Wed. Feb 8th, 2023


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Inside secret tunnel 80m below London that has vital but stomach-churning role

2 min read

A secret tunnel 80 metres below London has a vital but stomach-churning role in transporting the grim bits and pieces people dump in their loos.

Deep below the streets of the capital lies a network of tunnels used for the Tube and water, but one is hidden away.

The Lee Tunnel, which stretches for 4.3miles deep underneath the grounds of London, has been pumping tens of millions of tonnes of raw sewage for years, The Mirror reported.

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Opening the sewage pipe during his stint as Mayor of London, Boris Johnson had deemed the secret pipe a "Super Sewer", flushing a toilet to inaugurate the new pipes.

Said pipes continue to pull tens of millions of tonnes of waste from the waters of the River Thames and River Lea every year.

It marks a notable improvement over the previous iterations of sewage systems in London, with previous eras seeing a Great Stink, particularly the Victorians who had to contend with human waste and chemical smells.

Combined with the warm weather and products spewing out into the Thames, the Great Stink appeared to be a problem worth solving, and that is where the Lee Tunnel comes in.

Proposed as a 1,100 miles long street sewer, the purpose appeared to be catching the waste of those living in the capitol before it could be disposed of in the rivers.

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At the time, that was more than enough, but the secret sewer system has since seen several improvements made, mainly to contend with rising population, and the waste that follows.

Tunnelling has come to an end on an expansion of the Lee Tunnel, which is predicted to have itself a whole new breadth of sewage gushing into it by 2024.

Estimates say the tunnel will then be able to cope with capturing 16 million tonnes of sewage per year from the most polluting of places in the capital.

Said expansions appear to be an attempt to cope with extra waste in the city.

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