London Houses Mistakenly Draining Wee Into Rivers

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 94 months ago
London Houses Mistakenly Draining Wee Into Rivers

pipes180710.jpg It seems that unscrupulous / lackadaisical property developers didn't bother to connect a row of town houses in Ealing to the main sewers when they were built ten years ago; Thames Water accidentally discovered that the buildings in Queens Walk were discharging their waste water (laundry, poo, etc) into the surface water drains - that then run into the river Brent. The effluent from fewer than ten houses, diluted with rainwater, won't have caused a huge amount of pollution, but if only it stopped there...

Thames Water reckons as many as one in ten London homes have some kind of misconnection, diverting one and a half Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of waste water through the surface water drains. Apparently a good way to tell is to see whether rainwater pipes are draining into the same gulley as the pipes from your washing machine et al. (Londonist just nipped outside for a look, and has come back in with a concerned look on its face.) As if we didn't have enough to worry about, what with the crumbling Victorian mains and fatbergs.

Last Updated 18 July 2010


Londonista, don't get too worried. In older houses the surface water often drains into the waste (foul) drain. Not vice versa.