A FRAIL 80-year-old man with kidney problems has been warned not to drink his water after his supply was “contaminated”.
Arthur Hiscock has been told not to drink his tap water after tests showed that it failed to meet Thames Water regulations.
A pipe was left exposed at Mr Hiscock’s home in Stanford Dingley for more than a week, after Sovereign Housing carried out maintenance work.
His sister-in-law, Daisy Sturt, said that petrochemicals had seeped into Mr Hiscock’s water supply.
Mr Hiscock has kidney problems and needs to drink around two-and-a-half litres of water a day – but currently can’t consume water from his tap.
Mrs Sturt said: “His water tasted awful.
“He had a bad cough and thought he had a chest infection.
“He had been drinking it all week. It’s like sandpaper in the back of the throat.
“He’s 80 and a very frail man. We thought it was his medication.”
Thames Water supplied Mr Hiscock with bottled water after being made aware of the situation.
Mrs Sturt said that Thames Water samples showed the water was contaminated and that the pipe should have been buried in the ground immediately.
She added that Sovereign Housing had told her that the work could not be completed until September.
“I think he would have been in hospital if I hadn’t phoned Thames Water,” she said.
A spokeswoman for Thames Water said: “We’ve been supplying bottled water to Mr Hiscock’s property since he reported an unusual odour to his water on Friday.
“Our investigation and tests have shown this odour is due to work carried out by a third party on his water supply pipe last week, which did not meet our regulations.
“The water would not pose a risk to health if drunk, however, due to the odour it would be unpleasant to drink, which is why we’ll continue to keep Mr Hiscock supplied with bottled water until the housing association which owns his property rectifies the problem with the pipe. We’ve given them advice on how to do this.”
A spokesman for Sovereign Housing said: “After our resident recently reported a leak outside their home, we asked our contractors to investigate and repair a problem with the underground main pipework.
“As soon as we were informed that a concern with the drinking water had developed, the water supply was turned off and we’ve been working with Thames Water and our contractors to resolve the issue and then restore the supply as quickly as possible.
“This work is already under way and we’re in touch with our resident to keep them fully informed.
“As soon as this work is complete, and with assistance from our contractors, we’ll investigate the cause of this incident.”