THAMES Water has ‘sunk to a new low’ after launching a website which the council claims is brainwashing schoolchildren into supporting its plans for a ‘super sewer’.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s criticism comes after the utility giant set up an educational website – www.tunnelworks.co.uk - for secondary schools to learn about the ‘benefits’ of building a 20-mile underwater sewage tunnel.
The council is fighting the £4.1billion Thames Tideway Tunnel project because of years of disruption that south Fulham would suffer.
Land in Carnwath Road has been earmarked for one of three main drilling shafts needed to build the pipe.
Council leader Nick Botterill slammed Thames Water for targeting children with its controversial plans and failing to tell them about alternative, cheaper and more environmentally-friendly ways to deal with rainwater and stop sewage overflow.
He said: “By targeting impressionable young children Thames Water has plummeted to a new low.
“Instead of educating children responsibly about modern sustainable green solutions, Thames Water thinks it is more appropriate to talk up old-fashioned, wasteful and deeply environmentally damaging engineering projects.
“Around the world, major cities are waking up to the reality that deep tunnels are not the best way to make our rivers cleaner. The evidence is clear – green infrastructure that prevents fresh water from overloading the sewer network, is the best way forward.”
The website uses videos to explain how the capital’s existing sewer network is outdated and overburdened and how the Tideway Tunnel would tackle London’s sewage problem for the next 100 years.
It also offers schools the chance to invite Thames Water staff to talk about the benefits of the super sewer.
The company denies brainwashing children, saying: “The aim of our new website is to educate future generations who stand to benefit from a cleaner, healthier River Thames brought about by the Thames Tideway Tunnel.
“We we are doing our bit to inspire talented youngsters to consider a career in engineering. While we, of course, support the use of sustainable urban drainage, that alone cannot tackle the 39 million tonnes a year of sewage that annually enters the river from London's overstretched Victorian sewer network.”