Gushing water threatens Middlewich Branch

Published: Tuesday, 23 June 2020

THE contractors involved with the HS2 high speed railway have caused a massive 'gusher' threatening the Middlewich Branch, writes Sam Bennett.

Balfour Beatty on behalf of HS2 are drilling the fields in Stanthorne above the Stanthorne Lock. This is supposed to be exploratory advance work for the HS2 railway.

Two metres high gusher

They have drilled the field to the north of the canal and hit running sand and water. The water was coming out of the ground in a two metre high gusher.

In an attempt to stem the flow they plugged the hole but not before the field flooded.  However the pressure is so high that it has blown the plug out and they are trying to re-plug it at present. There is water everywhere.

Drain the canal?

As this is not far away from the canal and below the canal bed level, is this going to cause another breach or just drain the canal?

Have they authority from Canal & River Trust to drill so close to the waterway?  Indeed have the Trust even been notified of this operation.  The workers on site think not.

[This new problem is in the same area above Middlewich where the breach occurred that closed the waterway from March to December in 2018.]

LATEST:  The gusher has now been plugged and Canal & River Trust made aware.  The waterway has not been affected.