Thames Tideway Tunnel (London)
The Thames Tideway Tunnel is a proposed solution to London’s sewage overflows into the River Thames. The $5.8 billion, 15.5-mile tunnel will descend 213 feet below ground, running from Acton to the Abbey Mills Pumping Station in Stratford, essentially under the river. It will collect diluted sewage that currently pollutes the Thames.
Thames Water customers will pay for the tunnel through their water and sewerage bills. Engineers originally designed London’s sewers to overflow about 12 times a year; however, it now happens around 60 times instead. Combined-sewer overflow sites pollute the Thames, and London is in violation of European standards for handling waste water.
The project is currently underway. Planning approval was given in 2014, financing secured in 2015, and tunneling began in 2017. Completion is expected by 2023.
When the tunnel was first proposed in 2005, it was estimated to cost $2.3 billion. The current estimate is triple that. Professor Chris Binnie, who led the original study in 2005, now says the project is a waste of money.
The tunnel will be owned by a new company, Thames Tideway Tunnel Ltd., a unit of “infrastructure provider” Bazalgette Tunnel Ltd. The firm will be paid for building, operating and maintaining the super sewer. Once the tunnel is finished, the company will supply sewerage services to Thames Water on a 125-year concession.
Angelica Obioha, Infrastructure-Info Staff
The Guardian » The original assessor who backed plans for a multibillion-pound super-sewer beneath the river Thames has said his decision was based on incorrect information, as crews begin work on the project. Chris Binney, the chairman of the 2005 steering group that recommended the Thames Tideway tunnel as the solution to London’s wastewater problems, has questioned whether it was worth the estimated $5.8 billion cost.
U.K. Construction » The Thames Tideway Tunnel project has taken another step forward this week with the official announcement of contracts for three joint ventures. A procurement process managed by Thames Water selected the winning ventures with the companies announced as preferred contractors earlier this year.
Gizmag »The Thames Tideway Tunnel is a $6.3 billion public-private partnership (P3) project to build a 16-mile tunnel to reduce the amount of sewage leaked into the River Thames from 1.4 billion cubic feet to 84.8 million cubic feet per year. Completion of the tunnel is expected by 2023 with tunnel boring scheduled to begin in 2017. This article tells the history of London’s current sewer system, explains the need for the Thames Tideway Tunnel project, and includes a video summarizing the project.