Thursday, 10 November 2016

Mount Stuart Water Supply: The Saga Concludes

I've been sharing the saga of our water issues for a while. My last post on the subject was about the connection we had made between the strong chemical smell and the runny nose, sneezing, sore throats, tight chest, breathlessness, etc. we were experiencing post-evening shower.

At that point I was feeling pretty happy since the issue had been pretty much resolved. I'd called and been told that, yup, there was a little too much chemical in the water, sorry about that, it's fixed now.

Which was cool but we still ended up spending an afternoon at the hospital because nearly two weeks later we were still getting that tight chest/breathless/sore throat feeling and when Mr Click tried to make an appointment at the health centre, he was summoned to the hospital instead.

And it was pronounced that we had bronchial irritation, likely caused by the steam we had inhaled from whatever was in the water. Turns out the doctors were aware of the water issues up here.

So we got in touch with Mount Stuart and were told to put it in a letter, which we did.

It's not my most eloquent of letters ever written, but I think it makes the point:

We are writing regarding the recent disruption to the water supply on the estate.

On the 18th of October we noticed that there was a noticeable odour to the water, however we had recently received a letter advising us that the issues with the water supply had been resolved and assumed that this chemical smell was due to the cleaning agent that had been added to the water. After taking a shower that night, Click felt as though she was coming down with a cold; headachy, runny nose and sneezing. At the time we did not connect this to the smell in the shower.

The smell and symptoms continued over the following day so on the 20th of October we got in touch to confirm that the water was safe to drink. The chemical taste was very strong making it unpalatable. We were advised that although the taste was unpleasant and the smell strong, the water was perfectly safe and had passed all the tests confirming there was no bacteria in the water.

However when we took a shower that evening, within minutes the steam began to sting our eyes. After ten minutes in the room, Click developed a tight sensation in her chest and felt as though she was having to work harder to get her breath. At this point we realised that our symptoms were actually being caused by the steam from the shower as whatever chemical that was being added to the water was aerosolized in the steam and we were then inhaling this while we were in the room. From this point we did what we could to maximise airflow in the room when showering or washing up, and avoided exposing ourselves as much as possible, expecting to hear from the office regarding the situation.

Having spoken to our neighbours that weekend we noticed that they were also reporting similar complaints, such as the steam from the shower affecting their asthma, tightness in their chests, breathless, coughing, sore throats, runny noses, sneezing, and upset stomachs.

Click contacted the estate office regarding this on the 24th and was advised that there had been an issue with the chemicals being put into the water which was being resolved and we did notice a massive improvement to the water taste and smell by the following day.

However by the 28th of October we were still suffering from the effects of the chemicals; feeling breathless, coughing, and with lingering sore throats. When Mr Click got in contact with the Health Centre regarding this, he was told to visit A&E where a doctor advised that he was aware of the problems with the water supply and diagnosed bronchial irritation as a result of inhaling the steam. Unfortunately there isn't much that can be done for this, except to wait for it to clear up on its own.

That day we got in touch with the Estate Office and were advised to make contact regarding this via letter.

We were rather surprised not to receive any written communication regarding the problem with the odour and health complaints caused by the water as we felt we were well informed when there was a problem with bacteria in the water. Could you advise us, via letter, what steps are being taken to ensure that this does not happen again? Also, will there be any form of compensation, such as a refund on our water bill, for the disruption and discomfort caused by the problem with the water supply, specifically regarding the problem with the chemicals in the water?

We look forward to hearing from you,

Well, we got a reply today.

I'm not sure which my favourite part is. The bit which focuses on the fact the water is safe to drink (which you'll notice I stated in my letter) or the part that states there were low levels of chemical in the water which contradicts what I was told by the person I spoke to in the Estate Office on the 24th!

Either way, it's us against them so it's obvious we're not going to get any further with this, despite my overwhelming urge to write another letter straight back pointing out the above.

The saga has come to a close.


  1. Gosh, I hope you get better soon - that's an awful situation. Would it be worth considering putting in a filter on your water?

    1. To be honest, I think it's unlikely to happen again so I'm not sure it'd be worth spending the money on a filter.

      And we're feeling a lot better now, thanks. :-)

  2. Replies
    1. Yes, incredibly frustrating. Especially as there's no one higher up the chain to complain to.


Let me know what you think. :-)