Bottled Water Use – Many West Cumbrians frightened to drink the tap water

The Guardian reports in the news on Friday – Harrogate Spring Water plans expansion threatening woodlands.

Why are so many people drinking bottled water?

In West Cumbria there is a reason. People are frightened to drink the tap water for fear of it making them ill – this is not hysteria – it is being documented in doctors surgeries and with local MPs. The facebook group ‘West Cumbria Water Supply (Save Our Water Services) is testament to what many people on the ground in West Cumbria are experiencing.

In 2012 there was a catastrophic die off of endangered freshwater pearl mussels in the river Ehen. There were calls for a full public inquiry into what happened to cause this. An inquiry did not happen. Instead the Environment Agency ordered water supplies from Ennerdale to the public to stop. The Thirlmere pipeline is being built across swathes of the Lake District to address the water shortage as a result of the stoppage of freshwater supply from Ennerdale.

New Freshwater boreholes through the St Bees sandstone on faulted geology. Just over a mile from Sellafield

In the meantime – because the water supply from Ennerdale has stopped ahead of the pipeline being built, West Cumbrian’s supply of fresh water is being supplemented by boreholes just one mile from Sellafield. Sellafield is still abstracting water from the river Ehen (along with Wastwater, the river Calder etc etc). Sounds crazy? It is.

Many people believe that if the conservation bodies truly cared about the freshwater pearl mussels then they would have held a public inquiry into the causes of the catastrophic die off in the river Ehen of these endangered molluscs in 2012. But then Sellafield’s fresh water use would have had to be aired in public?

Here is a talk from Radiation Free Lakeland which covers some of the issues

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