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New River Eade Road Refurbishment

The New River was completed at the start of the 17th century, in 1613, so it isn’t new at all. It’s also not a river: it’s an aqueduct, built to bring drinking water from Hertfordshire to North London. 

It remains an essential part of London's water supply, carrying up to 220 million litres over 20 miles along the channel each day for treatment. This represents some eight per cent of London's daily water consumption.

In addition to carrying our water supply, starting in 1992 we worked with local people and organisations to create a 28-mile (45km) path following the course of the New River, linking the inner city with the countryside.

Our New River team are the custodians of this river, with a team that is dedicated to the upkeep of it. Half of our current team have over 30 years’ experience of working on this aqueduct.

An image of the New River

Our work

The Eade Road section of the New River Aqueduct is leaking, losing water and gradually eroding the embankment. Small-scale repairs have been carried out to date to maintain the New River.

Previous drainage works have diverted leaked water into the sewer network to prevent flooding along Eade Road but have not addressed the root cause of the leakage. You can view the current assessment of leakage through the New River Embankment flow assessment. 

We are looking to refurbish a section of the New River channel at Eade Road, between Green Lanes and Seven Sisters Road, to prevent leakage and extend the life of this key asset.

The intended solution is to install sheet piles on the northern embankment of the New River for the majority of the length, with short concrete-lined sections where we have utility service crossings. You can view a sketch of the solution

location of works at eade road

Planned programme 

Early environmental mitigation is tentatively planned to start in November/December 2023, with construction planned to start on site in April/May 2024. Duration on site is expected to be nine months.

Removing reeds is critical to the aqueduct’s functioning. The next planned date for this operational maintenance work is the week commencing February 5 2024.