Thames Water begins drilling for Brixton groundwater

Drilling work has begun at one of a series of boreholes which Thames Water will use to control rising groundwater levels under London. The rising groundwater threatens deep structures and foundations of tall buildings throughout London, and Thames' hopes that the water pumped from the site will be used as drinking water.

The site in Brixton, south London, will reach 135m in depth and Thames Water hopes it will eventually provide up to four million litres a day that will be treated and provided as drinking water.

Up to 50 new boreholes are planned for London. Thames has already opened four boreholes on the outskirts of London and is currently working on sites in Battersea and Islington.

Completion of drilling at the Brixton site is expected by the end of August. Pumping equipment will then be installed and a six-month trial pumping period will begin by the end of the year. Thames Water hopes that the borehole will be in use by late 2001.

Thames Water’s report, published in March, on the problem of rising groundwater in London recommends the abstraction of up to 70 million litres of groundwater a day by the end of 2004.

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