Methane leaks and crumbling equipment may threaten nine million people with contaminated water in the next couple of months.
A chemical spill and fire on October 4, along with delays in refilling the damaged Manganese Ore Oil tanker caused customers in Port Talbot, south Wales, to be warned of a threat to the town’s water supply.
The emergency services were kept busy dealing with the 21,000-tonne tanker – with one lane of a busy highway being used as a spillway to treat the oily water – while two major oil refineries were waiting until it was filled.
There were concerns for even longer-term supply disruption with the British Waterway Trust describing the one-in-1,000 risk as high.
In total 600,000 people use the Port Talbot Water Works, which supplies 50 percent of the population in the local authority area.
Gas and electricity users have also been warned that supplies may not be available.
Yesterday the British Waterways Trust says it is still concerned about a lack of raw water if the tanker stops working.