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Guide to ground settlement

The proposed Thames Tideway Tunnel is a major new sewer urgently required to help tackle discharges of untreated sewage to the tidal River Thames.
This leaflet explains what you need to know about settlement and how we would manage any possible impacts on property.

What is settlement?
For this project, settlement is a term used to describe how the ground can move due to the construction of new infrastructure below the surface. The construction of shafts, tunnels and combined sewer overflow (CSO) interception works will cause some small movements in the ground. Depending on the location and proximity of existing infrastructure and buildings to the proposed Thames Tideway Tunnel we would expect some ground movements to affect these. The extent to which these ground movements have an impact on structures would depend on several factors including the: • size and depth of the construction works • existing soil conditions • methods of construction • type of structure, its condition, and its foundations.

How could settlement affect me?
In most cases you would not be able to see the effects of settlement but in some cases there may be small cracks in plaster, and doors or windows may stick.

What are you doing about settlement?
We would identify how much settlement could affect buildings and then decide the best way of protecting them. We have already carried out an initial assessment for buildings and structures including those with historic interest. We have taken into account the approach adopted by other large projects such as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (High Speed 1). These projects established proven methods to assess the impacts of these ground movements on infrastructure and buildings. The same approaches are currently being used on the Crossrail project.

Basically we will: • find out how much settlement is likely and the effect on buildings • where necessary, carry out work to reduce the effect of settlement • measure ground movement, and where necessary building movement • investigate existing condition of some buildings • pay for work to repair damage that we may cause. We have designed the project to maximise the amount of tunnelling under the river. This minimises the number of buildings that could be impacted.

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Will you be monitoring along the route and at construction sites?
We will have detailed monitoring in place to ensure the safe construction of the Thames Tideway Tunnel project throughout and beyond the construction period. If you are concerned about settlement, please contact us for further information.

What is a Settlement Deed?
If you own a property, you can ask us about a Settlement Deed which is a legal undertaking between ourselves and you as the owner. We provide this deed to give reassurance to those who during the lifetime of the project may benefit from us giving a guarantee on their property.

How do I qualify for a Settlement Deed?
If you are concerned by the proximity of a property that you own to the tunnel alignment, then you may be entitled to a Settlement Deed. You can contact us to find out more about this and whether your property qualifies. You must have a legal property interest in all or part of a building which could be affected. We must have reasonable notice from the owner prior to construction of the part of the tunnel intended to go under the property. The notice must give sufficient information in order for us to complete the deed. At this stage we would confirm or refuse the owners application for a deed. On receipt of a deed the owner must return his counterpart completed within 21 days. Where a qualifying building is in multiple ownership each owner will be entitled to a deed.

What happens if I want to sell my property?
The deed will remain in place and stays with the property.

What if my property shows signs of movement?
If you become aware of damage to the property that you believe may be caused by the project’s construction, contact us to request a further inspection. This would be conducted at our expense and may be triggered by the owner at any time. We may need to install additional monitoring equipment or additional preventative works to mitigate the effects of settlement that may be taking place. On completion of the construction activity in the area, if there has been damage caused by the Thames Tideway Tunnel or the owner suspects any damage to the building, we would undertake a post construction condition survey. We would write a report which would identify and explain any differences from the pre construction condition survey that will have been held on record by both ourselves and the property owner.

Will you pay for any repairs to my building?
Where buildings may be affected by settlement we will take reasonable steps to limit the impacts and will discuss these with the relevant property owners and occupiers. If damage does occur due to our construction works, we will agree the costs of the repairs with you before any work is undertaken.

How would you know if my property is affected by settlement?
Before construction starts in the area, an inspection of the property would be undertaken to determine what, if any, monitoring and surveying would be necessary to accord with the terms of the deed. The results of this assessment would be made available to the owner prior to commencement of relevant construction activity.

Do I need a Settlement Deed to be protected?
No, the deed will simply put into a personal contract the obligations and commitments made in the Settlement Information Paper which is available on our website.

If you have questions about our other activities Visit: www.thameswater.co.uk For billing or account enquiries call: 0845 9200 888 Lines are open weekdays from 8am - 8pm and on Saturday from 8am - 1pm (Minicom or Typetalk: 0845 7200 899) For water or wastewater enquiries call: 0845 9200 800 Lines are open 24 hours a day (Minicom or Typetalk: 0845 7200 898) For more information about the Thames Tideway Tunnel Call: 0800 0721 086 Lines are open 24 hours a day Visit: www.thamestidewaytunnel.co.uk Email: info@tidewaytunnels.co.uk For our language interpretation service call 0800 0721 086

For information in Braille or large print call 0800 0721 086

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