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Victorian

Spectacular Sewers

Thanks to urban explorers and modern photographic technology, some of the most magnificent hidden engineering triumphs lying, hidden, beneath the streets of the world’s greatest cities have been recorded, in all their former glory, and posted online.

Below are some of Hydro Cleansing’s favorite snaps of sewers and drains, from London’s arched, Victorian Gothic drains, to still working ancient Roman systems and infamous giant storm drains.

Thames Tideway

“A cleaner, healthier River Thames is essential for the wellbeing of the city as a whole. The Thames Tideway Tunnel will ensure the country’s capital remains a flourishing business centre and tourist destination, protecting the city’s reputation around the world. The river is a great, under-used asset for the capital that must be protected.” – Thames Water

The Thames Tideway Tunnel is a major new project planned to increase the capacity of London’s Victorian sewage system and to prevent increasing pollution in the River Thames, from sewage overflows.

The demands of modern day London are unfortunately taking their toll on the current system and although built to last, it was never designed with the growth we are experiencing, in mind. Nearly 40 million tonnes of untreated sewage escapes into the River on average, a year and this is gradually increasing.

The estimated cost of the project was £3.6 billion, which has since risen to £4.1 billion, which excludes various other related works and upgrades. It is scheduled to be completed by 2023 and will make way for the UK to meet European environmental standards.

Thames Water, the Environmental Agency, DEFRA and the Greater London Authority have all been working together, devising the proposed project, which will comprise of a storage and transfer tunnel, under the Thames riverbed.

Like any major project it has received its fair share of negative press which is due to a number of reasons:

  1. Although the tunnel will prevent increasing pollution in the Thames and any sewage overflows, campaigners feel that it does not deal sufficiently enough with the increasing volume of sewage in the capital.
  2. C02 emissions will be produced, from pumping effluent, causing a environmental impact, in addition to areas such as parks and brownfield sites being utilised.
  3. The economic cost means that the average Thames Water customer’s bill could rise to over £50.

Whether in agreement or not the population of London, along with the Thames, do need action taken immediately as mentioned before, our current sewage system was never designed for the growth we are currently experiencing.

If you wish to find out more please view the short video below from Thames Water:

London’s Sewers

London’s sewer network originates from the Victorian era. Before the system was initially installed sewage was simply discharged into the River Thames which, believe it or not, was also the main source of drinking water for the capitals residents. Evidently this regularly created wide spread outbreaks of disease and combined with ‘The Great Stink’ of 1858, lead to the government’s plan to take action.

Works started in 1859 when Joseph Bazalgette, a top engineer, was drafted in to create the London sewer network. It was initially planned, when work commenced, to serve two and a half million people, but after completion it was already serving four million. Since this time widespread work has been carried out expanding the existing system for the ever increasing population, most recently the Thames Tideway Tunnel.

London is now Europe’s most densely populated metropolis, with the greatest level of growth and some of the oldest infrastructure. Today’s network now serves over 8 million people and it’s estimated that it could easily stretch the length of the earth. Here at Hydro Cleansing we offer clients a comprehensive service, helping to ensure that our sewer network is more than capable of handling everything that is thrown at it.

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London's SewersLondon's SewersLondon's Sewers

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