UNITED Utilities has pleaded guilty to the supply of water unfit for human consumption across parts of East Lancashire after a cryptosporidium outbreak in 2015.

Approximately 700,000 people in Lancashire were affected including residents in Mellor, Mellor Brook, Samlesbury, Chorley, Abbey Village as well as those further afield in Preston, Blackpool and the Fylde coast.

Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that causes the diarrheal disease cryptosporidiosis.

The firm have pleaded guilty, contrary to Section 70 of the Water Industry Act.

The District Judge has referred the case to Crown Court for sentencing at a future date.