Looking underground in next steps for a new reservoir in Hampshire

Investigations are underway to learn more about what is underground on the proposed site for the new Havant Thicket reservoir and the route for the pipeline, which would fill it with water.

During August and early September, a specialist contractor, P J Carey is excavating areas on Portsmouth Water’s land located between Staunton Country Park and Havant Thicket woodland, to learn more about the ground conditions.

This follows on from deep drilling work on the site last year to take soil samples to learn more about what the ground is made up of.

At the same time, ground-penetrating radar surveys are taking place along the proposed route of the pipeline, which runs from the reservoir south to Bedhampton.

These are being carried out by another specialist contractor, GEOTEC, using hand-held radar equipment or a small radar device mounted on the back of a van.

The new reservoir, which is being developed in partnership with Southern Water, would secure much-needed supplies for the water-stressed county. It will play an important role in protecting rare chalk streams in Hampshire and create a new, public leisure space for nearby communities and a wildlife haven with wetlands for birds.

Bob Taylor, CEO of Portsmouth Water, said: “These investigations follow on from our recent community consultation and will help us learn more about the ground conditions on the site and show us what lies underneath our proposed route for the pipeline. In particular, we are looking for other utility services such as gas, power, telecoms and wastewater.”

“This information will feed into the planning applications for both the reservoir and the pipeline, which we are submitting to Havant Borough Council and East Hampshire District Council in September.”

“We will be doing what we can to minimise any disruption for local residents and we are sorry for any inconvenience this work may cause. We are sending letters to any customers who will be directly impacted by these surveys and up-to-date information about where we are working is available on our website.”

“The contractors do not need to enter any properties to complete this work and, to protect everyone at this time, we ask that you help us follow the current health advice by staying a safe distance from those working. Thank you to everyone for your patience.”

The footpaths and public bridleway on the reservoir site remain open during the work, with fences around the working areas to protect the contractors and the public.

Work is restricted to between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. Portsmouth Water asks everyone to take care in the vicinity of the works and in particular to keep an eye on children and animals.
On the pipeline route, Portsmouth Water is working with Hampshire Highways to implement some overnight road closures to allow surveys to be safely carried out on busy sections of the route, as the radar van needs to drive at slow speeds to work effectively.

These will be on Bedhampton Road, Middle Park Way and Dunsbury Way.

Find out more about the reservoir plans at portsmouthwater.co.uk/havant-thicket-reservoir and on a dedicated Facebook page @HavantReservoir.