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London sewerage system Wonders of the Industrial World


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Seven Wonders of the Industrial World ::--1.SS Great Eastern|| 2.Bell Rock Lighthouse|| 3.Brooklyn Bridge|| 4.London sewerage system|| 5.First Transcontinental Railroad|| 6.Panama Canal|| 7.Hoover Dam||


London sewerage system

The London sewerage system is part of the water infrastructure serving London. The modern system was developed during the late 19th century, and as London has grown the system has been expanded.



History

During the early 19th century the River Thames was an open sewer, with disastrous consequences for public health in London, including numerous cholera epidemics. These were caused by enterotoxin-producing strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Proposals to modernise the sewerage system had been made during 1856, but were neglected due to lack of funds. However, after the Great Stink of 1858, Parliament realised the urgency of the problem and resolved to create a modern sewerage system.
Joseph Bazalgette, a civil engineer and Chief Engineer of the Metropolitan Board of Works, was given responsibility for the work. He designed an extensive underground sewerage system that diverted waste to the Thames Estuary, downstream of the main centre of population. Six main interceptor sewers, totalling almost 100 miles (160 km) in length, were constructed, some incorporating stretches of London's 'lost' rivers. Three of these sewers were north of the river, the southernmost, low-level one being incorporated in the Thames Embankment. The Embankment also allowed new roads, new public gardens, and the Circle Line of the London Underground.
The intercepting sewers, constructed between 1859 and 1865, were fed by 450 miles (720 km) of main sewers that, in turn, conveyed the contents of some 13,000 miles (21,000 km) of smaller local sewers. Construction of the interceptor system required 318 million bricks, 2.7 million cubic metres of excavated earth and 670,000 cubic metres of concrete.



Gravity allows the sewage to flow eastwards, but in places such as Chelsea, Deptford and Abbey Mills, pumping stations were built to raise the water and provide sufficient flow. Sewers north of the Thames feed into the Northern Outfall Sewer, which feeds into a major treatment works at Beckton. South of the river, the Southern Outfall Sewer extends to a similar facility at Crossness.
During the 20th century, major improvements were made to the sewerage system and to the sewage treatment provision to substantially reduce pollution of the Thames Estuary and the North Sea.



Construction:

Construction of the London Sewerage System began in 1859 and went on for six years until completion in 1865. 318 million bricks were used for job, as well as 670,000 meters squared of mortar and concrete. The main sewers that made up this system spanned an incredible 450 miles, not to mention the six interceptory sewers which ad a total length of 100 miles.

The pumping mills, used at various point along the Victorian London Sewerage System, were (and still are) mostly house-like structures where people would work to keep the sewage flowing in the right direction. The sewers were designed to largely run using gravity, but the pumping stations ensured that in areas the needed it, the water and sewage levels were raised to keep it flowing towards the east (or in the case of the north and south sewers, flowing to Beckton and Crossness treatment works respectively). Abbey Mills Pumping Station, along with a lot of the pumping stations from the Victorian sewerage system, has been renewed.

The London Sewerage System was repaired and reinforced in the 1900s, as was the treatment of the water throughout it so that the North Sea and the Thames Estuary would suffer less waste pollution. It is now 100 times bigger, so that it can cope with the increase in population and therefore the huge increase in waste in the capital. Compared to 250 years ago, the water flowing through London is much cleaner and much more safe.

How to Get There:

As you can imagine, visiting the actual sewers of London would be an unpleasant trip, considering they are all still in use today. It is, however, possible to visit the old Abbey Mills pumping station in Stratford, as a new one has been built to replace it, but the old one still stands.

To get to the Abbey Mills pumping station from abroad you should have no problems as London is served by three main airports: Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton. Heathrow Airport is the nearest to Abbey Mills pumping station and once you land it is a 22 mile taxi ride across central London to Stratford.

Where to Stay:

Luckily for visitors, London is full of budget, mid range and luxury hotels. Try the Hotel Ibis on Romford Road for mid-range rooms starting at around £75 ($121 USD) per night. Budget rooms, on the other hand, can be found at Hotel Citystay on Bow Road where they start as low as $73 per night. Do bear in mind, however, that Hotel Citystay only has 19 rooms within it, so you will need to book early.

If you’re looking for a luxury hotel nearer London then look no further than the Four Seasons Hotel in Canary Wharf. It may be a further drive from the Abbey Mills pumping station than the others, but the luxury rooms are worth it.

 

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