The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has officially opened the Lee Tunnel, the first of two super sewers which will dramatically improve the health and cleanliness of the Rivers Lee and Thames in the capital.
The Lee Tunnel is the largest single project in the history of the privatised water industry in England and Wales and is the deepest ever bored under the capital at around 75 metres deep.
It is the width of three double decker buses and is the most significant development of London’s Victorian sewers since Sir Joseph Bazalgette originally built the network in the 1860s.
The five associated shafts are the deepest constructed in the London Basin. The project also includes 6 mega pumps of 3MW each. At its peak, MVB employed 750 people at the same time on this project.
The Mayor Boris Johnson, in partnership with Thames Water, the Environment Agency and London Councils recently launched the first London Sustainable Drainage Action Plan, identifying potential flooding hotspots across the city and proposing innovative ways of diverting rain back from the sewers into the soil with rain gardens or green roofs.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson MP said: “This amazing new super sewer is providing the bold infrastructure needed to support the movements of our rapidly growing city. For years our historic Victorian systems have heaved at the seams, muddling along, battling to cope with the increasing rainfall and waste of a modern population.
“Now the River Thames will benefit from vast improvements to its water quality with less pollution and overflow. Alongside my sustainable drainage work to reduce flooding, the investment in the Lee and the forthcoming Thames Tideway Tunnel are set to benefit Londoners for generations to come.”
Thames Water chief executive Martin Baggs said: “We are honoured that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, was here to celebrate the opening of the ground-breaking Lee Tunnel, which is a crucial part of our ongoing work to clean up the River Thames.”