Thames Water has awarded the £140m contract for the upgrade of the Beckton Sewage Treatment Works extension to Tamesis, a joint venture between Laing O'Rourke and engineering firm Imtech.
The contract is part of a £190m project at Beckton, the largest sewage treatment works in Europe, to help clean up the River Thames. Construction work is expected to start this spring.
The improvements will enable the site to treat 60% more sewage than it does now, so it can:
- fully treat increased flows during heavy rainfall, which currently discharge as storm sewage into the River Thames when the site becomes overloaded to prevent streets and homes from flooding;
- treat additional storm flows from the Lee Tunnel, a new four-mile sewer which will capture storm sewage that currently overflows into the River Lee when the sewerage system gets overwhelmed during heavy rainfall. The expansion has also been designed to accommodate additional flows from the proposed Thames Tunnel.
Other benefits resulting from the scheme include:
- enhancing the landscape within the sewage works site and improving the Barking Creekside habitat to encourage wildlife, including creating a new nature trail;
- opening footpaths around the site and river and creating new paths along the northern edge of the site by the River Roding and River Thames.
The upgrade at Beckton, due for completion in 2014, forms part of Thames Water’s London Tideway Improvements programme. This is made up of three major schemes: the £600m Lee Tunnel project, the proposed Thames Tunnel and a £675m investment to improve London’s five principal sewage treatment works including Mogden, Crossness, Long Reach and Riverside.
Steve Shine, Thames Water’s chief operating officer, said: “This work will enable us to fully treat 60 per cent more sewage arriving at the site during heavy rainfall, and allow for a 10 per cent population increase until 2021.
“On top of this, we’ll also be erecting odour-blocking covers over all 16 primary settlement tanks at the plant - an area the size of ten football pitches - and installing ‘odour-control units’ at the site to clean outgoing air, so we can substantially reduce odour emissions by 2015.”