Fuel threat to water

PUBLISHED: 12:53 24 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:01 04 May 2010

THOUSANDS of gallons of jet fuel which leaked into the ground could threaten water supplies to homes in Ely, Haddenham and Soham. The fuel seeped into the ground from an American Air Force base and could affect a borehole which serves 58,000 homes across

THOUSANDS of gallons of jet fuel which leaked into the ground could threaten water supplies to homes in Ely, Haddenham and Soham.

The fuel seeped into the ground from an American Air Force base and could affect a borehole which serves 58,000 homes across Cambridgeshire.

Six thousand gallons of fuel had been recovered but the pollution, which happened at the Mildenhall base could reach the borehole a mile away.

And it could take years to clear up the spill as it filters into chalk which holds underground water supplies.

Contractors working at the air base are being prosecuted for causing the JP8 jet fuel to enter the water supply on April 20 last year.

Underground Solutions of Diss Norfolk and T Clarke (Midlands) based in London, have denied causing pollution in a case brought by the Environment Agency.

Mildenhall magistrates heard that workmen were drilling under a taxi way at the base when a fuel pipe was damaged.

After they left for the night intending to repair the problem the following day 38,000 gallons of fuel leaked into the ground.

The case has been adjourned until Monday, February 4.

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