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Tunnelling machine set for Beckton sewage works run

A tunnel boring machine named Beckton Becky has been lowered into position 20m below ground in London, as part of a £190M project to extend one of Europe’s largest sewage treatment works.

The expansion, which started in spring 2010 and is due for completion in 2014, will enable the site to treat additional flows from the Lee Tunnel — a new 6.4km long sewer, currently under construction.

Beckton sewage works in east London is being upgraded to enable the site to treat 60% more sewage, so it can fully treat increased flows during heavy rainfall, preventing the site becoming overloaded and discharging into the River Thames.

Beckton Becky will spend the next two months tunnelling for 750m, below the sewage works. Once complete the tunnel will transport final effluent from the new extension to meet up with the existing effluent channel on the east side of the works. 

The Beckton upgrade is nearing the half-way line to completion, with almost all of the supporting foundations for the additional treatment tanks in place. A 350-strong workforce remains on site and have finished creating over half of the tanks. From March the focus of activity will be shifting from mainly civil engineering — including building foundations and tanks, to mechanical and electrical installation to get the tanks up and running.

Tamesis – a Joint Venture between Laing O’Rourke and IMTECH is working with Thames Water to extend Beckton. The tunnel shaft was created by Joseph Gallagher Group.

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