Hot drink machines shut down in water alert

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Companies have been urged to switch off hot drink vending machines during the water crisis blighting large parts of Lancashire.

But a row has flared up after at least one distribution firm, with dozens of customers in the affected area, claimed it had not been given the warning until today - three weeks after the boil water alert was first brought in.

A spokesman for Border Vending North West Limited, based in Warrington, said: “We didn’t get the advice notice. I don’t know why, but as soon as we heard, this morming, we immediately contacted customers and advised them to turn their vending machines off as a precaution.”

The Automatic Vending Association said it had contacted its members to issue switch off notices as soon as United Utilities put out a warning on August 6 for consumers in the Preston, South Ribble, Chorley and the Fylde Coast to boil drinking water after traces of the parasite cryptosporidium had been found in supplies from the Franklaw Treatment Plant near Garstang.

As the scare entered its fourth week today Public Health England reassured the public it had not had a single case of crypto infection confirmed.

For all our previous coverage on the water contamination situation in Lancashire visit the links below:

Parasite found in water supply

WATER SCARE: What is Cryptosporidium?

Shelves cleared amid water scare

Map issued showing affected areas

Health warning continues after bug is found in water supply

BREAKING: Water warning to last into next week

WATER CHAOS: Compensation claims spark debate

WATER CHAOS: Compensation could be given to residents

‘Why weren’t we told sooner?’

Battle for safe water rages as investigations continue

WATER LATEST: Company pledges to pay compensation ‘to all.’

WATER LATEST: Criminal investigation into contamination

UV ray equipment brought in to kill off water bug

WATER LATEST: Source of crypto contamination found

United Utilities faces £15m compensation bill over water scare