Giant pumps to move our waste across east London

Giant pumps, each taller than a man and weighing 52 tonnes, will ferry East London’s diluted sewage around the Lee Tunnel to be dealt with at Beckton Treatment Works.

German-based KSB Aktiengesellschaft will supply and install six pumps, including two smaller drainage pumps, for the construction of the Lee Tunnel in a shaft 85 metres below the sewage works - Britain’s largest waste water disposal plant.

The nearly seven-kilometre long Lee Tunnel is the first stage of a huge construction project for a London ring of tunnels to carry sewage and stormwater for treatment so preventing an untreated mix having to be pumped into the Thames during periods of heavy rainfall.

At �675m, the contract is reported to be the most expensive water project ever undertaken in the UK. It is scheduled for completion in 2015.

By the final stage of construction, the tunnel will have a total length of 39 kilometres and around 40 shafts.

It will follow the course of the Thames at a depth of 25 to 80 metres, making it the deepest tunnel in London and one of the deepest waste water tunnels in Europe.