August 2016 -

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Sheffield Wakeboarders Tackle Victorian Storm Drains

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

Wakeboarding in Sheffield DrainsStunning video captures secret subterranean adventure paradise

A new urban drainage project in London is old news in Sheffield. Their storm drains, dating from the 1800s, provide the latest challenge for local adventurers.

Thames Water has recently unveiled a £14 million project to build massive storm drains beneath the new Nine Elms Park. The plan forms part of the broader regeneration project on the South Bank that includes the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station and the construction of two new London Underground stations. The biggest sustainable urban drainage system in the UK, the project is good news for residents and business owners, for whom blocked drains in London are an increasing concern. The new storm drains will capture rainwater falling on an area equivalent to 20 football pitches and route it directly into the River Thames via a pumping station. This will negate the need for it to pass through London’s system of sewers and sewage treatment plants, which are already overstretched. However, while this sounds like a 21st Century green innovation, the idea of storm drains that work in this way dates back hundreds of years.  And as well as providing an essential means of preventing flooding, some of the subterranean networks that have come and gone have now become popular with urban explorers.


It might sound like something from a science fiction film, but Megatron is the popular name by which those in the know refer to the massive storm drain below Sheffield City Centre. Sheffield's sewer and drainage system was constructed in the 1870s, with further major works carried out in 1910. It operated till the 1960s, when the city council decided to build a new sewer to serve the inner part of Sheffield. This led to 26 unsatisfactory storm sewage overflows

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Rainwater falling on Central London to be drained straight into the Thames, preventing flooding

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Rainwater falling on Nine Elms in the heart of the city is to be drained straight into the Thames to prevent flooding. Last month saw the unveiling of a radical environmental initiative at the South Bank zone being transformed between Vauxhall and Battersea Power Station, Nine Elms. With a hefty price tag of £14 million, the latest project is the largest sustainable urban drainage system in the UK. Using landscaping and new buildings to capture the rainwater, the water will be channelled into large pipes buried beneath the new Nine Elms park development. The water will then be pumped into the Thames through a new pumping station. Many eco-friendly features such green roofs, swales and streets with rainwater gardens that allow water to evaporate (meaning less volume flowing into the river) have been added to the project to further reduce the flood risk. As well as reducing the risk of flooding, the project has many benefits. The move will reduce pollution and eliminate the need to treat the water to decreasing the pressure on our sewers. “The latest sustainable urban drainage project, although expensive, is vital to ensuring that we are reducing the risk of flooding in London,” explains Fraser Ruthven, Head of Marketing and Growth at London Drainage. “With the arrival of the US embassy to the area, the development of Battersea Power Station into a living space and two new tube stations that are currently under construction, the project is a welcome addition to the Nine Elms area. It is extremely important that precautions are taken to ensure as little pressure as possible is put on our sewers.” For more information on the drainage planning and maintenance services offered by London Drainage, please contact the company directly.

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