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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): MCC/CL/WMD
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1930-1965
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 2.66 linear metres
Name of creator(s): MCC | Middlesex County Council x Middlesex County Council


Administrative/Biographical history:

The phenomenal growth of population in Middlesex from early 1920s brought problems of peculiar difficulty in sewage disposal. These were partly offset by the district councils extending their local purification works but it was clear that the problem could best be met by co-ordination and centralisation of treatment.

After intensive investigation and report by its consulting engineers, under the guidance of John Duncan Watson, the County Council with difficulty secured one of the last Unemployment Grants and obtained powers to construct and operate a system of trunk sewers, with sewage purification and sludge disposal works, to serve Western Middlesex. The undertaking came into operation in 1935-36 and included the Mogden works, then the largest and most modern full-treatment plant in the world.

The West Middlesex undertaking served 16 local authorities covering an area of 171 square miles and a population of 1,360,000. 70 miles of trunk sewers carried 70,000,000 gallons of sewage a day.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Middlesex County Council Clerk's Department relating to the West Middlesex Drainage Scheme, 1930-1965, including maps and plans of trunk sewers and effluent conduits; administrative papers; staffing matters including appointment of Chief Engineers and Chemists; papers relating to the maintenance and upkeep of the Mogden Sewage Treatment Works, Isleworth; papers relating to general maintenance at Perry Oaks Sludge Works (demolished in 2002, the site is now part of Heathrow Terminal 5); papers relating to pollution and flooding in the River Thames; papers regarding the demolition of Brentford and Chiswick sewage works; papers regarding the general policy on chlorination stations, inter-district drainage, local sewer connections, methane gas, synthetic detergents, sludge disposal and trade effluents; correspondence with other sewage authorities, and papers relating to civil defence including war damage and air raid precautions.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

MCC/CL/WMD: General; MCC/CL/WMD/MP: Maps and plans.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the Corporation of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Acquired with the records of its parent authority, the Middlesex County Council, and with successor authorities.

Allied Materials

Related material:

See also MCC/CL/L/WMD.

Publication note:

For further information on the history of the Middlesex County Council please see Middlesex by Sir Clifford Radcliffe (2 editions, 1939 and 1953), LMA Library reference 97.09 MID; and The County Council of the Administrative County of Middlesex: 76 years of local government, 1 April 1889 to 31 March 1965, by Middlesex County Council (1965), LMA library reference S97.09 MID.

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
April to June 2009

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