Council starts work plugging the East Wichel canal leak

After many delays whilst trying to find the leak, including replacing the contractor, work has started on plugging the leak in the canal in East Wichel.

Over three years since the council and canal trust started investigating the leak in the canal in East Wichel, work has finally started on plugging the hole.

Swindon Borough Council started working with the Wilts and Berks Canal Trust to find the leak in August 2018. An initial tender by the canal trust for contractors was unsuccessful. A contractor was eventually appointed by the Council the following year, but work was delayed by the need to do a survey for water voles. Monitoring work on water levels then started, dividing the canal into sections with bunds. This was delayed by lockdowns and the contractor was replaced more than once owing to lack of progress.

Earlier this year the council concluded that the leak is where a drainage culvert passes under the canal, near to Scorhill Lane.

The council’s contractor Fox (Owmby) Ltd has now begun work to shore up the canal to make it watertight. The council expects the work to take around six weeks to complete, depending on the weather.

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