UK Government

Tower Hamlets, London Borough of (London): Thames Water’s listening

News   •   Sep 15, 2010 12:48 BST

Tower Hamlets residents are being encouraged to have their say in a London-wide consultation on a new project to help prevent millions of litres of dirty water from draining into the River Thames each year.

Thames Water is proposing a new tunnel to transfer overflowing sewage to the sewerage treatments works at Beckton. Two of the overflow points that will be connected by the tunnel are located in the river wall in Tower Hamlets, one at King Edward Memorial Park and the other at the rear of Narrow Street.

The council has been working with Thames Water to prepare plans which minimise the disruption likely to be caused to residents by the works. This has led to proposals for works at King Edward Memorial Park being carried out on a platform in the River Thames. This is a preferred site option for the Project and avoids an alternative option of using most of the park as a worksite for six years. While a small amount of the park will still be affected, this proposal offers a much better solution for residents and will provide additional park space once the work on the tunnel is complete.

Thames Water has also improved the engineering methodology to further minimise the impact the works will have on residents across London following discussions with Local Authorities.

The main structure of the London drainage system was designed and installed in the Victorian era. Part of the legacy is a series of major sewers which still serve the whole of London. They collect dirty water from homes and businesses, as well as surface water from roofs and roads.

When there is heavy rain, the additional rain water starts to overwhelm parts of the system, resulting in the untreated sewage overflowing into the Thames. This is why Thames Water is working up plans to carry out improvement works which meet the requirements of the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive.

The public consultation started on Monday 13 September and Thames Water aims to submit a planning application in 2012. Through the consultation residents will be able to begin to understand the impact that the proposed works could have on these areas. Residents will be able to consider the difference between the options preferred by Thames Water for the route and worksites and others which have been short listed. The council encourages residents to feedback to Thames Water their views on the options being put forward.

Residents can visit to find out more information about the plans and have their say.

A public consultation exhibition will take place between 18 and 20 October at John Scurr Community Centre, Bekesbourne Street, E14 7JQ, between 10.30am and 8pm.


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