Friday, 27 May 2011

Thursday thunder leads to 130,000 tons of sewage entering Thames at Hammersmith

A Heron at Hammersmith during the discharges on thursday
Thames Water have revealed, in the face of constant sniping from our Council about whether or not the Thames Tideway Tunnel is really necessary, that 130,000 tons of poo was flushed into the river in W6 as a result of the intense thunder storms we experienced over the Bush on Thursday.

That is 130,000 reasons why the new "super sewer" is needed and 130,000 reasons why our Council needs to grow up a bit about the issue. In fairness to them they have stopped misleading the public about the scheme potentially leading to residents being made homeless but who can forget that their original campaign against the scheme rested on their desire to "save" Furnival Gardens.

That is the same Furnival Gardens the same Council now wish to concrete over a third of with a bridge linking the park to two giant blocks of luxury flats in King Street, in the teeth of opposition from local people. Which is why people like me, who were taken in by the Council's dishonesty over Furnival Gardens and called on you to support them as a result, find it hard to believe anything they say on the subject anymore.

The basic point about our sewers is that they can't cope. Modern sewers separate rainwater and sewage into different pipes but the Victorian ones we have cannot, and in any case were not designed for a city that has had 150 years to grow in size and population. They overflow regularly into the river and sometimes back up into people's homes, including even as far up from the river as the Askew Road.

It's a hugely expensive project and there are legitimate questions to be asked about how much of the burden London taxpayers should bear alone - but there is surely now no case to answer on the question of whether we need it or not.

And if you're really interested read about my own trip down into London's sewers here - there is a whole new world down there, that very few people up top ever get to see!


  1. Yes, every so often Thames Water have to cleanse the Thames of life. We need the "super sewer" now, this cannot keep happening. Too bad that H&F council have mislead people so badly, rather than leading a rational discussion about this.

  2. Could we start a "Don't shit in our river" pressure group to fight those that can't accept a bit of construction in their backyard for the public good?

    I want the super sewer. ASAP!


  3. Interesting to see that The H&F News is now carrying anti-tunnel propaganda, presumably under instruction of the council:

  4. The sewers drain down every 3 or 4 days into the sewage treatment plants in Mogden, Deephams, Beckton et al.. We have about 3 million people whose sewers might terminate in the river stretch of W6. So your 130,000 tonnes estimate would mean we each poo 15kg per day in stead of the 800 grammes average. You have to watch out for Thames Water propaganda. Macquarie Bank the owners will make about £4bn over the next 30 years from the tunnel construction. They have an enormous incentive to get the project approved. Think before you quote. (PS - I know as I work for Thames Water)