The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said there are now 46 confirmed cases of cryptosporidium.

This comes shortly after the boss of South West Water (SWW) said she was “truly sorry” for the outbreak of the parasitic bug that struck down scores of residents in Devon this week.

UKHSA has also confirmed that more than 100 further people have reported similar symptoms in the Brixham area as experts race to gather data on the extent of the outbreak.

On Tuesday (May 14), SWW instructed 16,000 households and businesses in Brixham, Kingswear, Boohay, North West Paignton and Roseland to boil their tap water.

Yesterday, SWW said it would compensate customers in the Brixham area an additional £100 after coming in for criticism for initially offering only £15 compensation under the company’s ‘Customer Promise’.

Susan Davy, SWW’s CEO, said: “To those in the affected area and our customers across the South West, I am truly sorry for the disruption and wider anxiety this has caused.

“While incidents like these are thankfully very rare, our customers expect a safe, clean, and reliable source of drinking water. I know on this occasion we have fallen significantly short of what you expect of us.

“All of us at South West Water live and work in the region, just like you. It is our home and a place we love. I am sorry this has happened.

“I promise you that we will not stop working until the situation has been resolved and drinking water returns to the quality level you expect.”

Yesterday, SWW said a faulty valve could have been the source of the outbreak, following test results indicating the presence of cryptosporidium near its Hillhead reservoir.

However, the water company has been criticised for waiting until Tuesday to issue its boil notice. Ms Davy said tests on water leaving the firm’s treatment works were clear until “the early hours of Wednesday morning”, although residents have reported feeling ill for weeks.

Meanwhile, Caroline Voaden, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate, has been in Brixham talking to residents.

She said, "It seems astonishing that it has taken South West Water so long to investigate. Many Brixham residents were made aware of the extent of the problem through a Facebook post on Sunday night.

“The £115 compensation may cover the cost of toilet paper and cleaning materials but will not impact the loss of earnings individuals and businesses suffer.

“Unfortunately, this outbreak doesn't come as a surprise. South West Water reported over half a million hours of sewage spill incidents in 2023 alone, reflecting broader concerns about waterborne diseases in the UK. The question arises: are these outbreaks becoming the new normal? Are we regressing to the era when the UK was labeled 'the Dirty Man of Europe'?”

“Urgent action is needed to address systemic deficiencies in water management and regulation to prevent future outbreaks and protect our environment and public health.”

A primary school in Brixham that closed temporarily due to not having drinking water has reopened its doors today, Friday (May 17) following a delivery by SWW.

In a statement, the Eden Park primary and nursery school however advised parents to provide their children with their own water as SWW’s supply was limited.