The tidal reaches of the Thames are regularly polluted by sewage discharges from the combined sewer overflows after rainfall.
As little as 2mm of rainfall can trigger a sewage discharge from the system designed by Joseph Bazalgette in the 1850s and which was intended for a London population of 4 million, which today is nearer to 8 million and growing. In a typical year the city's sewers discharge 39 million cubic metres of untreated sewage into the river. Six years ago an independent review recommended that the only real way to deal with this problem was to build a storage tunnel to intercept the overflows, running from West London to Beckton where the sewage could be treated.This solution, known as the Thames Tunnel was endorsed by Thames Water, by the previous and current Governments and a wide range of stakeholders.
The second phase of public consultation starts shortly, a planning application will be submitted in mid-2012 and, if granted, construction will start in 2013 for completion by 2020.
Fifteen major environmental charities and amenity groups representing over 5 million people have come together in a unique coalition called "Thames Tunnel Now" in support of proposals to construct the Thames Tunnel to end the scandal of 39 million tonnes of untreated sewage which enters the capital’s river every year.
NABO is please to be associated with this campaign.
Please click here to see the joint statement agreed by the Thames Tunnel Now partners, including RSPB, WWF, Thames21, Angling Trust , River Thames Society and London Wildlife Trust.
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