Thames Tideway Tunnel to improve river health and benefit community, they tell WSBF

On Tuesday 11th December, Thames Tideway Tunnel hosted the WSBF at their Chambers Wharf information centre. Tideway gave three presentations looking at the context and history of the TTT project, the environmental impact, and the community and legacy work of the project. 

In the past, the River Thames was very polluted. In Victorian times, the smell from the pollution was so bad it disrupted the sitting of Parliament in 1858, and Queen Victoria and Alfred had to cancel a boat trip. The River is in much better health now, but the sewer system is well overcapacity, and raw sewage still washes into the Thames causing pollution. It became clear that a new super sewer would be needed to be dug under London to solve the problem. As a major construction and waste project, Tideway is of great interest to the WSBF, so we wanted to see how the project was developing.

The TTT project began planning in the early 2000s, with the project planned to be finished in 2023/24 and costing £4.2bn. The main findings from the visit were:

  • The Thames Tideway Tunnel project is currently on time and to budget. The project is costing £4.2bn and due to be completed in 2023. The project is being financed by a levy on Thames Water bills of £14 per person per year.
  • To make the project sustainable, Tideway has used sustainable procurement of materials where possible, and targets for reducing the carbon footprint. The steel and timber used for construction are from sustainable UK sources. Tideway has moved most of construction materials and site spoil by river, to reduce traffic disruption and danger to road users. Efforts have also been made to reduce plastics and disposable coffee cups on site.
  • Tideway have promoted community activities such as cleaning up of the river Thames foreshore, in an effort to remove plastics and litter from the environment and reconnect communities with the river. This has an environmental and public relations benefit.

Please read the fully summary from the visit attached. Thanks again for having us Tideway.

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