The £3.5m bill for the cryptosporidium outbreak in Devon will be paid for by shareholders of South West Water.

The company which has come under heavy fire over the outbreak which affected hundreds of people in the Brixham area said customers would not have to foot the bill.

At one stage around 16,000 households were affected and in May South West Water said the compensation bill could reach £3.5m.

David Harris, incident director at the firm said customers would “not see one penny of that going on their bills”.

Adding “like other programmes, for example our drought programme over the last couple of years, £125m for that was funded by shareholders.

In a statement SWW said the overall bill for compensation or insurance payments to those who have been unwell was not “available currently”.

At the end of May the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) confirmed the number of confirmed cases of people affected by a water parasite outbreak had risen to 100.