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Historic London water infrastructure opened to public

This summer Thames Water will open up a dozen of its key operational sites to the public, including Sir Joseph Bazalgette’s original pumping station at Abbey Mills in Stratford.

Maple Lodge Sewage Works in Rickmansworth, Walthamstow water treatment works, and Slough and Swindon sewage works will all open their doors to the public for Thames Water open days.

Thames Water is also taking part in Open House London – a city-wide celebration of the capital’s buildings and neighbourhoods − by opening up a range of historic sites including the 400-year-old aqueduct at New River Head in Islington.

Abbey Mills Pumping Station, Walthamstow Reservoirs, 400-year-old aqueduct the New River, Westminster’s Western Pumping Station, King George V Reservoir pump house, Victorian beam engines designed by Sir Joseph Bazalgette at Crossness Engines Trust, Kew Bridge Steam Museum and the world’s largest fully operational Triple Expansion Steam Engine at Kempton Great Engines Trust − known as “The Sir William Prescott” − will all be accessible as part of Open House London.

Thames Water chief operating officer Steve Shine said: “We operate 100 water treatment works, 265 reservoirs, 288 pumping stations and 350 sewage works.

“Opening up some of our sites provides a unique opportunity for our customers who are curious to know more about what we do, to see it for themselves.

“We’ve given small tours at many of our sites in the past but nothing on this scale.”

Sir Joseph Bazalgette’s original pumping station at Abbey Mills generates the most requests for site visits from Thames Water customers each year.

The Walthamstow Reservoirs are the largest man-made body of water in London.

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