Dead pigeon contaminates drinking water

Civil protection services in parts of Bierbeek and Oud-Heverlee near Leuven are handing out thousands of bags of drinking water after water supplies became contaminated at the weekend. Water has to be boiled for at least five minutes before it is fit for human consumption.

A dead pigeon is believed to be at the cause of the trouble. The dead bird was recovered from the water tower in Bierbeek on Sunday. It remains a mystery how the pigeon managed to enter the water tower.

Burgomaster Cardoen of Bierbeek: "I assume the bird managed to make its way into the tower via one of the ventilation shafts. We have the pollution under control now, but it will probably take one or two days, possibly three days before all the contamination has been washed away and the water is once again fit for human consumption."

Tap water can still be used for the loo, showers and baths as well as for cleaning.