Thames Water confirm plans for Fulham ‘super sewer’


Thames Water will be pushing ahead with the 20-mile long Thames Tunnel which will be needed to deal with excess rain flooding their sewer network.


By Asif Faruque

Plans to build the £4.1billion ‘super sewer’ in South Fulham were confirmed by Thames Water last week.

Thames Water executives confirmed on May 17 they will be pushing ahead with the 20-mile long Thames Tunnel, colloquially referred to as the ‘Super Sewer’, which will be needed to deal with the excess amount of rain flooding their sewer network.

The site was formally earmarked in November 2011 and is a drastic change from their original choice of the empty ground at Barn Elms in Putney.

“The super sewer is a prime example of the failure of sustainable water management in the UK. Instead of capturing the fresh rainwater and using it productively, Thames Water is allowing it to flow into the sewer network where it mixes with sewage causing problems for the River Thames,” said Councillor Nick Botterill, Deputy Leader for Hammersmith and Fulham Council.

Stop them Shafting Fulham (SSF) is a coalition of local campaigning groups, resident’ associations and societies that formed in response to the project.

Fulham resident Ann Rosenberg, who works closely with SSF, said: “The idea that Thames Water could come and establish their driveshaft at the bottom of the road and destroy this little community is uncomprehendable.”

The construction of the sewer will see homes in South Fulham, especially those in the tight-knit residential community of Carnwarth Road, blighted by noise, air and smell pollution.

The construction site for this sewer, which will be roughly the size of six football pitches, has sparked objections from over 3,000 local residents as well as the council who are against the sewer digging which will last for at least six years.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council have warned residents and Londoners that the project will cost an extra £80 a year on top of current bills and will come into effect from 2013.

The council have been supportive of the protestors, increasingly so considering that the council have no power to refuse permission for the super sewer.

Australian bank Macquarie, who own Thames Water, would be able to increase the value of the water company by 40% by building the tunnel.

A statement on the SSF website states: “Everyone agrees that the river sewage must be cleaned up, but many of us in the SSF coalition also believe that the case for the super sewer as the answer has not been made, either on cost or environmental sustainability grounds.”

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