A leading campaigner has spoken out after a water firm has performed a U-turn - to reintroduce softer water to West Cumbria.

United Utilities has been forced to make the decision after thousands of people lodged complaints that the water had changed.

Soft water water from Ennerdale had been mixed with harder borehole water from Egremont.

The firm has today confirmed it will provide a softer blend of water, although it couldn't say exactly how soft the water would be.

Wayne McCarron, who leads the West Cumbria Water Supply campaign group on Facebook, said the reintroduction of softer water to the area is a "step in the right direction".

He is calling for further details from United Utilities about what measures will be put in place to monitor the water.

Mr McCarron said: "We now need clarity on the new mix ratio, the worst case scenario mix ratio, and whether the ratio is to remain static or be subject to fluctuations dependant on lake water stock levels. I hope that the mix will be kept at a consistent level as I think the fluctuating mix has been part of the problem."

He added: "Only time will tell whether this softer blend will be enough to resolve the problems caused by the change and I hope that it does. However, if the problems continue we will be looking to improve the mix further if not eradicate borehole water from our supply altogether."

Thousands of people have reported issues with the water including popping kettles, a raft of health issues and other problems.

Petitions and online campaign groups were launched calling for the borehole water to be removed.

Over 8,000 people have joined Mr McCarron's group, with many highlighting a host of issues.

It is understood the changes to water have already started and it is making its way through the network of pipes in the area.

Martin Padley, water and scientific services director at United Utilities, said: "We made the original changes to the supply to meet a requirement to reduce the amount of water taken from Ennerdale and so improve the ecology of the River Ehen.

"All our tests have consistently shown the water to be of the usual high quality, but we have taken on board the concerns of our customers who said they didn’t like the harder water."

"I’m really pleased we have been able to arrive at a compromise which will allow us to keep the amount of borehole water in the blend to a minimum, while still providing benefits for the local environment."

The softer blend will be maintained until 2022 when a new pipeline bringing water from Thirlmere reservoir comes on line.