Plans to landscape one of the Thames super sewer building sites have been approved and will enlarge the existing King Edward Memorial Park (KEMP) in Wapping. At the moment, a large construction site sits in the river next to the park, to give access to the sewer deep under the Thames, as well as leaving behind an access site for maintenance.
The King Edward Memorial Park is the location of one of the most polluting sewer overflows into the river in London, which currently overflows the equivalent of more than 300 Olympic sized swimming pools into the Thames each year. The interceptor being built at this location will drop the sewage overflow down to the deep level tunnel, which is designed to act as a storage for overflows in bad weather, which can then be pumped away when the older sewers aren’t overflowing. The tunnel will then carry the sewage to Abbey Mills Pumping Station in Newham, and via the Lee Tunnel to the Beckton Sewage Treatment Works to be treated before being returned to the river.
Most of the surface structure is to be landscaped after construction work is completed, so that it can act as an extension of the park it sits next to, and those plans for a mix of hard surface and seating areas have been approved by Tower Hamlets council.
The park extension will include a lower level walkway closer to the river, as well as a couple of large planting zones. There’s a large hard surface area in the middle as it’s needed for vehicles at times when they are carrying out maintenance to the sewer beneath. There’s a small kiosk building to one side that gives access to the sewer structures.
A number of tall artworks are proposed, and these are to disuse the ventilation shafts — a modern-day stinkpipe.
Construction of the super sewer is due to be completed in 2025.