Super Sewer row swings to LBHF

LB Hammersmith & Fulham’s campaign against Thames Water’s “Super Sewer” has been given a lift by Lord Selbourne.

LBHF has produced a report into the Thames Tunnel construction which suggests the EU water quality guidelines it seeks to satisfy could be matched more cheaply. The report, picked up by the FT,  suggests the giant sewer tunnelling project, which would cost £3.6bn, is not necessarily the most cost-effective way to solve the problem of raw sewage being emptied in to the Thames.

LBHF say that THames Water, and their owners Macquarie Bank, stand to make £162million a year in additional revenue from customers once the 20 mile long super sewer is completed.

The council says that current regulations encourage water companies to build their way out of problems rather than consider greener, more sustainable options, and back this with comments from Professor Colin Green, an expert on water economics.

Water companies are allowed to borrow money cheaply on the bond markets to pay for projects like the £3.6billion super sewer, and to charge customers 4.5% per annum to service the borrowing and to pay dividends to shareholders.

Construction of the tunnel would require the use of sites around the Hammersmith riverside for a period of up to seven years.

Lord Selborne’s Thames Tunnel Commission report which has examined LBHF’s submissions is reported by the FT as saying; “a shorter tunnel, combined with green infrastructure solutions that is built up incrementally in the medium to long term, would be both compliant with EU directives and less costly and disruptive to Londoners. These alternatives require further study.”

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