Hundreds of people in the Finnish town of Nokia have fallen ill with diarrhoea and vomiting after a worker at a sewage plant mistakenly contaminated the water supply, city officials said Friday.
The town has been without drinking water for more than a week and 15,000 people have become sick since November 30, media reports said, although officials in the southwestern town spoke of "hundreds of people" falling ill.
"There haven't been any serious cases. Patients have been put on drips to avoid dehydration," city council spokeswoman Tetti Tuhkio told AFP.
The military has been called in to provide drinking water from nearby towns, but long queues have formed each day at the 18 distribution points.
Human error is believed to be the cause of the contamination.
An employee is suspected of having opened a valve by mistake on November 28, allowing treated waste water from a sewage plant to flow into the drinking water supply.
The valve was closed on November 30.
"This is waste water that had been treated and was supposed to be discharged into nature," Tuhkio said.
Nokia residents are still unable to drink water from the tap or use it for cooking or dishwashing, though the ban could be lifted later Friday.
"The situation is getting better. Fewer and fewer people are going to the doctor," Tuhkio said.