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Work begins on £65M East London wastewater tunnel

Work to bore a 3.3km tunnel under West Ham in London started today as part of a £65M scheme to protect more than 600 homes from sewer flooding.

The 2.8m diameter sewer will runs 20m below ground from Thames Water’s Abbey Mills sewage pumping station to Forest Gate. It is due to be completed in Spring 2010.

The tunnel will link with the existing sewer network by taking sewage flows directly to Abbey Mills. In addition, 5km of sewers leading to the tunnel will be enlarged and modernised under the scheme.

“More than 600 properties in this area have suffered sewer flooding in recent years as climate change leads to less frequent but heavier rainfalls which can overwhelm the sewer system as it feeds into already-full drains,” said Thames Water project manager Steve Lousley.

“Sewer flooding is extremely unpleasant. That’s why we’re putting Forest Gate residents’ minds at rest by boring a tunnel - one you could drive a large van down - to take increased sewage flows to Abbey Mills pumping station during times of heavy rainfall.”

Councillor Ian Corbett, Newham Council’s executive member for the public realm, said: “We welcome this scheme to modernise the sewers in West Ham which will help protect households from the misery of sewer flooding. We’re working closely with Thames Water to ensure this vital work is carried out with the minimum of disruption to motorists and residents.”

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