Sports Outside the Beltway

To Stop Olympic Stink, London Spends £2bn

In an attempt to put its best nose forward, London will spend 2,000,000,000 Pounds to upgrade its sewer system.

A new £2bn “super sewer” intended to stop the 2012 London Olympics site from being swamped by untreated sewage was today given the go-ahead by the government. The 18-mile tunnel – the construction of which will add £37 a year to water bills in the capital – will help stop untreated sewage from pouring into the Thames during heavy rainfall. It will also prevent sewage from backing up the Lee and Bow Back rivers, which run through the east London Olympic site.

The games will be staged close to the 19th century Abbey Mills pumping station – known as the “cathedral of sewage” – which deals with the biggest overflow of sewage in the capital. Approval of the new scheme comes after warnings that the games could be ruined by the sight and smell of overflowing sewage from the city’s outdated drainage system.

In 2005, the Thames Tideway Group, a government advisory committee, warned that there was a “100% chance” of sewage overflows at the site during the summer months.

One would have to agree that odor of raw sewage would ruin one’s Olympic experience. Of course this kind of work needs to be done anyways to prevent the associated pollution with sewage spills. While a great idea at the time, combined sewer-storm drain systems are a major source of problems in many cities when it comes to meeting environmental regulations. Good thing I live in LA where we kept our sewer and storm systems separate.

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