Issue date: 1st March 2013
A broad coalition of environmental and amenity groups has urged the Mayor of London Boris Johnson to put his weight behind the Thames Tunnel project ahead of its submission to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate on February 28th.
Thames Tunnel Now is calling for the final progression of the tunnel to tackle the on-going sewage pollution of the River Thames, which has only worsened during 10 years of research and debate.
The Mayor was an early supporter of the Thames Tunnel project.
London’s sewerage system, founded over 150 years ago, was future-proofed for a maximum of 2 million Londoners. Today, there are now almost 8 million and rising. Overflows pumped into the Thames were originally designed as a last resort in times of unnaturally high rainfall. Now however, our overloaded sewerage system forces untreated sewage into the River Thames after as little as 2mm of rain. The river, which is used by over 30 watersports clubs and thousands of tourists and walkers each day, is reported to be contaminated with harmful pathogens, viruses and bacteria, such as E coli, hepatitis A and faecal streptococci.
The sewage discharges breach the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive, risking the propect of hefty fines for the UK if the tunnel is not built.
IWA North & East London Branch has indicated its full support for the Thames Sewage Tunnel Project.