RESIDENTS and holidaymakers in Royan on the Atlantic coast have been given the all-clear to start drinking tap water again, after four days of restrictions.
About 120,000 homes and businesses were affected in the popular seaside resort in the Charente-Maritime and four neighbouring communes: Saint-Georges-de-Didonne, Médis, Semussac and Saujon.
People were encouraged not to drink the tap water because of traces of clay in the supply found to be above the legal limit.
Water supplier Veolia Eau telephoned its customers and the tourist office sent text message alerts to holidaymakers who had registered their details with them.
Veolia handed out 200,000 litres of free mineral water to shoppers, restaurants, retirement homes and holiday camps - but there were still reports of panic-buying in supermarkets as customers rushed to stock up.
The mairie has received several complaints about restaurants making customers pay up to €8 for a bottle of mineral water when no free option was available.
Photo: Emin Ozkan - Fotolia.com