Friday, 24 April 2009

Something nasty in the water

Any of you unfamiliar with the pollution of Thanet’s drinking water aquifer with the toxic chemical Cyclohexanone may wish to click here for my previous postings on the subject.

The problem with this and other pollution incidents here in Thanet is that because it was only discovered after it had been happening for many years it is difficult to ascertain if any toxic chemicals got into the drinking water supply or the water used for crop washing and irrigation.

There was a rumour some time ago that some of the professionals in the health service suspected that that some of the medical statistics in Thanet suggested that they could have done.

Richard Card was concerned about this and contacted the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate about this, they passed his letter about this to The Kent Health Protection Unit at Maidstone.

The director of the unit has now written to Richard Card saying that the matter will be investigated fully and the matter is being take seriously.


  1. Surely Southern Water would've detected this if it's true?

  2. 12.54 My understanding of this issue is that very small concentrations of this chemical can be detected by smell, it is also my understanding that even smaller quantities could be harmful.

    I am assuming also that Southern Water would be able to detect anything in the water that would be harmful to public health.

    However in view of the huge amount of this chemical that escaped it is obvious that handling of it was very lax, as it is a solvent and therefore volatile my own feeling is that if it did get into us it is more likely that this happened by evaporation into the air.

    Another thing that occurred to me is the problem with private boreholes, as an example only, there was a borehole for a laundry nearby so contaminated water could have been heated and the solvent boiled off into the atmosphere, the smell being disguised by the chemicals used for washing.

    Added to this the EA told me in writing that there isn’t any proper monitoring of private boreholes for crop washing and irrigation.

    Putting this information together I can understand why they feel that a proper investigation is warranted I also assume that the health professionals involved have a much greater understanding of the potential problems than I have, so there may be other aspects that we haven’t even considered.

  3. I have recently bought a place in Ramsgate but still live most of the time in London. I cannot drink the water in Ramsgate. If I drink even a small amount I am ill with diarohea and nausea. I now even make tea with bottled water. There is definitely something wrong with the water supply.

  4. 16.49 This sounds like something to do with the supply to your house and you should contact Southern Water about it as if your water supply is contaminated that badly you may have a serious problem.

  5. it does seem strange to me that as someone who was born in margate,left in 91,and has since travelled world wide knows of 4 people from margate to suffer brain anuerysms

  6. Personally I drink at least a couple of pints of Thanet tap water per day & feel very healthy.

  7. I think you`ll find regulations ensure that surface water passes through a soak away and subsequently into the aquifer, possibly via an interceptor if there is a risk of contamination.

    I just wondered what Michael thought happens to it.

  8. Oops! Item above posted in the wrong Article. Must be something in the water!!

  9. To Anonymous, Thank you. That's interesting. I didn't know that's what happened.

  10. The chemicals ( a great number of them ) are allegedly scrubbed out by reverse osmosis at Fleet reservoir (Nr Manston Airport)by Southern Water.

    The trouble is that no one can prove that all the nasties are actually removed.

    Anyone who can be bothered to read the Ground water quality charts (Michael these are on the way to you) reveal that there is a thumping great problem that has not been dealt with in the appropriate manner.

    Peter you can continue taking the waters but you are paying for the privilege of having your water added to (blended)at great cost to you and I and the other residents of Thanet, due to the pollutants. Southern Water and now Ofwat will probably enforce metering in Thanet due to this problem, which is going to get worse as the Aquifers will now not get adequately recharged due to bad and ill thought out planning. Do not rely on TDC to get its LDF in order over this matter.

    Malcolm K...not being vexatious or vociferous, I will leave that to to TDC and its supporters club

  11. Montgomory MoleApril 25, 2009 1:42 pm

    Malcolm K not vexatious.........mmm there is a first

  12. Thanks Malcolm I have published the water quality charts on the internet and put up a post on this blog with a link to them.

    Peter I have always drunk the Thanet water but having just read the water quality charts my limited knowledge of water purification has left me drinking my wife’s cola while I come to terms with the charts.

    Montgomory Mole having been looking at the charts I have to admit to feeling a bot vexatious myself.

    JH 8.15 I have responded to you both on the previous post.


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