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Giant vortex lowered down shaft at Hammersmith

Giant vortex lowered down shaft at Hammersmith

A giant stainless-steel vortex system has been lowered into the shaft at Hammersmith Pumping Station. 

The system forms the centrepiece of the work taking place at the site as part of the super sewer project.

Around two million tonnes of sewage overflows from the pumping station and into the River Thames every single year.

Tideway is working to divert those flows into a new 25km super sewer, currently under construction deep beneath the river.

However, at Hammersmith these flows need to drop down a 15-metre-deep shaft – which is why the vortex is needed.

Falling that distance, the flows would wear away the bottom of the shaft; but the 28-tonne vortex generator will ‘spin’ the flows down the pipe, removing the energy and preserving the base.

This week, the vortex was rotated and dropped down into the shaft in a complex and meticulously-planned lifting operation. 

The 21-metre-long, 65-tonne pipe section of the system has had over 1,000 stainless steel studs painstakingly welded onto its outer wall that slotted precisely into place during the installation.