'Super Sewer' Gets the Green Light
2.6 km tunnel to be built between Acton and Chiswick Mall
The Government has given the go ahead to a £4.2 billion tunnel under the Thames that aims to end the need to pump excess sewage into the river.
Thames Water say the scheme is essential to stop sewage overspilling into the Thames during periods of high rainfall and claim last year it could have stopped 97% of such sewage spills. Whereas opponents say the work will cause major disruption near tunneling sites and insist there are better options.
The tunnel will run from the Acton Storm Tanks to the Abbey Mills pumping station, in east London. It will involve the building of a 2.6km tunnel which maps on the consultation document suggest will pass under Abinger Road, Welstead Way, Netheravon Road and Chiswick Mall. When completed the sewer overflow at Chiswick Eyot will be closed improving water quality in the river significantly.
Thames Water plan to use parts of their existing pumping station and storm water tanks site (adjacent to Canham Road, W3 off Warple Way) for construction work. They also want to build a ventilation chimney on the site. This five storey structure is likely to be visible from neighbouring streets.
Planned tunnel under Chiswick
The cost of the tunnel will be passed on to householders and it is estimated that this could increase bills by as much as £80 per year.
Announcing the Government’s decision, Mr Pickles said: “This is a challenging infrastructure project, but it is clear that the Thames Tunnel will help modernise London’s ageing Victorian sewerage system, and make the River Thames cleaner and safer.”
Thames Water reported that last year, 55m tonnes of sewage polluted the tidal River Thames, far higher than the average 39m tonnes that discharges in a typical year. They say this was due to the exceptionally wet weather, which caused the combined sewerage system that London has, collecting rain water and sewage water from drains, to fill up and pour into the river even more than normal.
Thames Water Chief Executive, Andy Mitchell said, “Hardly a week goes by when untreated sewage isn't pouring in to London’s river and we are pleased that we can now start to tackle this archaic problem.
He continued,“This is a huge project but it’s a huge problem, and we can now get on with tackling it. It’s no easy task, but we’re confident that we can deliver this project and still achieve our aim of minimising the impact on our customer bills.”
How the Warple Way site could look after construction has finished
June 15, 2012