WALES: You Didn't Do Your Duty. So Hundreds Caught Water Bug; Pounds 60,000 Fine for 'Devastated' Dwr Cymru over Crypto Outbreak

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Byline: By HYWEL TREWYN

WELSH Water was yesterday fined pounds 60,000 after admitting supplying "unfit" water which made hundreds of its customers ill.

The firm pleaded guilty in Caernarf on Magistrates' Court to four counts of supplying water unfit for human consumption.

The court was told that the managing director Nigel Annett and board of directors of Welsh Water "were truly devastated and sorry."

Welsh Water Dwr Cymru was fined pounds 15,000 on each count and ordered to pay costs of just under pounds 70,000 - a total of pounds 129,399.43.

Magistrates were told how hundreds of residents in Gwynedd and Anglesey were struck down by the potentially deadly cryptosporidium stomach bug after drinking contaminated tap water in winter 2005.

The outbreak was traced to water treatment works at Llyn Cwellyn. It was confirmed by National Public Health Service for Wales bosses in response to questions posed by the Daily Post.

John Charles Rees QC, defending Welsh Water, admitted that the company had been "slow" in implementing, monitoring and sampling its water in 2005.

"We are unable to prove we used all reasonable care and due diligence.

"The managing director of the company, who is in court, and the board of directors are truly devastated and sorry," he told magistrates.

Mr Rees admitted that the sampling system of the water should have been "implemented" in September 2005.

Chair of the bench Gwynfor Jones said: "There was a duty on the water authority to carry out a risk assessment and investigation and treatment.

"There was a failure to recognise this and the terms of undertaking entered into were not implemented in a timely fashion. …