An accidental release of highly dilute homeopathic waste from a research institute in Swindon has lead to calls for the centre to be shut down.
Plant operators have admitted responsibility for massive safety blunders after a spilled drop of an enormously dilute test product was cleaned by a caretaker, and in complete disregard of all safety procedures, allowed to enter the water system after he emptied his mop bucket down the drain.
Institute staff have been cooperating with homeopathy regulatory safety officers and a team of engineers from Thames Water - working around the clock to minimise the risk of further dilution.
Still, the plant remains open - a spokesman claimed that their pioneering research into a cure for mild feelings of insecurity has reached a point that it must not be stopped. He then locked himself in his office and told reporters to leave him alone.
Local reaction has been mixed - many of course are living in fear - the latest advice has been for locals not to wash their vegetables before cooking. Some demand the plant be closed down. But others have taken a more pragmatic view, and accept that sometimes great advances in medical pseudoscience can come at a heavy price.
But everyone is in agreement that the emergency workers who came to the aid of the stricken plant yesterday are the true heroes. Some firefighers may have been exposed to dilutions as high as D8000 during the frantic race to prevent the atomic memory of the waste from reaching the Thames. Next to the Plant are seven abandoned Fire Engines - exposed to such dangerously low concentrations of homeopathic contamination that they can never be used again - they will eventually be entombed in concrete where they lie.
Local Fire Chief, Boutros-Boutros Jones gave a frank account of the current situation - "We have to accept that we've lost the battle locally, two water treatment works may never be safe to use again, but the fight to contain this and prevent further dilution is still on. Clearly if this reaches the sea, it's game over."