Tunnelling of £635M Lee Tunnel reaches Abbey Mills
Thames Water says the tunnel machine digging a four-mile long sewer from Beckton to Abbey Mills has reached its final destination on time and on budget. The tunnelling started in two years ago, with the 120m long machine cutting through layers of chalk and flint at extreme groundwater pressures to create London's deepest tunnel.
When in full working action in 2015 the £635M Lee Tunnel will help prevent millions of tonnes of raw sewage entering the River Lee. The tunnel will act as a storage tank before transferring the flows to Beckton sewage works, which is being expanded by a further 60% to deal with the increased volumes.
Martin Baggs, chief executive of Thames Water, said: “It is unacceptable in modern-day London to have raw sewage entering the River Lee. The completion of this tunnelling work is an important milestone within our long-term plans to improve London’s sewer system. We’re immensely proud of this project, delivered on time and on budget, to clean up the River Lee.
As well as the clear environmental benefits, the project has provided jobs for both local people and engineering experts from across the world, allowing London to show it is a leader in engineering technology.”
The Lee Tunnel is the first of two tunnels, along with the Thames Tideway Tunnel which is currently being examined by the Planning Inspectorate, designed to combat the tens of millions of tonnes of sewage that spill into the River Thames every year.
Howard Davidson, regional director of the Environment Agency, said: “By tackling sewage discharges from London’s largest combined sewer outfall at Abbey Mills pumping station, the successful completion of the Lee Tunnel will protect ecology, tackle aesthetic pollution and minimise the health risk to people using rivers in the Lower Lee."
Programme management firm CH2MHill, along with tunnelling contractor MVB, the joint venture between civil engineering contractors Morgan Sindall, VINCI Construction Grands Projets and Bachy Soletanche, completed the tunnelling work on January 26.
- Welsh Water targets Cardiff with 'Let's Stop the Block' campaign A Cardiff-wide campaign has been launched by Dwr Cymru Welsh Water (DCWW) to encourage people to help reduce the risk of... Read More >
- UU fined £75,000 for environmental permit breaches United Utilities (UU) should be fined £75,000 for breaching environmental permitting regulations at Davyhulme Wastewater... Read More >
- Castleford firm fined £9K for unauthorised water discharge A Castleford engineering company has been fined £9,000 and ordered to pay £2,415.03 in costs over a pollution incident... Read More >
- Rewarding excellence WWT content director Alec Peachey looks ahead to next year's Water Industry Awards. Read More >
- Getting to the heart of sewer repair Wessex Water's award-winning Re-Rounder, inspired by heart surgery techniques, helps get deformed sewer networks back into... Read More >
- Through the keyhole: The King's Scholars' Pond project The use of keyhole engineering on Thames Water's King's Scholars' Pond project saved money and carbon while keeping London... Read More >
- Flushed with success: FOG and Unflushables Southern Water's FOG and Unflushables programme has brought a significant improvement in the state of its sewers. Robin... Read More >
- Will SfA8 make as big a splash as hoped? Martin Lambley, product manager for stormwater management at Wavin, looks at whether Sewers for Adoption 8 will meet... Read More >