Hayes & Harlington Gazette

Concern as foam from HS2 site bubbles up at rugby club

- By RAFI MAURO-BENADY rafi.benady@reachplc.com @mylondon

A HUGE sinkhole-like patch of foam has appeared on a rugby pitch close to where HS2 is being built.

The images circulated Twitter on February 18 and were uploaded by staunch opponents of the project, StopHS2.

The tweet read: “A strange bubbling hole appeared today the grounds of Ruislip Rugby Club, directly above where #HS2 have been boring. Oddly enough, it stopped bubbling when @ HS2ltd stopped what they were doing. They are currently guarding the hole .... ”

But HS2 disputed the claim it was a sinkhole, telling MyLondon investigat­ions are ongoing that it believes the mess most likely came from a tunnelling machine that went through a small pre-existing bore hole. This forced the foam to the surface, through the narrow bore hole.

Local resident Sarah Green passed the foaming field on February 19. She told MyLondon: “On Sunday I visited the site and found frothy bubbles coming up and popping in multiple places across a 7m diameter.

“I was informed by HS2 workers that this was plactersid­ed bentonite. They sprayed the foam and said they would be doing this regularly. After the spraying the mini geyser was easier to observe bubbling up.”

She added the problem still hasn’t been sorted, and is terrified for local water supplies. She said: “Today Monday, February 20 there’s still a bubbling effect from the hole so there’s still something bubbling up from below the surface creating a mini geyser. HS2 are claiming that the eruption happened through an existing bore hole they had built.

“There are multiple bore (TfL) holes along the line of the Chiltern Line are these going to bring water pollution to the surface? Ruislip Rugby fields are in the outer source protection zone of the Mid Chiltern Chalk aquifer which brings fresh water into London.”

An HS2 spokespers­on said: “Upon discoverin­g the small pool of foam in Ruislip, HS2’s main works’ contractor SCS (Skanska Costain STRABAG) sealed off the area to investigat­e. The pool appears to have come out of an pre-existing borehole, causing foam to travel up and pool on the surface.

“The area is safe, the leak has been sealed, and the foam has been cleared. There has been no impact on the programme schedule.”

The chair of the rugby club, Jatin Radia, said: “Local residents have been up in arms about the HS2 project. When something like this happens, it raises concerns about unintended consequenc­es.

“This happened on a field, but what about houses which are being tunnelled under? How can HS2 reassure residents? The question is, is it safe? My job is to ensure that our rugby pitches are safe for both children and adults.”

A dog walker posted a warning in a local Facebook group. They said: “Our dogs did avoid it, but I would worry a child would investigat­e it and not sure how big the hole it’s bubbling out of is.”

 ?? STOP HS2 ?? The patch of foam was spotted at Ruislip Rugby Club
STOP HS2 The patch of foam was spotted at Ruislip Rugby Club
 ?? STOP HS2 ?? A passer-by said they could ‘hear the bubbles’
STOP HS2 A passer-by said they could ‘hear the bubbles’

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