• Germany's news in English

Hundreds face outside showers in water scare

The Local · 22 Sep 2012, 18:45

Published: 22 Sep 2012 18:45 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Around 388 households face the prospect of taking showers in makeshift containers placed in the streets - and may have to keep on doing so until December, the Bild newspaper said this week.

The containers set up outside the in the Gropiusstadt housing scheme in the Neukölln area of the city are to be equipped with an alternative supply of fresh drinking water which, until now, people have had to collect in canisters.

Infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria can lead to inflammation and blood poisoning which can be fatal, particularly in the weak and elderly.

The lungs, urinary tract and kidneys are affected in particular by the bug, which is resistant to most antibiotics.

It is not yet known how the water supply became infected, but property owners the Hilfswerk-Siedlung (HWS) housing association said it was probably caused during repair work.

"Despite careful examination by the authorities, the exact causes cannot be determined," said a statement by HWS.

Tap water can be used for cleaning and cooking but only if boiled first.

Residents have been told not to drink the water, nor shower in it.

The mains system is currently being disinfected, but the process is expected to take many weeks.

Story continues below…

The glass could be seen as half-full in that no-one has become ill – but certainly half-empty for those having to shower outside as the autumn draws in and temperatures drop.

The Local/rc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

20:52 September 22, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Unnacceptable. Firstly, proper conditions for washing shoud be set up. Not outside in the cold. Secondly, the cost of this should then be charged to whoever's negligence caused the problem.
21:48 September 22, 2012 by coffeelover
Definitely gonna call my buddy in the CIA and have him switch the spy satellite from Middle East, to Berlin to check out the frauleins !
23:24 September 22, 2012 by romber58
I agree coffeelover,although I bet " Berlin fuer alles" would not find that amusing,

01:40 September 23, 2012 by wood artist
Now THIS would make some of those complaints about Google Street View seem a bit more valid.

06:28 September 23, 2012 by rosebudnv
how can this be in the most civilized of cities? Unbelievable.
08:30 September 23, 2012 by raandy
Thankfully I do not live in that part of Berlin. If it could happen there it could happen anywhere in the city. If there was repair work on the system you would think that an analysis of the water would have been done to insure public safety.
10:25 September 24, 2012 by Zobirdie
This is COMPLETELY appalling. How could this happen? Even if it was during repairs, that is pretty damn sloppy.
09:59 September 25, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
I hope they get a good lawyer. Showering outdoors in the winter is not a remedy for someone elses mistake.
Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd