The local council continues to oppose plans to take water from Thames Water
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The local council continues to oppose plans to take water from Thames Water

Richmond Council has said it continues to strongly oppose Thames Water’s Teddington Direct River Abstraction (TDRA) project “despite the expected reduction in the number of shafts required”.

The council says the cause is “water quality concerns” as well as the “ongoing impact of numerous large building sites on valuable open spaces in the borough”.

Thames Water’s plan is to take water from the Thames at Teddington Weir and direct it to the Lee Valley reservoirs, then replace it with sewage from Mogden sewage treatment works.

The project is part of the company’s Water Management Plan, “aimed at closing the gap between the amount of water we have and the amount we need”. They say: “We considered a wide range of options and alternatives. By analysing a wide set of criteria, we concluded that Teddington
The direct river water collection scheme is the most cost-effective plan that will allow Londoners to maintain uninterrupted water supply in periods of drought.

Thames Water says the proposed project would enable it to supply the capital with up to 75 million litres of water a day when needed.

They say there will be regulations governing when the project can be launched, its operation will be controlled by a set of triggers agreed with the Environment Agency, and that they “propose it will only be launched during periods of prolonged drought”.

Thames Water has made several key changes to its original proposal, including:

  • Redesign of pipeline that will carry treated sewage from Mogden to the Thames
  • Changing the pipeline construction method from pipe-jacking to tunneling
  • Change in the proposed method of extracting material from a tunnel during construction.

The revised proposal would reduce the number of shafts and construction sites in Richmond, which would alleviate some but not eliminate all disruption to residents and open spaces if the proposals were implemented.

Councillor Gareth Roberts, leader of Richmond Council, said: “Following protests from local residents, councillors and MPs, Thames Water has been forced to change its controversial plans but as a council we remain extremely concerned about the impact this will have on both the river and the Ham.

“Thames Water needs to do much more to convince residents that this plan is the best solution to the predicted future water shortages. Until they do, we will continue to oppose any plan that we believe would harm the river and our land.”

Further information about the changes can be found on the Thames Water website.

Thames Water says it is now focusing on these changes to develop a clear explanation of the proposed design. It plans to publish updated proposals later this summer.