In early September, residents in my ward (Avonmore & Brook Green) living near Gwendwr Park, received an email from Thames Water. The email alerted residents to “ground work investigation” which Thames Water would be undertaking in the coming months. No specific dates were given, and to my knowledge, none have been given yet.
According to Thames Water’s website the aim of the work is to “thoroughly examine the ground conditions over the whole of the Counters Creek catchment area”. This extends beyond Shepherd’s Bush and Holland Park in the north, down to Lots Road, Chelsea and the Embankment in the south and follows approximately, the route of the original Counters Creek sewer.
“As well as examining the ground conditions, the investigations will also survey the location of buried utilities to confirm our understanding of the positions of utility pipes, cables and other buried infrastructure.”
Thames Water will be “drilling a number of boreholes across the catchment area in order to clarify the type of soil, clay or gravel at various depths and the levels at which these are located”.
The borehole work in each area is expected to take approximately five working days and there will be further communications with residents when work near them is imminent.
Residents near Gwendwr Park have pushed Thames Water for more detail and this has been interesting.
“Firstly we dig a small trial hole, roughly 40cm squared, to ensure that there are no other utilities immediately beneath the surface. We then begin to excavate the actual borehole which typically has a 12” diameter. The depth of the borehole varies from 10 metres to 55 metres, depending on the area that is being investigated. The most common depths are 10 and 15 metres. On average the total time spent on site is 5 days occasionally extending to 7 days where the borehole is particularly deep…
“The borehole that will be drilled in your area will be quite deep but the size of the hole is reasonably modest within the trial hole size of 40cms square. The reason for these boreholes is to clarify the type of soil, clay or gravel at various depths, and the levels at which these are located. The information that is gathered from this type of investigation allows us to develop our design proposals to match the prevailing conditions.”
In what is seemingly good news for residents near Gwendwr Park, no borehole will be drilled in Gwendwr Park itself – the site that Thames Water was originally interested in. The current borehole will instead be sited within the grass verge alongside Talgarth Road and any vehicle movements will be from this road.
All of this work is carried out under Thames Water’s permitted development rights meaning they do not need to seek planning permission to do the work.
Council officers have reiterated to me that Thames Water is aware of the strong opposition shown to many of their originally proposed construction sites for Counters Creek. Thames Water are therefore actively pursuing investigations into alternative sites for intercepting the sewer in the Hammersmith & Fulham area.
“Officers understand that Thames Water’s next formal round of public consultation (Phase 2 consultation) is intended to take place at the end of this year. However, if new sites are proposed to be taken forward which have not yet been subject to consultation, then it is understood that local residents will be consulted separately on those sites before the Phase 2 consultation begins.”
Anyone wanting more regular updates on the Counter Creek proposals, or with specific questions which I may be able to pursue please email me at email@example.com.
To contact Thames Water directly email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 316 9800 (select option 2 and quote the bulletin board number 968806).