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Pumping station upgrade will protect Londoners from flooding

Thursday 4th November 2021 16:26

The generators which will be replaced as part of the project

The generators which will be replaced as part of the project.

A multi-million pound upgrade of a London pumping station will help protect residents in the capital from flooding during extreme weather.

The work at Folkestone Road pumping station in East Ham will see transformers, generators and storm pumps replaced to allow it to cope with the levels of wastewater flowing in to the site during heavy rainfall.

Folkestone Road is one of four strategic pumping stations along the Northern Outfall Sewer and feeds in to Beckton Sewage Treatment Works, the largest sewage works in Europe.

It currently deals with around 4,600 litres of wastewater per second, enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool in less than 10 minutes, and the works will ensure it can cope with these volumes by allowing the storm tanks to hold maximum capacity.

The £10 million scheme began earlier this month, with contractor Barhale carrying out initial investigations and ground surveys. The main project will start early next year and is due to be completed in October 2023.

Nigel Watts, Thames Water’s head of wastewater treatment, said: “This important project will help strengthen our wastewater network in London, protecting our customers from the devastating impact of sewer flooding.

“As we continue to see the effects of climate change and flash flooding becomes more frequent, it’s vital we play our part in helping to reduce flood risk, alongside partners such as local authorities and the Environment Agency.”

Ben Connis, design and engineering manager for Barhale, added: “Folkestone Road is a vital part of the infrastructure supporting Beckton sewage works, which serves most of North and East London.

“Having already been involved in previous upgrade works at Beckton, mainly in preparation to accept the flows from the Thames Tideway Tunnel, it’s a real feather in our caps to also be selected by Thames Water to upgrade the infrastructure leading to the treatment works.”

Beckton Sewage Works forms a key part of London’s new super-sewer, the Thames Tideway Tunnel. When it opens in 2025, the 15-mile-long tunnel will intercept at least 94 per cent of the millions of tonnes of sewage that overflows into the Thames every year, and transfer it to Beckton for treatment, cleaning up the river for Londoners who enjoy it, and the wildlife which relies on it.

Earlier this year, Thames Water announced it was upgrading the Northern Outfall Sewer, a Victorian sewer in East London comprising eight pipes each up to 2.4m wide, as investment in infrastructure continues across the capital.