News story

Thames Tideway Tunnel to bring benefits worth up to almost £13bn

New figures show the benefits of the new state-of-the-art tunnel

Photo credit: Stewart Turkington
Minister Rory Stewart visits Lee Tunnel (Photo credit: Stewart Turkington)

The new state-of-the-art Thames Tideway Tunnel is set to bring environmental benefits worth up to almost £13bn, the Environment Minister Rory Stewart has announced.

New figures show the benefits of the tunnel, which include preventing millions of tonnes of sewage flowing into the river every year, improving water quality to better protect our precious marine wildlife and creating a cleaner river for all to enjoy.

Work on the tunnel is set to begin next summer and will update the capital’s 150-year-old sewerage system now operating close to capacity, resulting in sewage overflowing into the river on average once a week.

Environment Minister Rory Stewart said:

London is one of the most dynamic cities in the world and it is vital we have a river that is not filled with sewage every time there is heavy rainfall.

This new research reveals the tunnel will bring up to £13bn worth of benefits to the capital’s natural environment. It will prevent millions of tonnes of sewage flowing into the river every year and it will mean we will have cleaner water for all to enjoy and improved water quality to better protect the Thames’ precious marine wildlife.

The tunnel is an excellent example of world-leading British engineering at its best as well as boosting economic growth and generating thousands of jobs.

To announce these new figures, Minister Rory Stewart visited the Lee Tunnel at Abbey Mills Pumping Station. Spanning four miles beneath the London Borough of Newham, from Abbey Mills to Beckton, the Lee Tunnel is London’s deepest-ever tunnel will prevent more than 16 million tonnes of sewage mixed with rainwater overflowing into the River Lee and Thames Tideway each year.

Martin Baggs, Chief Executive Officer, Thames Water, said:

Our programme of London Tideway improvements including updating our sewage works, building the Lee Tunnel and then the Thames Tideway Tunnel will help make London’s sewerage system fit for the 21st Century. Beyond delivering the benefits of a cleaner river, a healthier environment and allowing us to harness more renewable energy from wastewater, this programme of investment will help many thousands of people forge a career in improving our Capital’s infrastructure.

The Thames Tideway Tunnel project represents an excellent solution to cleaning up the river and great value for money for our customers.

More details can be found here

Published 5 November 2015