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£250M flood scheme's storm sewer scrapped

Sewage collector pipe 3x2

A proposed storm sewer for a £250M London flood alleviation scheme has been cancelled after the “highly disruptive and expensive” tunnel was found to be unnecessary.

In December New Civil Engineer reported that the west London Counters Creek scheme had been delayed due to a construction clash with Tideway at its Grade-II listed Cremorne Wharf site. Thames Water was expected to apply for planning permission for the sewer early in 2017.

Now it appears the sewer element of the scheme has been cancelled altogether after a Thames Water review found existing sewers were performing better than expected. It is not clear how this will affect the overall cost of the scheme.

“Over the past year, we’ve worked intensively to fully review our proposals for the Counters Creek scheme, using innovative, investigative and network modelling methods to capture flooding information,” said Thames Water managing director for wholesale wastewater Lawrence Gosden.

“As a result of the extensive review, we’ve found the current sewer network has performed better than expected at times of high flows during storms. This means we’re able to protect our customers from flooding without the need for a highly disruptive and expensive tunnel, and therefore we will not progress plans for the strategic sewer element of the scheme.”

Proposals for the scheme had shown a 5km long, 4m wide storm relief sewer system that would connect to an existing sewer and collect excess storm water. The water would then flow into the Thames Tideway Tunnel at its Cremorne Wharf site in Lots Road, Fulham, once the storm had passed.

Space has been ringfenced at the site to ensure the sewer relief system could go ahead in future if demand changes.

The sewer would have helped address flooding in west London. Other aspects of the scheme will continue: so far three sustainable drainage schemes (SUDs) have been created and more than 1,000 FLIPS (small pumps to get rid of household sewage and rainwater) have been installed in residents’ homes.

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