Statement on water quality in Stapleford and Great Shelford

New testing data confirms water safe to drink 

New sampling and independent testing undertaken has unequivocally shown that drinking water in our network is safe to drink. 

Following recent reports that water in parts of the city contained safe but measurable amounts of a compound called PFOS, we have undertaken additional testing in over 40 locations in and around the villages of Stapleford and Great Shelford. 

As part of our ongoing reporting to the Drinking Water Inspectorate, we carried out the new tests on February 12, sampling drinking water in people’s homes.  

All results confirm that the drinking water meets the highest possible quality category for PFOS and confirms it is safe to drink. 

“The findings clearly demonstrate that the drinking water we supply to homes across the network is safe.

“The water quality standards in the UK are among the most stringent in the world. Last year we completed almost half a million tests and achieved 99.99% compliance rate across all parameters.

“We can understand that residents want the objective reassurance that these new tests provide and would like to stress that the quality of drinking water we supply and the safety of our customers is our paramount concern.”

Elinor Cordiner, Head of Water Quality and Compliance

A small number of samples taken last year showed safe but measurable levels of a compound called PFOS in household supplies. This led us to disconnect the Duxford Airfield aquifer from our network. In line with the guidance set by the independent water quality regulator, the Drinking Water Inspectorate. 

This action was taken out of an abundance of caution even though water from the aquifer is safe to use as drinking water and was always blended with other sources to ensure when it reached people’s homes it remained safe to drink.  

The Duxford Airfield aquifer, which supplied around 6,500 homes in the network will remain out of commission until new treatment facilities can be prepared which will ensure the measurable but safe elevations in PFOS levels experienced in 2021 cannot be repeated.

Updated: 18 February 2022