*Superstores in Northamptonshire have experienced a rush in sales of bottled water. The panic buying follows a health alert issued by Anglian Water on 25 June to over 100,000 households in the county not to drink tap water without boiling it first after traces of bacteria were found in water samples. *
The bacteria called cryptosporidium was found in tap water supplies andthe parasitic organism is known to cause severe stomach upsets andpotentially pose a serious health risk to infants and the elderly. Theproblem, which affects about 250,000 people, could take weeks toresolve.
Some supermarkets close to the city of Northampton have introducedrationing to less than 10 bottles per customer to cope with demandwhile Tesco is reported to have sold a six-week supply of water withinhours and having to seek further deliveries.
Other retailers in the county including Sainsbury’s and Waitrose havealso indicated a surge in bottled water sales and shelves beingstripped of bottled water.
Advocates of the bottled water industry point out that such healthscares once again highlight the importance of having packaged wateravailable at times when municipal supplies are interrupted.
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