Correction: Hi Mark. Andy Carter here from the United Utilities press office. Did you see that the Times had apologised for getting this wrong (Mark – no I didn’t)? A dead pheasant in a pipe was one of the various rumours circulating during the time we had customers on a boil water notice in Lancashire. The cause/source is still under investigation by the Drinking Water Inspectorate and we await its report.
A Pheasant, one of the 40+million Pheasants released into the British countryside each year, which became trapped in a water pipe, led to compensation payments by United Utilities adding up to £25m (see The Times). The Pheasant was trapped in a water pipe near Gartang in Lancashire, near where the River Wyre drains off the Forest of Bowland where the Duke of Westminster releases huge numbers of Pheasants onto his ‘grouse’ moor. The origin of the Pheasant is unknown, except in so far as it is a non-native species which does not naturally occur in Europe.
About 300,000 homes were affected when traces of Cryptosporidium, which can lead to diarrhoea and vomiting, were found in the water supply.
United Utilities profits for the year were cut by around 20% as a result of the compensation payments and overtime to staff.
That’s over £25m that should be taken off the nominal economic benefits of shooting and all down to a single Pheasant.