Northumbrian Water customers in Darlington are being asked, as a precaution, to boil their water before using it.

This is following a technical fault at Broken Scar Treatment Works, in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday Feb 1), which caused some of the water to leave the site without the correct level of disinfection.


The fault at the treatment works has been fixed. However, as some of the water did enter the water network, we are issuing a precautionary temporary “boil water” notice for customers in the area.  


People who live in the following postcode areas should boil their tap water before using it for drinking, cooking, and food preparation, for pets and cleaning teeth. Additionally, water for babies’ feeds should be boiled and allowed to cool immediately before use.


DL1 – 1,2,3,4,5


DL2 – 1,2 


DL3 – 0,6,7,8,9


Water should be brought to the boil then allowed to cool and should be kept covered in the fridge and used within 24 hours. People should not use drinking vending machines.


It is safe to use central heating, or tap water for washing and bathing, and to flush the toilet as normal.


People not in the impacted postcodes, and who live in surrounding areas, do not need to boil their water and do not need to take any specific actions.


The problem at the treatment works was identified and corrected quickly and technicians were able to identify exactly where in our networks this water is being distributed. 


A full cleansing and flushing programme of the treatment works and networks is now being carried out and customers will be notified by Northumbrian Water as soon as the situation is resolved, and the boil restrictions are lifted. Until then they should continue to boil all drinking water. 


Bottled water is being supplied to vulnerable customers and any specific groups in the area who may need it and information notices are being delivered to properties by water company employees who are happy to answer any questions customers may have.


Anyone who thinks they may need bottled water or extra support can ring us on 0345 7171100 and we are asking that people please only ring if an emergency to help keep our phone lines free for vulnerable customers. 


Northumbrian Water is working closely with Darlington Borough Council and UKHSA (UK Health Security Agency) and more information on the boil notices and FAQs can be found on the

Northumbrian Water website


Northumbrian Water’s Water Director Keith Haslett said: “We are extremely sorry that this has happened, and we are urging customers in the affected areas of Darlington to take the extra precaution of boiling their water at this time. 


“Although the level of risk to customers is low, we’re not taking any risks and are carrying out a full cleansing programme of the affected networks. 


“As soon as the fault was detected, we fixed the process and water is now being treated to the correct standards. However, as some of the water that did not receive the full treatment process may still be in the system, we are urging people to take these precautions.


“We are doing everything we can to minimise any risk and to resolve this matter as soon as possible and will keep customers in the area informed of our progress.”


If people feel unwell or experience symptoms of diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, a fever, nausea and vomiting which lasts a number of days, they should see their doctor or contact NHS 111


We will keep customers updated through local media, our social media channels and our website – or visit our FAQ section here.