VIDEO AND PICTURES: Why have residents in Bolsover been left with discoloured water for a week?
The discolouration of water supplies in the Bolsover area has not been caused by seismic testing, says chemical giant INEOS.
Residents living on the Oxcroft Estate have been left with discoloured water in their homes since last Friday.
Claims have been made that it may have been caused by seismic surveys being carried out by the firm.
But Severn Trent Water says it believes the discolouration has been caused by a burst water pipe and the company has told Bolsover District Council that there is no evidence to suggest that damage was caused to pipes or that the surveys played a part in the discolouration.
And a spokesman for INEOS said the work it had been carrying out was over three kilometres away from the reported leak and insisted it was not linked to its activities.
A spokesman for Bolsover District Council said: “We have been in contact with Severn Trent Water who have collected and tested a sample of the water and are satisfied the water is safe to drink.
“The discolouration is most likely as a result of a change in flow within the distribution mains supplying the area derived from sediments such as iron and manganese.
“They have informed us they have no evidence to suggest there has been any damage to their pipes or that the seismic surveys have been a factor in the discolouration.”
People living on the Oxcroft Estate have been posting images of the discoloured water on social media during the last week.
Some residents have been buying in bottles of water over fears it may not be safe to drink.
A spokesman for Severn Trent said: “We’ve received complaints from customers about discoloured water at their homes, and we investigated fully by taking samples directly from their taps.
“We’ve now analysed those samples and believe the discolouration was caused by a burst water pipe stirring up harmless sediment in our network.
“Customers can clear the discolouration by gently running their kitchen tap for 20 minutes.
“We obviously accept that, while it’s discoloured, customers might not want to drink it but we have no reason to believe that it would cause any health issues.”
INEOS has been carrying out seismic surveys across Derbyshire and East Midlands.
The surveys are used to produce detailed images of the geology to determine the size and location of oil and gas reserves.
This information can then be used to help decide whether or not drilling for shale gas may be possible.
In response to claims the leak was linked to the surveys, a spokesman for INEOS said: “Leakage is common across the UKs water network with over 51,304 burst mains reported last year. For this reason, INEOS takes its responsibility very seriously and takes into account the proximity of pipelines when selecting where to position its geological imaging equipment.
“INEOS was working more than three kilometres away from the leak reported at Bolsover. There is absolutely no evidence that the leak is in anyway linked to our work. Our understanding is Severn Trent is currently investigating the discolouration of the supply of water to homes in the area.”
Keith Atkin, chairman of Bolsover Against Fracking, said he wants ‘people to keep an eye open and report things if and when they happen’.
“Some families have had no drinking water since last Friday. They are having to buy in bottled water,” he said.
“We are having difficulties getting answers as to what has happened and how the situation will be rectified.”
Any resident who has a problem with their water supply should contact their water authority directly.