London 2012: Recycled sewage for Olympic Park water

A "black water" plant which will recycle sewage for watering lawns and flushing toilets at the Olympic Park, has been formally opened.

The £7m Old Ford recycling plant is next to the Olympic Park and cleans waste water from London's sewers.

This is then pumped into a network of pipes in the Park especially for recycled water, which are separate from those for drinking water taps.

It has been funded by the Olympic Delivery Authority and Thames Water.

It is estimated the scheme will help save the park up to 83 Olympic-sized swimming pools of drinking water a year.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman opened the site and said: "Despite our reputation as a rainy country, we may face a future with less rainfall and less certainty about when that rain will fall.

"If we want to make sure we have a reliable supply of water in the future we all need to play our part now. Projects like this, which safely recycle water and prevent the need for fresh water to be used where it isn't needed, have a crucial role to play."

ODA chief executive Dennis Hone said: "We have designed London 2012 venues to be highly water efficient and the opening of the Old Ford plant will mean a significant reduction in the use of potable water across the Olympic Park during the Games and for years to come."

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