Work starts on �635m sewer

THE GROUND was broken to mark the start of construction on a multi-million pound sewer on Thursday (September 30).

The four-mile Lee Tunnel will be width of three double decker buses and run from the Abbey Mills Pumping Station in Stratford to Beckton Sewage Works.

Thames Water says the �635million tunnel will help stop 40 per cent of the 39 million tonnes of sewage that, on average, enters the River Lea and River Thames every year from 57 overflow points.

Chief executive officer Martin Baggs who cut the first sod at the Beckton shaft site, explained: “Sewer overflows used occasionally during the 1800s are now used almost weekly on average and can be triggered by as little as 2mm of rainfall.

“The overflows leave behind huge knots of pollution, which cause significant environmental damage – killing fish, contaminating the river for those who wish to use and enjoy it and affecting the wellbeing of our capital.

“The sewers are simply not big enough to cope with a population which has trebled in size and continues to grow, and a city which has paved over many green spaces preventing natural drainage.”

But while work started in Beckton on one of four deep shafts, which will be up to 75metres deep, the actual tunnelling is not expected to start for another two years.

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The project due for completion in 2014 and is Thames Water’s biggest feat of engineering to date.

The sewer will eventually link up with the proposed Thames Tunnel which will run 20 miles into West London.

Meanwhile, five aspiring east London engineers were today awarded financial bursaries by Thames Water to help pay for their degrees.

Imran Ahmed, 19, Ruhul Amin Choudory, 20, and Iscandar Almahruqi, 30, will this autumn begin studying Civil Engineering, while Abdul Raouf, 30, and

Kawser Alom, 19, will study Electronic Engineering, at the University of East London (UEL).