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Thames Water apologises after week-long pumping of excess floodwater grinds village to a halt – as locals claim it could be linked to nearby HS2 tunnelling works


Thames Water has apologised to villagers after spending more than a week pumping away excess floodwater.

Heavy rainfall last Friday meant the village of Chalfont St Peter in Buckinghamshire has been severely impacted by flooding.

Business owners based in the civil parish’s Market Place said that they had lost customers due to car parks being closed.

Thames Water continued to flush away the floodwater, which is several inches high, although no time frame has been given as to when the ongoing work will be completed. 

Locals have claimed that flooding is HS2 related, noting that there was ‘severe flooding’ outside its site in the area.

One resident took to X, formerly known as Twitter and wrote: ‘Raw sewage flowing straight into the River Misbourne in Chalfont St Peter Village – businesses flooded and streets closed – bloke from Thames water says it’s HS2 related.’

But an HS2 spokesperson said: ‘There’s no reason this should be linked to HS2 works.’

Have you been affected? Email: gina.kalsi@mailonline.co.uk 

Heavy rainfall last Friday meant that the village of Chalfont St Peter in Buckinghamshire has been severely impacted by flooding

Heavy rainfall last Friday meant that the village of Chalfont St Peter in Buckinghamshire has been severely impacted by flooding

Business owners based in the civil parish's Market Place said that they had lost customers due to car parks being closed

Business owners based in the civil parish’s Market Place said that they had lost customers due to car parks being closed

Thames Water continued to flush away the floodwater, which is several inches high, although no time frame has been given as to when the ongoing work will be completed

Thames Water continued to flush away the floodwater, which is several inches high, although no time frame has been given as to when the ongoing work will be completed

Another said: ‘Category 1 pollution in Misbourne. The Environment Agency eventually conceded that the two Chiltern Tunnels could significantly impact the adjacent groundwater migration pathways.

‘Their investigation should look at the possibility that HS2 tunnels could be contributing to this problem.’

A third local tweeted yesterday: ‘Thames Water person spoken to today said this incident was entirely down to #hs2 tunnelling. Have you visited the Amersham household waste depot? Under water.

‘@HS2ltd say it’s nothing to do with them haha. Farms between pollution incident and waste site under water for 1st time.’

But parish councillor Anne-Marie Vladar replied: ‘But It is not. (Tanker driver?) This has been a mains sewer issue for decades for #CSP Failing sewer, housing overdevelopment, no infrastructure investment/maintenance & GX treatment & Maple Lodge works long before HS2 put a spade in the ground.’

Another local commented about severe flooding last week in neighbouring chalfont St Giles, saying: ‘There is severe flooding outside the HS2 site near junction of Chesham Lane & Gorlands Ln in Chalfont St Giles.’

In 2022, two 2,000 tonne tunnelling machines completed the first stage of the development and dug up the project’s tunnels. 

Chalfont St Peter has a 78m deep shaft, the first of five that HS2 claims will provide ventilation and emergency access to the ten-mile-long twin tunnels. 

Two years ago, the HS2 expected that the tunnels would break out at the north portal later this year.

Last week, the community got together to stage a protest in an empty car park in the village and held poo emoji inflatables to represent the amount of sewage water that has been flushed around the area.

Parish Councillor Anne-Marie Vladar told the Bucks Free Press: ‘This has been disastrous for the whole community, for the village residents and Thames Water along with Bucks Council all know the issue, and it needs to be resolved. 

‘Residents along the lower road are impacted as some streets are having issues with flushing toilets and some of the water is contaminated as it’s sewage.’

Roads continue to remain close as the village deals with excess water

Roads continue to remain close as the village deals with excess water 

One local said 'some of the water is contaminated as it¿s sewage'

One local said ‘some of the water is contaminated as it’s sewage’

Business owners based in the civil parish's Market Place said that they had lost customers due to car parks being closed

Business owners based in the civil parish’s Market Place said that they had lost customers due to car parks being closed

Car parks are shut as Thames Water continues to pump out excess water

Car parks are shut as Thames Water continues to pump out excess water

A Thames Water spokesperson said: ‘We are sorry to customers impacted by ongoing high water levels and flooding in Amersham/Chalfont St Peter. 

‘The excessively heavy rain that the region has experienced since early January means the groundwater and river levels remain very high in this area and the ground is saturated. 

‘All these issues combined means there is nowhere for further rain or other flow from nearby land to go.

‘We continue to work around the clock to manage these excess flows that are entering into our network to prevent flooding at Chalfont St Peter and Denham Way. 

‘We’re doing this by maximising capacity in the sewer network through tankering and the recent installation of a large overpump system. Traffic management will remain in place while we carry out this work for the safety of our engineers and the public.

‘We recognise the inconvenience that this disruption is having on the community but our priority is to mitigate any further flooding to customers’ properties while the high groundwater and river levels remain high and continue to impact our sewers. 

‘We will continue to monitor the situation and work with the Environment Agency and Local Authorities, who manage river flooding and local drainage respectively.’

Thames Water has been contacted for further comment.



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