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Staines-Kempton Tunnel Aqueduct
Staines in Surrey to Kempton in Middlesex, London, UK
associated engineer
Metropolitan Water Board (London)
date  1960 -1963
era  Modern  |  category  Aqueduct  |  reference  TQ014723
The Staines-Kempton aqueduct was designed to bring water from the River Thames to the water treatment works at Kempton and Hampton, as part of London’s water supply. Like the Thames-Lea Valley Aqueduct, it is an underground tunnel.
The Staines-Kempton Aqueduct is almost 13km long and follows a route from the intake on the River Thames near Bell Weir at Hythe End in Surrey (see map), east-south-east via Ashford Common, to Kempton Park. It terminates to the west of the water treatment works complex at Hampton. Its maximum flow capacity is 364 million litres per day.
The 2.4m diameter tunnel was driven using a drum digger tunnelling shield of similar, though improved, design to those used on the earlier Thames-Lea Valley Aqueduct’s tunnel. A maximum rate of 1.5m per hour was achieved in excavating this tunnel.
To avoid constructing access shafts in built-up areas, one leg of the tunnel runs for 4.8km long without an intermediate shaft. In some areas, the contractor experienced problems with material falling from the roof of the tunnel into the gap ahead of the cutting edge, which was solved by attaching a thin steel hood to the back of the shield to enable progress to continue. Any voids were filled with clay pug.
The tunnel is lined with expanded concrete wedge block segments, 12 per ring, secured by hammering home the keystone wedge. Using machined cast iron master segments to make the moulds for the 150,000 concrete wedges required, ensured accuracy of casting.
Resident engineer: E.C. Reed
Contractor: Edmund Nuttall, Sons & Co Ltd
Research: ECPK
"A new water tunnel" in The New Scientist, Vol.8, No.201, p.788, London, 22nd September 1960
"Discussion: The Thames-Lee Tunnel Water Main" by E.W. Cuthbert et al, in ICE Proceedings, Vol.23, pp.690-704, London, December 1962

Staines-Kempton Tunnel Aqueduct