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Last reviewed: 28.10.2013 - 1.47pm
We are carrying out an £85m upgrade at Riverside Sewage Works in east London as part of a major scheme to help improve water quality.
The project has so far involved providing additional treatment processes to improve the quality of treated effluent returned to the River Thames and to meet new Environment Agency standards. This has been introduced to help boost oxygen levels in the tidal stretches of the river, improving water quality and habitats for fish.
On top of this, the plant will be equipped to turn solid waste, left behind after treatment, into enough renewable energy to power the entire site. This will be done through anaerobic digestion, where solid waste is broken down in enclosed tanks in the absence of oxygen. The process generates biogas which can be used to generate renewable energy to use on site.
To ensure no additional odour on site, we will install tried and tested technology as well as covering up key parts of the plant.
We will also build a new wetland area at Riverside to attract species such as water voles and birds as well as enhance the existing lagoon, including building bat boxes and planting trees and shrubs.
A thermal hydrolysis plant (THP) is currently under construction. This industrial-scale ‘pressure cooker’ will heat sludge, the leftover solids from wastewater treatment, to around 160 °C, in order to produce up to 50 per cent more biogas, which is then burnt to create heat to generate renewable energy.
The upgrade at Riverside, located in Rainham, is due for completion in 2014.