The first phase of works to investigate the reasons for the low water levels in East Wichel are now complete. With support from the Wilts and Berks Canal Trust and local residents, the water levels have been monitored and compared against rainfall and evaporation data. The results have been positive with the water levels staying fairly constant in the test sections, increasing and decreasing in line with weather conditions. It is therefore considered unlikely that there is a leak in this section. You can find out more about the first phase of works here.
The contractor, Alun Griffiths are due to return in early October to install some additional bunds ready for the second stage of monitoring. This stage will test the most eastern section of the canal (area 1 on the plan below) as well as a section further west within the hard edged sheet piled section (area 2). The exact position of this section will be adjusted on site following a final inspection from the ecologists overseeing the works. Finally, bunds will be installed under the Eyam Road Bridge to compare the levels either side of the bridge.
As with Phase 1 the sections will then be monitored for a period of up to 3 months to assess how the water levels perform. It is then likely that a further phase will be completed further west in the soft edged section of canal during 2020.