Cross Ness lighthouse, built 1895 by Trinity House, now operated by the Port of London Authority.
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Crossness is a location in the London Borough of Bexley, close to the southern bank of the River Thames, to the east of Thamesmead, west of Belvedere and north-west of Erith. The place takes its name from Cross Ness, a specific promontory on the southern bank of the River Thames. In maritime terms, the tip of Cross Ness, in the past referred to as 'Leather Bottle Point', marks the boundary between Barking Reach and Halfway Reach. An unmanned lighthouse on Crossness is a navigational aid to shipping.
Crossness is the location of a large sewage treatment works and the Victorian Crossness Pumping Station, built at the eastern end of the Southern Outfall Sewer as part of the London sewerage system designed by Sir Joseph Bazalgette and constructed between 1859 and 1865.
Crossness Nature Reserve is east of the sewage works.
Crossness sewage works
The sewage treatment works at Crossness (TQ487805) is located at the eastern end of the Southern Outfall Sewer. As originally conceived the works comprised reservoirs covering 2.6 hectares designed to retain six hours’ flow of sewage. No sewage treatment was provided and the sewage was discharged untreated into the River Thames on the ebb tide. Following the Princess Alice disaster in 1878 a Royal Commission was appointed in 1882 to examine Metropolitan Sewage Disposal. It recommended that a precipitation process should be deployed to separate solids from the liquid and that the solids should be burned, applied to land or dumped at sea. A precipitation works using lime and iron sulphate was installed at Crossness in 1888–91. Sludge was disposed of in the Barrow Deep and later in the Black Deep in the outer Thames estuary.
Work began in the early 1960s to install a modern treatment plant capable of treating 450,000 cubic metres per day of sewage. The cost of the works was £9 million at 1963 prices. The plant comprised storm tanks, detritus channels, primary sedimentation, mechanical aeration, final sedimentation and sludge digestion.
|Treatment tanks at Crossness sewage treatment works, 1964|
|Primary sedimentation tanks||16||Rectangular|
|Aeration tanks||Mechanical aeration, 348||Rectangular|
|Final sedimentation tanks||32||Circular|
|Primary sludge digestion tanks||16||Circular|
|Secondary sludge digestion tanks||12||Circular|
The treated effluent outfall from the plant is into the River Thames at the eastern end of the works. Following the 1964 upgrade the works at Crossness began to produce a nitrifying effluent whereupon sulphide disappeared from the tideway; an excess of nitrate provided a safeguard against sulphide formation in the river. The practice of dumping sewage sludge at sea was banned in 1998. In that year a sludge incineration plant was commissioned. This provides 6 MW of power for use at the treatment works.
In 2010–14 the Crossness works were upgraded to treat 44 per cent more sewage to reduce storm sewage flowing into the Thames during heavy rainfall. The works cost £220m (2010 prices). The upgrade involved the installation of new renewable energy sources including a 2.3 MW wind turbine and thermal hydrolysis plant, an advanced digestion plant and an odour control treatment system. The project enabled the plant to treat 13 cubic metres per second of sewage and incorporated new inlet works, primary settlement tanks, secondary biological treatment implementing the activated sludge process and final settlement tanks. It also included the installation of associated sludge thickening and odour treatment facilities. The hydrolysis plant burns combustible sludge flakes created after waste water treatment to 160°C, this produces 50 per cent more biogas prior to the anaerobic digestion process. The biogas is used to generate renewable energy. The project included the installation of eight new primary settlement tanks where sewage is collected to remove primary sludge passing through two 1.2 km-long culverts of 2 m diameter. Sewage passes through a pair of new aeration lanes into twelve final settlement tanks of 40 m diameter. The activated sludge plant includes six aeration lanes of 69 m with total volume of 86,000 cubic metres and a treatment capacity of 564,000 cubic metres per day. It includes anoxic zone mixers, a fine bubble diffused aeration system and five centrifugal blowers giving an air flow of up to 21,000 cubic metres per hour. Additional sludge storage and thickening facilities store the additional sludge. The five raw sludge gravity belt thickeners have a capacity of 6,055 cubic metres per day each.
- "London river lights". Retrieved 1 April 2019.
- Clapham, Phoebe (2012). Thames Path in London. London: Aurum Press. pp. 136–51. ISBN 978 1 84513 706 9.
- Wood, Leslie B (1982). The Restoration of the Tidal Thames. Bristol: Adam Hilger. p. 34.
- Wood, Leslie B (1982). The Restoration of the Tidal Thames. Bristol: Adam Hilger. p. 42.
- Wood, Leslie B (1982). The Restoration of the Tidal Thames. Bristol: Adam Hilger. p. 62.
- Wood, Leslie B (1982). The Restoration of the Tidal Thames. Bristol: Adam Hilger. pp. 105–07.
- "Crossness sludge incineration plant". Retrieved 1 April 2019.
- "Crossness upgrades 2010-14". Retrieved 1 April 2019.
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