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Putney Embankment Foreshore

Tideway’s construction work at Putney is now substantially complete and the new riverside area created as part of the project is now open to the public.

The completion of our work at Putney is an important milestone before the project ‘goes live’ in 2024. This is when the system will be switched on and will start to protect the Thames from sewage pollution for the first time. The tunnel is due to be fully operational in 2025, when it will prevent an estimated 95 per cent of sewage spills that currently overflow into the River Thames, improving the water quality for fish and other wildlife - and for people who use it for recreation and leisure. 

At the Putney site we have:  

  • Created a new riverside space with artworks inspired by the River Thames including a new bronze marker for the start line of the University Boat Race 

  • Excavated a 36m-deep shaft and built a connecting tunnel to intercept the Putney Bridge Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO), linking it to the main sewer tunnel beneath the Thames. 

  • Installed mechanical and electrical equipment to make the system run smoothly. 

Although construction work is mostly complete, you may continue to see some Tideway staff as we work to bring the super sewer into operation. There will also be occassional periods when we need to close part or all the area while we undertake testing work for the sewer. 

Over the coming months, the Tideway teams will be trialling our lighting systems at this site. Phase 1 of testing is scheduled to take place from 6 am Thursday 13 June - midnight Monday 17 June. For more information about these tests, the purpose of these lights and which other sites you can expect to see also trialling these lights, please click here.

Brand New

Riverside Space

The new space makes visible for the first time the above-ground legacy of the super sewer. As part of our public art programme, we have installed artworks borne out of Putney’s rich heritage. They include bronze handrails cast from oars; a bronze marker for the start line of the University Boat Race; and artworks on the walls of our operational kiosk building. Timber-laid benches facing the river are positioned to make the most of the view upstream to Hammersmith and downstream, through the bridge arches. The Cornish granite on the space comes from the quarry used to construct Putney Bridge, nearly 140 years ago.

Claire Barclay

Water Finds a Level

Claire Barclay has been commissioned to create a series of artworks for the new public realm site at Putney. The artist’s proposal responds to the site’s history as set out in Tideway’s Heritage Interpretation Strategy. The ‘cultural meander’ for the West section of the tunnel is ‘Recreation to Industry: Society in Transition.’ and the site-specific narrative for Putney relates to ways in which cultural context influences popular movements advocating social change, to generate varied forms of political engagement.

The opening of the riverside space in an area synonymous with the river community, makes visible for the first time the above ground legacy of the super sewer, with hints to the feat of engineering deep below.