Thames Tideway Tunnel's response to today's Guardian article

Last updated: 28 November 2014

Thames Tideway Tunnel's response to today's Guardian article

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Dear Editor,

The suggestion that the Thames Tideway Tunnel is not needed ("£4bn super sewer - money down the drain?", 28 November) is deeply misguided.

The fundamental problem is that London's Victorian sewerage system, whilst still in very good condition, now lacks the capacity to meet the needs of an ever-growing population.

Last year 55 million tonnes of sewage discharged into the tidal River Thames. "A few minor works" could not solve that.

The reality is that the capital needs both the tunnel and sustainable drainage systems. It is not an either or choice, as other world cities such as Washington DC are already demonstrating.

The critical point is that a fit-for-purpose sewerage network is essential for the city's prosperity and well-being.

Finally, the £70-80 a year average increase in Thames Water's wastewater charge (at 2011 prices, excluding inflation) is a worst-case scenario. We are confident we can deliver the project well within the £4.2bn budget.

Yours sincerely,

Andy Mitchell,

CEO, Thames Tideway Tunnel

37 North Wharf Road, Paddington, London

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Carlo Laurenzi OBE, Chief Executive of London Wildlife Trust, said: “London needs to take action now. Our Victorian sewage system is failing, regularly spewing a mix of sewage, waste water and street pollutants into the Thames, harming a fragile ecosystem that is still recovering from the days when the river was biologically dead. The sheer scale of the problem means that the Thames Tideway Tunnel is the only practical way of effectively managing London’s rising tide of sewage and polluted waste water. It’s the reason why recreational, environmental and wildlife groups representing many thousands of Londoners are supporting the new ‘Supersewer’, under the banner of Thames Tunnel Now. "

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