Discolouration to water supplies in Lanarkshire

Posted: 13th September 2021 17:00hrs

We are continuing to work as quickly as possible to help the small number of customers still experiencing water discolouration in parts of Lanarkshire. The issue was caused by naturally occurring manganese levels in the water supply.


As highlighted in the video below, the root cause of this issue is a direct result of reservoir levels being at their lowest for about 160 years due to very dry weather. We have not experienced any significant rainfall that has enabled reservoir levels to increase.


While we have implemented a number of actions to help mitigate the impact this is having on the appearance of the water supply, there is a need for some significant rainfall to allow the situation to be fully resolved. 


We are monitoring the water supply closely and continue with rigorous sampling and testing programmes throughout. We would remind those customers still affected that, while their water might not look normal yet, it can be used for drinking, cooking, bathing and showering.


We are continuing to liaise with the Drinking Water Quality Regulator (DWQR) and NHS Lanarkshire on this matter and the Consultant in Public Health Medicine at NHS Lanarkshire has confirmed that they are satisfied the water is safe to use.

While the water supply has returned to normal for the vast majority of affected customers, we know a small number of customers are still experiencing some discoloration of their water supply and we will continue to support them. We are, however, encouraged that the number of customers still experiencing issues continues to reduce significantly.


Some customers still affected might have clear water at their kitchen tap but discoloured water at their bathrooms taps. If so, this might be because they have a water storage tank. Running the taps gently in the bathroom may help the water run clear.


We apologise for the inconvenience and thank those customers still affected for their patience and understanding while we work to resolve this matter.


If any customers require additional support, we ask that they make contact via one of the methods on our Contact Us page: https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/Help-and-Resources/Contact-Us.

Discoloured Water

To learn more about discoloured water read our factsheet. 

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Discoloured Water Lanarkshire 

In our short film, Kes Juskowiak explains what's causing the discoloured water for customers in some parts of Lanarkshire, and what we're doing to tackle it.