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Soil studies – groundwater pipe

Before the construction of the West Link begins, it is important for safety reasons to know about bore holes in the rock near where the tunnel will be built.

Before the construction of the West Link begins, it is important for safety reasons to know about bore holes in the rock near where the tunnel will be built. Energy wells, or geothermal wells, are examples of bore holes that we need to know about.

Energy wells within 20 metres of the West Link will represent a safety risk during blasting work, and may also pose a problem when making the tunnel watertight. It is therefore extremely important that we have accurate information about the distance from existing wells to the planned structure.

In order to be able to monitor and deal with any impact and to ensure that no damage is caused, we began measuring the groundwater level in those wells that are within 20 metres of the West Link in June 2016. When carrying out an investigation, we look at factors such as the soil depth and take soil samples to find out about the properties of the ground. A track drilling rig, which presses or drills rods down into the ground, is normally used. The groundwater pipe is installed so that we can measure and inspect the groundwater level. Installation is carried out using either a drilling rig or hand-operated equipment.

The ambition is that the majority of the installations should be complete by December 2016.