The Thames Tunnel is Thames Water’s most ambitious project yet. The Tunnel, when complete, will make sewage discharges in the River Thames a thing of the past.
Currently when as little as 2mm of rain falls on the capital, the Victorian sewers, which carry sewage and rainwater, cannot cope. To stop the system overflowing into the streets, Thames Water currently release this ‘overflow’ into the River Thames. In a standard year there are around 50 overflow events and around 39 million tonnes of sewage is disposed of this way.
The new tunnel will be built to take away the sewage from the 34 most polluting sewer outlets and take this to Beckton Sewage Works where it will be treated. The final route the tunnel will take has not yet been decided, but there are three potential routes currently in the running.
It is estimated that the cost to build the super sewer will be approximately £3.6bn. The second phase of the tunnel consulattion process has been delayed slightly but is expected to commence at the beginning of November.