Tideway CEO Andy Mitchell talks about his first day of site tours.
“As the Tideway sites become more and more complete, it is time for me to begin my West to East Tideway tour at Acton, our westmost site.
Acton is an existing Thames Water site that had six flood alleviation tanks further a pumping and control station. Our duty here was to construct a shaft (which we do at all of our sites) to let us bring flood sewage down to the principal tunnel level to begin the trip to the primary London sewage treatment works at Beckton.
On the day of my visit, we were able to observe the final section of the stainless steel “vortex generator” pipe that was going to be lifted into place in the shaft being prepared. The shaft is currently being constructed.
My second stop of the day was Hammersmith Pumping Station a place I’ve come to know well. Due to the extensive modifications required to the live network in order to redirect sewage flows to the new shaft (and back to the new tunnel), this has been one of our closest working sites with the Thames Water operations team. We are currently installing and testing the gates and valves that will direct flows through the new system. The works have gone very well and are nearly finished. You can see how big some of the “flap valves” are being tested right now.
Day 1’s third stop was Barn Elms, a site in Wandsworth that has changing rooms and sports pitches hidden in a corner of open space. The operations here are even more extensive; in fact, you can no longer see any of the usual underground operations—the shaft and chambers that connect them—except for a small control room—or kiosk, as we call it—and some surfing and asphalt. Knowing that the vast majority of what Sir Joseph Bazalgette built would never be seen by the general public, I absolutely understand how he felt! We built new changing rooms and a gym at the beginning of the project to keep this part of London as it was but better—while also protecting another Thames tributary—and it won’t be long before the grass seeds and final landscaping will complement them.