MAYOR Julian Roskams is backing this newspaper's call for a better system to alert people about contaminated springs and wells on the Malvern Hills.

The Malvern Gazette is calling for the creation of a Malvern Hills Springs Alert, which would use the internet and social media to show the current status of the main water sources.

Visitors could consult the alert and be forewarned about any contamination, perhaps forestalling a wasted visit.

Cllr Roskams said: "I think it’s a really excellent idea – quite simple to do and hugely beneficial.

"I too would not want the perception to be that Malvern’s water is unfit to drink. It is a huge draw for tourists, and used extensively by local people too.

"So there does need to be a focus on ensuring it is safe, and I would like to hear more about the work that is going on there. Hopefully, then the alerts will be that the water is safe to drink."

The call for more information follows the revelation in February that all 12 of the principal springs around the hills had tested positive for bacterial contamination.

Notices had been posted on the springs themselves, warning people that the water must be boiled before being consumed.

But the warnings were not circulated more widely, meaning that visitors coming to Malvern to sample the famous waters might well have arrived, only to find they they are unfit to drink.

Cllr Phil Grove, Malvern Hills District Council's portfolio holder for economic development said: "The water is indeed part of Malvern's image, and I'm sure we will be happy to pass on information about any contamination that Worcestershire Regulatory Services provides to us."

The contamination, caused by coliform bacteria from animal droppings left by rabbits and livestock, comes and goes according to weather conditions and other environmental factors.

Worcestershire Regulatory Services test s the water at the 12 principal springs four times a year and it was during the round of tests in November that the bacterial contamination was discovered.

Have you seen a spring or well closed by contamination?

Tweet using #SpringsAlert


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