causing severe diarrhoea, were located in water samples.

Sharon Dee, senior researcher at the Consumers' Association, said the pounds 10 payment was "plainly ludicrous". But a spokesman for Three Valleys said it believed that their customers would be happy with the payment and encouraged them to write to the company's insurance department if they had a further claim. The Drinking Water Inspectorate is still investigating the outbreak, which left 260 people suffering from stomach sickness.