Water

Thames Tideway Tunnel

Storm water overflow is a major cause of poor water quality in urban rivers. When there's heavy rainfall, the combined sewers in London discharge directly into the River Thames. Although diluted by the rain, the overflow contains untreated sewage as well as water run-off from roads, hard surfaces, gullies and drains. The ‘first flush’ of storm water is particularly polluted.  

In London, a large-scale engineering project has begun to capture most of the storm water overflow and divert it into a massive holding tunnel under the Thames. The waste water is then pumped to Beckton Sewage Treatment Works to be treated before being released.

In Southwark, there are three construction sites related to the building of the Thames Tideway Tunnel - Chambers Wharf, Shad Thames Pumping Station and Earl Pumping Station. For more information on this project, visit the Tideway website.

Page last updated: 18 September 2017