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Last reviewed: 27.1.2016 - 2.44pm
This major construction programme across our works at Beckton, Crossness, Mogden, Long Reach and Riverside, significantly reduced untreated discharges of storm sewage to the River Thames after rainfall by increasing the amount of sewage the sites can treat by between 40 to 60 percent.
Individually, just one of the five upgrades was as big as any ever carried out on a sewage treatment works in in the UK. Effectively, we constructed brand new sewage treatment works on existing sites.
This increased capacity, alongside more stringent effluent quality standards, is increasing oxygen levels in the Thames – improving conditions for fish, allowing aquatic life to flourish and making the river safer to use.
All of this was achieved while dealing with challenges as diverse as relocating protected species, such as water voles, for the duration of the construction and dealing with an unexploded Second World War bomb, which took the army bomb disposal experts four attempts to detonate.
The amount of renewable energy produced on the sites has been increased by building wind turbines and a thermal hydrolysis plant, while installing major power upgrades requiring close collaboration with the network provider.
We also embraced innovative construction techniques new to the water industry. At Beckton and Crossness we used offsite build techniques for most of our treatment tanks and several buildings, reducing construction time by around 50 per cent and safety risks.
This ‘flat packed’ construction at Beckton, saved over 100,000 hours and 60 labourers on site, was quicker, better value and most importantly safer than before.
The five sites serve over 7.5m Londoners – three of these are the UK’s largest sewage works – and have been designed to accommodate population growth until 2021.