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Everything You Need To Know About The Giant New Sewer That London Is Building Under The River Thames

Published by Business Insider on Sat, 29 Nov 2014


London's Victorian-era sewer system is at its breaking point.Structurally, there's nothing wrong. The web of underground pipes is holding together well more than 150 years after it was first constructed.But every time it pours, the system overflows. The result: Millions of tons of raw sewage empties into London's Thames River each year, with at least one spillover every week.To address the problem, London is building a new 4.2 billion "super sewer," which will keep waste out of the riverbank by directing it to other treatment plants.The project is controversial. Most are concerned about the exorbitant cost, which will be funded largely by the private sector. There are some environmental worries, too.But the Thames Tideway Tunnel is forging ahead regardless. In September, Britain's largest water utility, Thames Water, received the green light from the government.Construction is expected to start in 2016 and take seven years to complete.London's 160 kilometers of intersecting sewers were introduced in the second half the 19th Century. At that time, the project was hailed as an engineering feat.Before that, the Thames was a disease-ridden dumping ground for cesspools, dead animals, garbage, and raw sewage.This practice went on for hundreds of years, until the summer of 1858 when an unusually intense heatwave resulted in a horrendous smell. The river waste was roasting.See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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