Chiltern tunnelling works contaminating local water supplies

HS2’s senior project manager admitted that the tunnel construction work faced a “significant challenge” in stopping the leakage of cement to water sources.

They have revealed how the teams building the railway’s longest tunnels plan to prevent water supplies from becoming contaminated after admitting the work was causing “real nervousness” to a local water supplier.

Last month, a court forced the £ 100bn railway to disclose documents assessing the risk to local water supplies posed by tunnelling works for the project’s 16km tunnels under the Chiltern Hills.

The documents revealed that six public water sources may need additional treatment works and others may need to be closed completely during tunnel construction due to the risk of cement contaminating drinking water supplies.

HS2 admitted that tunnelling would “carry risks”, adding that ground investigation teams had found around 50 faults along the route.

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