Becton Sewage works is to get a £60m investment to cover the most odorous sections of the Europe’s largest sewer works.

The sewage plant in East London has already seen the start of major works in March this year to increase their capacity by about 60%. This is so the system can cope with extra rainfall so the sewage works will not be overloaded and discharge into the River Thames. When the sewer works are currently overloaded, there is no where else for the extra water to go, so the rainwater and sewer water is discharged through overflow vents.

The new £60 project will see covers fitted to the 16 primary settlement tanks to filter the air before it is released into the surrounding environment. The primary tanks are the size of ten football pitches, so it will be no mean feat to install covers over them. The works will start in 2011 and will be completed in 2015.

The chief operating officer at Thames Water Steve Shine stated:

“This project will reduce odour emissions by around 70 per cent by 2015, making a substantial difference to local residents.

“As well as covering the settlement tanks at Beckton, we are going to install special odour-eater machines to gobble up the smelly air which sometimes comes off them.

“We have earmarked more than £350m to improve Beckton over the next five years in order to serve the future needs of London and deliver significant environmental benefits.”

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