Water Contamination

Do you believe that HS2 is important enough to permit illegal pollution of your drinking water?

It has already happened! And seemingly HS2 are getting away with it. They are breaking the Water Environment Regulation (England and Wales) 2017 with impunity.

Water Contamination - Dirty Water Glass

HS2’s own latest report details the release of huge amounts of Bentonite into our aquifer. It has been happening for months and is not being put right. In fact that is not possible [1]

It is illegal to make our drinking water sources worse even for a short time [2]

Right now six Drinking Water Protected Areas of the Mid Chilterns Chalk are being damaged with tunnelling and piling driving. [3]

HS2 has reassured us that the Bentonite leaks are all safe. The truth is they don’t know. They might also say the additional purification makes our water perfectly drinkable, but there are important reasons why legally binding regulations protecting our Drinking Water Protected Zones exist.[4]

The only way to make our water safe to drink, is to increase the filtration processes by many times. The turbidity of the water is so high that some pumping stations will not be able to cope with this additional pollution and will have to close [5]. This too has already happened. The result of all this is a high possibility of water shortages [6]  whilst HS2 ploughs on through our beautiful countryside, ripping the heart out of our unique and precious water sources and leaking Bentonite as it goes.

Save Our Aquifer – Any damage to the aquifer from HS2 work is irreversible

HS2 have a track record of unlawfully hiding evidence of impacts on the water supply system in Hillingdon [7]. They have proven we cannot entrust them with our water supplies. They have to be stopped.

Contact your MP to ask them to protect our drinking water and to scrap HS2

Enter your postcode in the box below to open a page where you can email your MP directly. Ask them to attend the HS2 debate on 13th September 2021. Mention the pollution of our fresh water aquifer, the unlawful addition of sediment, the release of Bentonite into the aquifer, ask them to protect our drinking water and to demand that our government scraps this hugely damaging waste of taxpayers’ money and spend it on rebuilding our economy instead.

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References/Sources:
1: 1,600 tonnes of bentonite, a pollutant, was lost into the chalk aquifer at the Chalfont St Peter vent shaft work site during the period August to November 2020. Align Ltd working for HS2 Ltd have made no attempts to retrieve it. News of this loss was revealed August 2021 with the release of: Analysis on Bentonite Loss during Chalfont Saint Peter D-wall Excavation Document no: 1MC05-ALJ-GT-NOT-CS02_CL04-000001. Bentonite is harmful to aquatic life and is an inhalant risk to unprotected users.
2: It is not legal to make UK drinking water sources worse, even for a short time. This was confirmed by the European Commission 14 June 2019 (Mr Vella Question Reference https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/P-8-2019-002104_EN.html) The possibility to grant derogations (Article 9) for maximal 9 years was linked to the timescale for compliance (Article 14) of the directive. It expired for the United Kingdom in December 2012.
3: Six Drinking Water Protected Areas of the Mid Chilterns Chalk are being damaged with tunnelling and piling driving. See location map Page 13: Align Ltd 1MC05 Options for mitigation of the effects of piling on groundwater Document no.: 1MC05-ALJ-EV-NOT-CS01_CL01-000001
4: Environment Agency River Basin Management Plan, Thames River Basin District Annex D Protected Areas December 2009, page 17. Annex 11 – Protected Areas (publishing.service.gov.uk) . D.4 Objectives Drinking Water Protected Areas ensure necessary protection in the DrWPA with the aim of avoiding deterioration in water quality in order to reduce the level of purification treatment required in producing drinking water.
5: Options for mitigation of the effects of piling on groundwater Document no.: 1MC05-ALJ-EV-NOT-CS01_CL01-000001 Revision: C02 Page 39 8.5 Mitigation route map managing turbidity.
6: Options document as above (4) Page 41 at 8.5.5 ‘uexpected’ effects of piling, during the peak demand period it could lead to a water shortage and implementation of an emergency drought order to reduce water consumption. There are long term risks of adding to and spreading existing contamination. 6. There is a Special Site of Contamination in proximity to the Colne Valley Viaduct from which an underground pollution plume in emanating. This pollution has closed one public water source and has not been controlled or corrected. Yet HS2 is building through the pollution. This is evidenced in Piling along the Colne Valley Viaduct using bentonite Groundwater Environment Assessment Document no: 1MC05-ALJ-EV-REP-CS01_CL01-000079 Revision: C01 on Page 64 at 3.5.4 3.5.4 In June 2020 as part of baseline monitoring at the Load Test Pile 2 site which is on the northern side of the alignment ammonical nitrogen was measured in all five monitoring boreholes at concentrations between 8 and 23 mg/l. Several other substances were elevated including major ions and iron.
7: Shanks Decision Notice (19 April 2021) Information Rights Tribunal Appeal No: EA/2020/0088V (link)