Former Ofwat chief blames 'inadequate maintenance'

The former boss of the water regulator Ofwat has criticised plans for a controversial new "super sewer" under London. Sir Ian Byatt is the latest to oppose Thames Water's plans to build the £4 billion new sewage system.

The water company says it needs to ease the pressure on London's existing Victorian infrastructure. But Sir Byatt says the only reason the current network is in a bad state is because Thames Water hasn't maintained it properly.

In a detailed report, entitled 'Thames Tunnel; A Critique of a Flawed Project', he claims:

“This deteriorating situation seems to have resulted from inadequate maintenance by Thames Water of its sewer system. Thames Water was slow in dealing with high leakage in water supply pipes, and had to be pressured by Ofwat to increase expenditure on reducing leakage. It now appears that a similar situation has arisen with respect to the sewerage system, again requiring regulatory intervention.”

– Sir Ian Byatt

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'Super Sewer' plans slammed

A planning inquiry begins today into a controversial new "Super Sewer" for London. The former chief of regulator OFWAT, is among critics opposing the plans.