“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:
- 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.
- C02 emissions will be produced, from pumping effluent, causing a environmental impact, in addition to areas such as parks and brownfield sites being utilised.
- 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: