Last updated: 15 August 2014


The River Thames is central to London’s prosperity but it has now reverted to a role it last played more than 150 years ago – regularly acting as an open sewer.

The situation now

The Victorian sewerage network simply cannot keep up with the demands of 21st century London.

Built by Sir Joseph Bazalgette in the 1860s, the sewers still form the backbone of London’s sewerage system today. They are in excellent working condition, but have simply run out of capacity. Built when London’s population was two million and designed for four million, they are now struggling to serve a capital city with more than eight million people; a figure that continues to rise.

Populationoflondon 10

By 2031, there would be 8.6 million people living in London. To cope with this increase, it is estimated that 600,000 new homes are needed. In order that these homes can be built the sewerage network, which is already under severe pressure, needs to be upgraded.


Project benefits

The proposed Thames Tideway Tunnel would not only improve the environment, ecology, public health, appearance, reputation and long-term economy of London, but also give a much-needed and immediate boost to the economy by offering many thousands of skilled jobs and hundreds of apprenticeships.

Read more about the Thames Tideway Tunnel legacy


Benefits Environment 

Health and safety

Benefits Healthandsafety 


Benefits Economy 


Benefits People


Benefits Place


Project timeline

Key milestones of the proposed project plan

Image Timeline


We are supporting a wide range of education programmes covering all ages and stages.


Careers & skills

We are supporting a wide range of education programmes covering all ages and stages.

Jobs & opportunities

Current positions available within the Thames Tideway Tunnel project include: