South West Water has postponed a planned road show that was due to take place in Teignmouth tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday May 22) because staff are too busy dealing with the water contamination in Brixham.

‘Unfortunately, our colleagues are working extremely hard to resolve the immediate incident in Hillhead, upper Brixham and Kingswear and that remains our focus this week,’ the company said in an email to registered attendees yesterday.

South West Water is running roadshows throughout Devon and Cornwall to meet with customers and talk about its services and plans up to 2030.

The water company has been heavily criticised after water supplies in the Brixham area were contaminated with the cryptosporidium parasite last week. Around 17,000 households were advised to boil their drinking water after hundreds of people became ill with diarrhoea and vomiting.

Residents are also upset about sewage issues. At the weekend, over 100 protesters turned out to a demonstration on Teignmouth seafront calling for an end to sewage pollution.

‘Last year, South West Water was responsible for 59 sewage alerts in Teignmouth (Holcombe) alone. This year, to date, we have already seen 34 alerts in Holcombe, with many reports of sickness,’ said Peta Howell, hub leader for Teignmouth Healthscape CIC.

The roadshow cancellation comes as South West Water’s owner, Pennon Group, reported a 10% increase in underlying revenue to £907.8m for the year to March 31 and an 8.6% increase in underlying profits to £166.3m.