HC Deb 27 March 1947 vol 435 cc1372-3
20. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Minister of Health if he will state the damage by floods at the Lea Bridge waterworks; what steps were taken to deal with the danger of a contaminated water supply; how many were affected and for how long; and whether danger to health has now been removed and the normal water supply entirely restored.

Mr. J. Edwards

The whole works were out of action. Water supplied from other sources or carted was treated, and the public was advised by broadcasts and other means to boil it before use. The population affected was approximately 1¼ million, but piped supplies were made available within a short time for all but 350,000 of these. A piped supply is now being provided to nearly all the houses in the area, but consumers are advised as a precautionary measure to boil water used for cooking and drinking until further notice. Thanks are due to all those who gave such speedy and effective help.

Mr. Sorensen

Is the Minister aware that the tanks which took water out sometimes carried water which was fit for drinking purposes, and sometimes it was quite otherwise, and that should be cleared up? Further, have precautions been taken to see that if abnormal flooding recurs it does not again affect the filtering of the water?

Mr. Edwards

I was not aware of the first point, but I will look into it. I think we shall learn such lessons as we can from our experience in this matter.

Mr. Bossom

Can the Minister state whether he has consulted with the Minister of Fuel and Power to see whether additional fuel can be given?

Mr. Charles Williams

How can they boil water without fuel and electricity?