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Pump Station Refurbishment for Thames Tideway Scheme

Blackfriars Bridge, London

Eighteen years after the initial design package was created, T-T was part of a major pumping station refurbishment at Blackfriars Bridge in accordance with Transport for London.

The upgrade formed part of the Thames Tideway Scheme, a £4.3b 25km Super Sewer designed to intercept overflows from London’s Victorian era sewer system and protect the River Thames from harmful pollution.

The project mapped out a complete overhaul of the pumping station’s existing infrastructure, including all new pumps, kiosks and valves as well as some major pipework rerouting.

The Problem

The refurbishment of the dual chamber pumping station posed several challenges to our engineers.

Firstly, the project had been postponed to coincide with other Thames Tideway Scheme works happening in the area (for which T-T has provided crucial non-return valves on two occasions!). Synchronising the works minimised traffic disruptions for commuters in the busy area but made for a logistically complex site with more vehicles, machines, and labourers present simultaneously.

Once on-site, our engineers found information about the flow rate, pressure and frequency of operation required to manage the expected incoming media was sparse. As well as the regular incoming waste, the station was also subject to influxes of stormwater run-off from the busy road above. This significantly impacted the station’s pumping and storage requirements as it would need to accommodate major fluctuations in demand to prevent tank overflows and road flooding.

Lastly, upon the first in-person inspection of the station, an old caulked joint was found to be securing the station’s existing exit pipework. With direct access to the Thames, it was crucial that this remained undisturbed during the pipework refurbishment, as any damage to the joint would have caused significant damage to the site.

The Solution

Before any work commenced, our engineers determined the required flow rate of the site and installed a temporary over-pumping system to ensure the station’s sewage and stormwater management services continued uninterrupted until the refurbishments were completed.

Due to the scale of the work taking place, a HIAB loader was needed to deliver materials and equipment to the site. With the appropriate traffic management in place, our teams were able to coordinate loads for delivery in the early hours of the morning, working around other site activity and minimising disruption to the busy London intersection.

This equipment included four new ATEX-rated submersible pumps complete with cooling jackets for added motor protection. Our experts selected these pumps for their robust build and ability to provide the required flow rate, pressure and head to effectively manage the station’s incoming flow rate.

T-T Flow supplied a variety of waterworks valves to the project – including essential non-return valves to prevent backflow; lugged and tapped butterfly valves for isolation; and anti-slam compact air valves to prevent damaging pressure surge events. The valves supplied ranged in size from DN100 to DN300, fabricated from durable cast iron and stainless steel to guarantee reliable and accurate flow control in the pumping station.

Our controls division managed the complete design, assembly, wiring and testing of the station's new motor control centre in-house. The system was made in accordance with Transport for London’s Critical Site Specifications, with all electrical cabling leading to the panel’s location above ground renewed and provisions for gas detection and a forced ventilation system included.

T-T Controls also supplied a new GRP (glass reinforced plastic) building to protect the motor control system from external factors such as adverse weather or vandalism. The kiosk was manufactured in colour RAL0035, with textured wood-effect doors to match the existing gloss black bridge and street furniture. In order to overcome physical site access restrictions caused by other Thames Tideway works taking place, the building was supplied flat packed and constructed upon delivery to the site.

All existing pipework was renewed and rerouted to better accommodate future maintenance access, consisting of a mixture of prefabricated lengths and bespoke made-to-measure pieces manufactured specifically for the site. T-T engineers fabricated the bespoke pipework during the station’s installation phase, demonstrating their outstanding project management skills and close ties with our supply chain.

Throughout the refurbishment our site teams oversaw the removal of all redundant equipment that we replaced on the site, ensuring the area was left clear and safe for ongoing Thames Tideway works.


T-T was proud to be part of such a large project that saw input from across the entire business, particularly from our pumping stations, controls and valves divisions.

Successful and timely refurbishment of the pumping station was made possible thanks to T-T's large stockholding of products and materials and highly skilled workforce.

Before and After of the Blackfriars Pumping Station