Oval Partnership Briefing Note

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Thames Tunnel

In extreme weather, London’s sewerage system was designed to overflow into the Thames.  Increased demand on the system over the years now means that rainfall as little as 2mm can trigger this overflow.  On average, this happens once per week - 39 million tonnes of sewage per year.  To help prevent this, Thameswater have three major engineering projects underway.




The Thames Tunnel is the most ambitious - a 20 mile long sewer up to 75 metres underground.  It will connect up to 34 of the worst overflowing sewers thereby helping to improve the Thames.  The picture below shows some of the rigs working on the tunnel (lets hope the work doesn’t damage the ancient timbers along the foreshore.