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800 Homes Protected From Sewage Floods

13 April 2010

An £80million scheme, delivered by Costain, to stop more than 800 West Ham homes flooding with sewage has been completed.

The three-year project, one of the largest sewer flooding schemes Thames Water has ever carried out, includes:

  • a new, two-mile sewer, 2.8 metres wide - one of the largest sewers built in London - to carry away excess rainwater and sewage during storms, preventing flows backing up into streets and properties;
  • a new sewage pumping station at Abbey Mills in Stratford, east London;
  • 3.5 miles of new and larger sewers linking to the main sewer tunnel.

The two-mile sewer was dug by tunnel boring machine Theodora, known locally as "Dora the Bora", who spent seven months munching through 70,000 tonnes of earth 20 metres below the Jubilee Line, Forest Gate, Woodgrange Road, West Ham Park, Vicarage Lane, Abbey Road and over the channel tunnel rail link.

Lawrence Gosden, Head of Capital Delivery for Thames Water, said:

"Protecting customers from the misery of sewer flooding is a top priority for us. No-one should have to put up with this truly horrible experience.

"Hundreds of homes in West Ham have been badly affected in the past and I am extremely pleased that a long-term solution is now in place to protect them.

"I would like to thank the local community for their cooperation and patience during the works."

John Couch, Interim Deputy Divisional Director, Highways, Transport and Parking for Newham Council, said:

"This scheme is very important for the borough as it will provide long-term protection from flooding during times of heavy rainfall for several hundred businesses and homes in West Ham."

The tunnelling machine was named Theodora by local schoolgirl Eileen Edusah, after her mother.