Press Release

Giant steel vortex system delivered to Hammersmith Pumping Station

12 June 2020


A giant stainless-steel vortex system – and a single piece of pipe large enough to house an entire Tube carriage – have been delivered to Tideway’s Hammersmith site. 

These two giant pieces of equipment will form the centrepiece of the work taking place at Hammersmith Pumping Station 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. 

The 21-metre-long, 65-tonne pipe section of the system, which will be installed into the shaft vertically, has had over 1,000 stainless steel studs painstakingly welded onto its outer wall that will slot into place when installed.  

Both of these enormous structures were manufactured by a specialist firm in Cumbria, and made the 326-mile journey to London late last month following a meticulous six-month build. 

Hammersmith Section Manager John Corcoran said: “A huge amount of work went into producing and moving these two mammoth pieces of equipment and it is a fantastic achievement for the Tideway project to take delivery of them on site.

“I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved as well as to our neighbours who live in the vicinity of the worksite at Hammersmith Pumping Station, whose patience while this vital equipment was delivered is very much appreciated.”


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Vivienne Dunn
Balfour Beatty 
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Notes to editors:

  • Tideway is the company delivering the Thames Tideway Tunnel, a 25km sewer tunnel urgently required to tackle sewage pollution in the tidal River Thames. In total the project is expected to create 4,000 direct sustainable jobs. One in every 50 site jobs will be an apprenticeship. A joint venture of BAM Nuttall, Morgan Sindall and Balfour Beatty are constructing the west section of the new 25 kilometres Thames Tideway Tunnel. For more information visit
  • Balfour Beatty ( is a leading international infrastructure group. With 26,000 employees, we provide innovative and efficient infrastructure that underpins our daily lives, supports communities and enables economic growth. We finance, develop, build and maintain complex infrastructure such as transportation, power and utility systems, social and commercial buildings.
  • Our main geographies are the UK, US and Hong Kong. Over the last 111 years we have created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world including the London Olympics’ Aquatic Centre, Hong Kong’s first Zero Carbon building, the National Museum of the Marine Corps in the US and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

Vivienne Dunn

Senior Media & PR Manager