River Weaver tunnel work begins to carry water to homes
Work has begun on a tunnel under a river, part of a £3.5m project to secure water supplies for 27,000 homes in north Staffordshire.
It will take six weeks to dig the tunnel under the River Weaver at Nantwich, Severn Trent Water said.
The tunnel will carry water from boreholes in Peckforton to the Coopers Green reservoir, 27km (17 miles) away.
The pipes in the tunnel will act as a backup to others that cross the river under bridges, the company said.
Dave Kiernan, from Severn Trent Water, said: "With these new pipes in place, if there was a burst, we could quickly reroute water and have supplies back on in no time."
Work on the project started in February and two deep shafts have been sunk to allow a tunnelling machine to be sent under the river, a spokesperson said.
Severn Trent said a car park at Nantwich Lake would be closed while the work is carried out.
The whole project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.