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CRYPTOSPORIDIUM GREATER GLASGOW INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAM REPORT

February 21, 2003 4:09 PM

The IMT responsible for dealing with the contamination of Greater Glasgow's water supply by Cryptosporidium in August 2002 publish their report today. The management team, convened on Saturday 3 August 2002, had issued a 'boil water notice' which was in force until Wednesday 7 August 2002, affecting 160,000 residents as well as businesses in Greater Glasgow. The management team's report review the circumstances of the incident, details the response of the agencies involved, addresses lessons learned from the incident and presents recommendations about how such events can be prevented or better managed in the future. Dr Jim McMenamin, Consultant in Public Health for NHS Greater Glasgow and Chair of the management team said: "The main conclusions are that Greater Glasgow's water supply remains at threat from cryptosporidium contamination and will remain at risk until a new water filtration plant is built. It is also essential that concerns about the 26 mile Victorian aqueduct linking Loch Katrine, and Mugdock reservoir are addressed." "Our main recommendations are that every effort should be made to achieve these two actions as quickly as possible." "Initial concerns about Cryptosporidium in drinking water were greatly magnified by the finding of levels 100 times anything previously recorded locally reported over the lunchtime of Saturday 3rd August."Other issues addressed in the report are the gap in scientific knowledge and national guidance about the levels of Cryptosporidium that will produce illness or when it is appropriate to issue a 'boil water notice' and the limitation of current tests available. Dr McMenamin added "Time and effective communication is of the essence in the management of all incidents, particularly those occurring over a weekend, and a number of valuable lessons have been learned here. These lessons have been influential in the formation of the new water borne hazard plan being released today for consultation."

There are a number of recommendations in the report including the need for Scottish Water to maintain a more accurate database prioritising vulnerable groups, e,g, hospitals, nursing homes, hotels and food manufacturers; and better arrangements for stock piling and distributing information and leaflets (For information - the planning application for the proposed new water treatment works at Milngavie will be heard by East Dunbartonshire Council, Planning Committee on Tuesday 25 February 2003.)

Notes to Editors: A copy of the full report can be collected from Greater Glasgow NHS Board, Dalian House, 350 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G3 8YZ Dr Jim McMenamin, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, NHS Greater Glasgow, and Geoff Aitkenhead, Operations Manager, Scottish Water, will both be available from 9.45 a.m. for broadcast interviews. Please contact 0141 201 4429 should you require this facility.

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