Princess Anne goes underground in visit to Stratford sewer
PUBLISHED: 09:05 31 October 2018
Princess Anne visited Abbey Mills Pumping Station to learn more about the biggest expansion to London’s sewer network since Victorian times.
The Stratford pumping station is undergoing a building project to ensure all of its power will come from renewable sources, rather than the national grid.
The Princess Royal toured the pumping station, including going underground to see first-hand how work is progressing on the 25km long super sewer.
The Thames Tideway Tunnel, which is set to be completed in 2024, aims to vastly reduce the amount of untreated sewage which flows into the River Thames.
It will intercept and pump the waste to Beckton, home of Europe’s largest treatment works, where it will be converted into renewable energy by Thames Water.
The Princess has a keen interest in the engineering and systems behind the project and was shown around the iconic pumping station yesterday (Tuesday) by Tideway CEO Andy Mitchell and Thames Water’s chief operating officer Lawrence Gosden, who explained how it will connect to the Lee Tunnel and the capital’s current sewer network.
Mr Mitchell said: “We were honoured to welcome Her Royal Highness to Abbey Mills.
“With construction across London progressing well, our team is buoyed by the interest in their work.
“We all feel very passionately about our mission to clean up London’s river, so to get the Royal seal of approval is very special.”
Abbey Mills pumping station was built by Victorian engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette between 1865 and 1868 as part of his network of underground sewers and remains a key part of the city’s infrastructure today.
Whilst still in excellent condition, the vast network of tunnels now lack the capacity required for modern-day London, with a population of nine million which continues to rise, which has resulted in the expansion work.
Mr Gosden said: “Thames Water is fully committed to protecting and enhancing the environment, and we are very excited about the positive impact this enormous new sewer will have on the health of the Thames and our customers in the near future.”