5 New Public Spaces Will Be Created By The Super Sewer

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 32 months ago
5 New Public Spaces Will Be Created By The Super Sewer
Blackfriars: hiding a 24 metre wide shaft will be this new piece of foreshore. Blackfriars will also get a new pier to replace the exisiting Millennium Pier.
Blackfriars: hiding a 24 metre wide shaft will be this new piece of foreshore. Blackfriars will also get a new pier to replace the exisiting Millennium Pier.
Albert Embankment: reclaimed land will appear underneath and either side of Vauxhall Bridge, with benches so we can admire the view to Millbank while remembering the poo flowing 48 metres beneath us.
Albert Embankment: reclaimed land will appear underneath and either side of Vauxhall Bridge, with benches so we can admire the view to Millbank while remembering the poo flowing 48 metres beneath us.
King Edward Memorial Park: this Shadwell park will, after a few years of having part of it closed for construction, end up with a new area of reclaimed land.
King Edward Memorial Park: this Shadwell park will, after a few years of having part of it closed for construction, end up with a new area of reclaimed land.
Putney: this little jutting jetty will hide the shaft connecting the sewer overflow to the main sewer.
Putney: this little jutting jetty will hide the shaft connecting the sewer overflow to the main sewer.
Victoria: this new site south of Hungerford Bridge should be complete by 2021. There'll be a pergola to lounge under on sunny days.
Victoria: this new site south of Hungerford Bridge should be complete by 2021. There'll be a pergola to lounge under on sunny days.

You'll have heard about the super sewer, Thames Water's controversial plan to upgrade London's ability to deal with our poo. You'll probably have heard how it's going to add £80 a year to our water bills, cause disruption during the work, and possibly seen some reports about it being a colossal waste of money (£4.2bn) or, in a candidate for hyperbole of the year, Southwark council's leader calling a related planning decision "ludicrous and evil". But did you also know it's going to create three acres of public space along the river?

In much the same way as Victoria Embankment was created because of Bazalgette's Victorian sewer, several new bits of land will appear over the next decade — you can read more about them in the images above. (Fans of ventilation shafts will celebrate the addition of many more to the landscape.)

The sewer is needed because London's population is way over what Bazalgette had in mind — he designed for four million residents which, given the city's population at the time was two million, he doubtless thought was fine — but we're now at a record 8.6 million and counting. That's a lot of people using the loo and in 2013, 55m tonnes of storm sewerage ended up in the Thames because the system couldn't manage. Which is grim.

Planning permission for the super sewer (or the Thames Tideway Tunnel, to give it its posh name) was granted last year and financing is expected to be in place by summer. Assuming everything goes to plan, work will start in 2016 and be finished by 2023.

Last Updated 20 February 2015

Mark

More to the point, it's also going to stop us dumping our untreated, raw, smelly poo *into the River Thames* when there are heavy rains - as happens about 50 times a year at the moment.

Surely this alone is reason enough to invest?

Guestersizor

One thing you can't see visualised is the smell. In the PR release, is there any mention of whether there will be smells hanging around these public places / ventilation shafts?

ric

pretty uninspiring 'spaces'. We can do better than that, no?

Karen Liebreich

These "three acres of public space" we are supposedly gaining are taken from the existing open space of the River Thames, one of London's major assets.

Emily Shirley

If the concrete sewer goes ahead, it will remove acres of Metropolitan Open Land forever from public use. And actually, the sewer is not needed at all. It must be the biggest London spin ever..

According to the latest information gleaned from the Environment Agency by FOI, the recent upgrades to the sewage treatment works and the completion of the Lee tunnel will meet the water quality standards required by Europe.

What London needs is a resilient solution to address air pollution, drought, flooding and health. That is integrated water resource management which treats rainwater as a resource rather than turn it into sewage. Integrated water resource management is now best practice world wide but shunned by Thames Water and the Corporate hugging Government. The profits would not be so large for the poor beleaguered offshore shareholders.

pianowerk

I'm surprised there is not a large new open space created by the super sewr right outside the Houses of Parliament. Super site lots of space and a constant supply of well, sewage.

Paul

I someone trying to tell us that we benefit from all this upheaval in more ways than one? Until we need another major revamp in 50 or so, years time?

Greg Tingey

All very pretty, but ... they are continuing to narrow the river itself.
Is this such a good idea?

OTOH, those opposing the sewer need their heads examined - it is long overdue as a civic & public hygeine necessity

Roland Gilmore

Oh dear Mark; you seem to be another gullible punter who has fallen for Thames Water propaganda.
It is not an "investment" but a scam!
The sensible solution is to prevent and delay that rain from entering the Inner London combined sewers in the first place. This has and is being done in other cities with exactly the same problem all over the world because it is better, quicker and cheaper than tunnels. These modern techniques result in multiple benefits to health, air quality, employment, climate change resilience, crime reduction and sewer flooding while improving the urban environment and sense of well being.
Thames Water has lied and the government are in regulatory capture which is how we have come to the current, ridiculous, unsustainable situation that is being challenged in the courts.
If you are one of Thames Water's 5.4 million domestic bill payers, rich or poor, you will be compelled to pay over £4,000 over the coming years for this scam and for what?
The Tideway is that colour because it is tidal with sediment churned up twice a day by the tides and NOT because of "poo".

Roland Gilmore

The population figures given here are nonsense and demonstrate a complete lack of knowledge. The combined sewers are only found in what was the Metropolitan Water Board area i.e. Inner London. The population of Inner London was 3.2 million at the last census not 8.6 million. This is typical of Thames Water's propaganda, repeated by lazy journalists.

Thames Water's Water Resource Management Plan to 2040 takes account of population growth and shows water demand declining. Lower demand = less drainage. It will not be until about 2080 at the earliest that sewer levels return to the levels of 2006.

At one area alone, Barn Elms, Thames Water are acquiring 10 acres of what is currently Metropolitan Open Space or Green Belt for their tunnel. The notion that valuable public space is being created by Thames Water is pure nonsense. It is actually a net loss and adds to the constriction of the river.
Sir Joseph Bazalgette was a pioneering engineer who used the latest technology available to him all those years ago. If alive today, he would be livid with the government and Thames Water for not using the best technologies around today.

JohnnyFox

That is some serious shit :-)

Howard S

Far better public spaces than the proposed and preposterous Garden Bridge.

Ernst Blowfelt

Glad to see that us "Subsidy Junkies" are taking your sh1t, just a shame you didn't route it to Westminster