The “super sewer” to be built in London is expected to bring environmental benefits worth up to almost £13 billion.
That’s according to new government figures for the Thames Tideway Tunnel, which will prevent millions of tonnes of sewage flowing into the river every year.
According to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, around 16 million tonnes of untreated sewage discharged into the River Thames last year, with increasing population and urbanisation leading to the sewer system being overloaded.
Work to upgrade the capital’s 150-year old sewerage system is set to begin next summer and follows a £4.2 billion contract confirmed earlier this year.
Thames Water expects the construction to create more than 4,200 direct jobs and around 5,100 more jobs in the supply chain and wider London economy.
Environment Minister Rory Stewart said: “London is one of the most dynamic cities in the world and it is vital we have a river that is not filled with sewage every time there is heavy rainfall.
“This new research reveals the tunnel will bring up to £13bn worth of benefits to the capital’s natural environment. It will prevent millions of tonnes of sewage flowing into the river every year and it will mean we will have cleaner water for all to enjoy and improved water quality to better protect the Thames’ precious marine wildlife.”
The project is expected to add between £20 to £25 to consumers’ bills every year by the mid-2020s.