Published 30 October 2018

The Princess Royal visited Abbey Mills Pumping Station and the Northern Outfall Sewer to learn more about the biggest expansion to London’s sewer network since Victorian times.

Abbey Mills Pumping Station in Stratford was built in 1868 as part his network of underground sewers, and is also known as the ‘Cathedral of Sewage’ due to its elaborate design.

The Princess Royal toured the pumping station to see first-hand how work is progressing on the 25km-long super sewer.

Set for completion in 2024, the new Thames Tideway Tunnel will vastly reduce the amount of untreated sewage which flows into the Thames following heavy rain. Instead, it will be intercepted and pumped to Europe’s largest treatment works in Beckton, where it will be converted into renewable energy by Thames Water.

The visit continued at the Northern Outfall Sewer, which is also part of Bazalgette’s network.

His original network had 100 miles of intercepting sewers, connected to 450 miles of main sewers and 13,000 miles of smaller local sewers.

The project was started after the ‘Great Stink’ of 1858 and was officially opened by Edward, Prince of Wales in 1865.