Thames Water hosts exhibitions at Bhavan Centre in W14
Thames Water is inviting residents of Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea to have their say on a proposed £280 million scheme designed to protect properties in the Counters Creek catchment area from the misery of sewer flooding.
Thames Water’s open consultation will focus on how and where it will construct a new storm relief sewer to safeguard 1,700 homes and businesses that have flooded in recent years across the two boroughs. It is part of a wider programme of work to manage the risk of sewer flooding which started in 2010.
Counters Creek is one of the "lost rivers" of London, arising in Kensal Green Cemetery and flowing south through Wormwood Scrubs, Olympia and Earls Court and then beneath the West London Railway Line to reach the Thames at Chelsea Creek. Today it is almost completely subterranean.
The creek was incorporated in Victorian times into the main sewer for our local area, carrying both sewage and rainwater, but a number of factors including increasing development, our growing population, concreting over of green spaces and climate change means it can no longer cope with demand.
The result is that residents – especially those living in and around Askew Road, Boscombe Road, Greyhound Road and Hammersmith Grove – have seen their basements flooded up to six times since 2004.
Thames Water says Counters Creek sewer flooding alleviation project will help protect people like Carol Graham, who owns Askew Road beauty salon Hair & Now which has flooded seven times in 14 year.
Carol says: " I can’t believe in this day and age there can be these sorts of problems. Most people can only imagine how horrible it is having human waste flooding your property, but I’ve seen it first hand and it isn’t something I ever want to go through again."
To ensure that its project is sustainable and cost effective, Thames Water set up an Independent Advisory Group made up of three leading academics in the field of urban drainage to review and challenge its plans as they developed.
It says the scheme includes innovative trials of sustainable drainage systems and measures to protect individual properties, which has helped to substantially reduce the overall cost of the project and limit the new storm relief sewer to a five kilometre-long section to capture excess rainwater. Both boroughs have been involved in the development of the approach.
Members of its project team will be at a series of public exhibitions and community briefings, supported by a dedicated website www.thameswater.co.uk/counterscreek during the consultation period, which runs till January 25.
The exhibitions in January will be on:
Thursday, January 8 (4pm-8pm) Bhavan Centre, 4a Castletown Road, W14
Saturday, January 10 (10am-5pm) Bhavan Centre, 4a Castletown Road, W14
Thursday, January 15 (4pm-8pm) St Cuthbert’s Day Centre, The Philbeach Hall, Earls Court
Saturday, January 17 (10am-5pm) Chelsea Theatre, Worlds End Place, Kings Road, SW10
Thames Water managing director Lawrence Gosden says: " We really value feedback from people in the area on this important project and want to encourage them to come and see us or send in their comments.
" Sewer flooding is a truly miserable experience and it is simply unacceptable that so many people in this area should fear being flooded with sewage every time it rains. We appreciate our work will cause some disruption, but this scheme is vital to protect homes and businesses.
“This consultation will help us to understand what we can do keep disruption to a minimum and make sure that, in the areas where we’ll be working, we’re as good a neighbour as we can possibly be.”
November 26, 2014