CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to carry on their fight to stop water from boreholes being used in West Cumbria as plans have been lodged to extend the usage.

United Utilities has applied to continue its licence to draw water from boreholes in Egremont.

But those against the scheme say they are “appalled” and will be pushing for the plans to be thrown out.

There was public outrage in June 2017 when United Utilities began mixing water from Ennerdale with Egremont borehole water.

Many residents complained of a raft of health problems including itchy skin, mouth ulcers and upset stomachs.

Mark Jennings, of the campaign group, Save Our Water Services, said these problems are still ongoing.

“Nobody is getting used to it,” he said. “We’re still getting people vomiting and with skin conditions.

“The lakes are full. There should be stipulations that boreholes aren’t used when there’s plenty of water.”

Mr Jennings said he would continue to fight against the use of borehole water.

“I’m not giving up. There’s definitely something wrong.”

United Utilities’ current licence allows the firm to take up to 11 mega litres of water a day from the boreholes, but this expires in March. After that, the amount it could take would drop to eight mega litres a day.

The utility company wants permission to continue to take 11 mega litres of water from boreholes in the future, if needed.

The Environment Agency said the renewed licence would “help maintain a resilient water supply to West Cumbria and protect the sensitive natural environment”.

Sharon Kennedy, the agency’s environment manager for Cumbria, said: “United Utilities has applied to the Environment Agency to continue its licence and we are currently reviewing the information and have advertised the potential changes so people have the chance to have their say, before a decision is made.”

The boreholes are being used to help supply local homes and businesses with water while United Utilities constructs West Cumbria’s new pipeline from Thirlmere.

Martin Padley, water services director at United Utilities, said: “This does not change the way we are managing water supplies in West Cumbria. It allows us to continue the agreement we reached following consultation with the Environment Agency and other stakeholders in 2017.

“We are committed to maintaining a blend of 20 per cent borehole water and 80 per cent Ennerdale water when levels in the lake are high enough.

“However, last year’s hot dry summer showed how variable the availability of water resources can be, and the importance of a resilient water supply. This continuation of our temporary licence will give us access to sufficient water should there be any repeat of these extreme weather conditions.

“Longer term, after 2022 when our new West Cumbria water supply scheme is completed, we will supply the area with water from Thirlmere reservoir.”