Swedish city declares tap water 'drinkable'

Peter Vinthagen Simpson
Peter Vinthagen Simpson - [email protected]
Swedish city declares tap water 'drinkable'

After almost three months of boiling their water supplies following a parasite outbreak, the residents of Östersund in northern Sweden have been told that their tap water is once again safe to drink.


"We now have clean drinking water again," a statement on Östersund municipality's homepage stated on Friday.

The municipality has scheduled a press conference for Friday to confirm that the problem with the parasite, which left more than 10,000 Östersund residents nursing stomach bugs, has been resolved.

"The flushing of the water pipes is completed and Östersunds mains water is drinkable again," the statement said.

The municipality warned that some taps which are not used on a regular basis might need to be run for a while before the water is safe, but underlined that the majority of houses and blocks of flats have a clean supply.

The municipality recommended that all those who draw their water from lakes or other bodies of water outside the mains system "should always boil their water".

The problems for Östersund residents began in November 2010 when over 2,000 people reported suffering from stomach bugs after having drunk the mains water.

The municipality then confirmed that the intestinal parasite Cryptosporidium had been found in the city’s drinking water and set about trying to locate the source of the problem.

“We’ve found the haystack, now we’re working furiously to find the needle,” said Östersund environmental affairs head Jari Hiltula at the time.

By the time the municipality was able to locate the source of the intestinal parasite over 11,000 people, in a city of just over 43,000, had reported coming down with symptoms.

The municipality confirmed on December 9th that the source of the parasite had been traced to a private dwelling in the Odensala area of the city.


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