1989-1995 - Investment in infrastructure

Since privatisation, Thames Water has increased spending on services and infrastructure to improve the quality and reliability of drinking water - leading to the construction of the London Ring Main.

To meet our customers' expectations and to improve our customer service we opened a new Customer Service Centre in 1993. All contact with our customers is channelled through the centre, operating all year round, 24 hours a day.

To improve the speed and efficiency of transferring drinking water supplies across the capital, we launched the 'Thames Water Ring Main' in 1994.

The 80km tunnel acts as a 'ring of water' around London, allowing water to flow in either direction.

Water is moved under gravity, resulting in large energy savings as expensive overland pumping is reduced.

It has an average diameter of 2.5m, providing up to 300 Ml/d of water per day to London's customers, even in times of drought, via three major treatment works connected to it.

Despite encountering difficult ground conditions at depths of up to 65 metres below ground level, and all the constraints associated with construction works in a major city, the project was completed two years ahead of schedule and within budget.

As well as improvements to water supplies, there has been considerable investment to improve drinking water quality, which is now at its highest ever levels.


Advanced Water Treatment programme

Our Advanced Water Treatment (AWT) programme, involved the introduction of ozone and granular activated carbon adsorption processes at all major treatment plants, and their integration with existing treatment processes.

As part of this development we also carried out process modernisation works and the hydraulic uprating of all major river-derived water treatment plants to meet growing water demands from our customers.

The AWT program was completed in 1997, some three years ahead of schedule and under budget.

Privatisation has enabled us to invest heavily in sewage treatment works improvements, helping to transform the River Thames into the cleanest metropolitan river in the world.

From being biologically dead only a few decades ago, the river is now home to 120 species of fish, including bass, flounder and salmon

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