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East Wichel Canal repair work to start in October

Update from Swindon Borough Council:

It has been a slow and painstaking process but we are finally making progress in our attempts to solve the mystery of the leaking canal in East Wichel.

After months of monitoring the water levels using bunds to split the canal into sections, we have identified an area where water levels have been dropping rapidly.

Further investigations have revealed that water is being lost through the base of the canal into a culvert, which runs underneath and links drainage ditches to the north and south.

Our contractor Fox (Owmby) Ltd will now begin work to shore up the canal to make it watertight. We expect the work to take around six weeks to complete, depending on the weather.

Councillor Gary Sumner, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Strategic Infrastructure, Transport and Planning, said: “The canal is a wonderful feature within Wichelstowe and we have been working hard to identify the cause of the problem. But trying to find the source of the leak is easier said than done, which is why it has taken so long.

“Once these works are complete, the canal will be monitored again over the winter to test the repairs have been successful and we will continue to explore if there are further leaks or water supply issues in the western section by the lakes.”