§ Mr. Parry
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will make a statement on the recent pollution of water in the Merseyside area;
(2) what was the estimated cost of cleaning the recent pollution of the water supply to Merseyside;
(3) if he is satisfied with the security of the north-west water supplies; and if he will make a statement;
(4) what representations he has received concerning the recent pollution of water supplies in the Merseyside area.
§ Mr. Waldegrave
The north-west water authority and the Welsh water authority have put in hand a full joint inquiry into the pollution incident which has effected the taste and odour of drinking water supplies in north Wales, Cheshire and Merseyside in the last week. In particular the Welsh water authority is investigating the source of contamination which was in the area of Chirk near Wrexham and a decision on prosecution will be taken as soon as the facts have been established. I am advised there was no danger to public health, and no fish deaths have been reported.
All aspects of the incident will be examined in the inquiry, including any secondary effects on agricultural and industrial uses, the costs of remedial action by the authority, and the implications for the procedures for ensuring the protection of water quality.