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Another London2012 Olympics Aftermath: a river becomes a sewer

The London2012 Olympics continues to spew out new 'legacies'. The latest is sewage. On April 28th 2020 @DeeDeeMay posted this video on Twitter showing oil coming out of the Channelsea River culvert.

The 'first pond' is the long pond which is the remains of the Channelsea River which was culverted for the London2012 Olympics. The other pond is the round pond which is part of the East Village Estate, or former Olympic Village, which is not actually in the Olympic Park but on the Stratford City site next door. The housing there would have been built regardless of the Olympics. Eventually only 2818 units were built.

How did Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP) respond? Denial!

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Replying to
Thank you for contacting us. Although the area described as The Wetlands borders the edge of the Park, this is land managed by
@getliving as part of the @EastVillageLDN estate. We have passed on the message to them.

It wasn't! The video showed water flowing out of the culvert into the long pond, which is managed by QEOP aka NoOrdinaryPark

The other, round, pond does indeed belong to East Village.

Dee Dee had to argue back to check exactly who was responsible for what.

She even sent them a map!

Apr 29
I phoned @EastVillageLDN as you suggested and they said it’s not, thank you for looking into it. Hope to hear back from @LondonLegacy. I emailed them last night too. Appreciate your help.

London Legacy remained silent at this point!

Worse was to come!

May 5
There is a very serious pollution incident there now. @getliving @noordinarypark @thameswater I have reported to the @EnvAgency

Sewage flowing out of the Channelsea River culvertSewage flowing out of the Channelsea River culvert

Sewage in the round pondSewage in the round pond

London Waterkeeper then investigated further and based on Environmental Information Requests reported that there had been 20 sewage overflows into the Olympic Park this year so far, 91 last year.

Jun 3
A Combined Sewer Overflow has discharged into the Olympic Park 20x this year.
When it rains, sewage damages London's rivers, the green places they flow through, & people's health.
The sewer is electronically monitored so public alerts could be issued. They are not.

Jun 5
This #WorldEnvironmentDay we're saying #EndSewagePollution to our rivers & seas.
Last year the Olympic Park wetlands suffered 91 sewer overflows!
This is a public park. It's unacceptable in 2020 & it's happening across the UK.

Given the number of previous overflows QEOP should have known immediately what was going on, yet their response was to deny knowledge and pass the buck. The response of the authorities was poor in the extreme. It was only because a member of the public noticed what was happening and made a fuss that anything happened. QEOP denied it had anything to do with them and blamed it on East Village, who at least showed greater initiative. In fact, despite the reports by Dee Dee the problem got worse and escalated into a major incident.

As London Waterkeeper reported the sewage outflow was electronically monitored yet no-one seemed to notice this was going on. All the players, QEOP, the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC, @LondonLegacy), East Village, GetLiving, Thames Water, should have been alerted. Did the electonic monitor fail?

Initially Dee Dee was dismissed.

Jun 4
Got confirmation that when I saw sewage coming into the @noordinarypark wetlands on 28 April, it was indeed sewage. I was told I was imagining it, or maybe it was rubbish from the street. Yes all those condoms, wet wipes & tampons

So what legacy?

Jun 3
So when you say sewer outflow you are referring to Channelsea River culvert which was simply a stream not a sewer before #London2012 #Olympics?

Channelsea River before OlympicsPath next to Channelsea River before Olympics

Yes. The Mulberry Court Combined Sewer Overflow discharges into the culverted Hennikers Ditch and Channelsea River. The outfall is in the larger wetland in the Olympic Park, flowing to the River Lea.
Burying rivers is tricky - hides pollution, detaches us from nature etc.
5:20 PM · Jun 3, 2020

Another #London2012 #Olympics #Legacy! A river turned into a sewer

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