A 30km tunnel to carry sewage and rain run-off out of central London and to the East End for treatment has been approved by the Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.
Environment minister Ian Pearson said that the tunnel would be used to prevent 52Mm3 of untreated sewage and rainwater polluting the Rivers Thames and Lea each year.'I think most Londoners would be shocked to hear that because of an historic but increasingly outdated sewer network a huge amount of untreated sewage and rainwater is spilling into the Thames at least once week. This is unacceptable,' he said.The project, to be delivered by 2019/20, will add around £37 to Thames Water sewerage bills by 2017. The announcement follows six years of work by a range of specialists, in particular the Thames Tideway Stategic Study by consultants Jacobs Babtie and Thames Water that recommends a major tunnel under the Thames.'Of course this is only the beginning of a long and challenging project and I have every confidence that this co-operation will provide a solid foundation as we work towards delivering the new tunnel for London,' said Pearson. 'This will inevitably mean some extra costs for customers, but it will deliver tangible benefits for London in the long term.'