Dŵr Cymru investing over £11m to improve water quality in River Cleddau
Bruce Sinclair, local democracy reporter
Dŵr Cymru is investing more than £11m to improve water quality in the River Cleddau, members of Pembrokeshire County Council have been told.
Last month, a Welsh Liberal Democrat analysis of sewage dumping statistics released by Dŵr Cymru said they paint a grim picture for west Wales, with Ceredigion, Preseli Pembrokeshire, and eastern Carmarthenshire all in the top 10 constituencies in the UK for sewage dumping.
The Lib Dems say the figures for West Wales show Preseli Pembrokeshire being polluted by sewage 5,003 times in 2022, lasting 45,902 hours, while Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire was polluted by sewage 3,563 times in 2022 – lasting 26,132 hours.
At a full meeting of the council, Liberal Democrat councillor Alistair Cameron said “Discharge of untreated sewerage is a growing concern around Pembrokeshire’s coast and rivers” and asked: “Please could the leader or appropriate cabinet member arrange a seminar for all members with Dwr Cymru / Welsh Water so that they can explain what they are doing to reduce the discharge of untreated sewerage?”
Responding, Cabinet Member for Planning & Housing Delivery Cllr Jon Harvey said he shared Cllr Cameron’s concerns, adding he had contacted both Welsh Water and Natural Resources Wales – as the regulatory body – with a seminar for members expected to take place in early June.
Cllr Harvey also shared a statement from Welsh Water to councillors.
“As a company, Welsh Water takes its responsibility to protect the environment seriously and we invest around £1 million a day in improving and maintaining our networks and services.
“There are many different factors which contribute to river water quality – of which wastewater is one element. We have a strong environmental record and have invested heavily to protect water quality in both our rivers and seas.
“This has delivered real improvements and helped ensure that Wales has over a third of the UK’s Blue Flag beaches while only having 15 per cent of the coastline and that 40 per cent of our rivers and waterbodies meet good ecological status compared to 16 per cent in England.
“We recognise however that with environmental legislation tightening and customer expectations changing, more needs to be done. We plan to target our investment to those assets which have the biggest impact on the environment, whether that’s storm overflows operating more than we’d like or too much phosphorus leaving our treatment works. We understand we must improve their performance.”
The statement added: “Over the past 18 months, we have updated our Source Apportionment Graphical Information System (SAGIS) water quality models to better understand the impact of our assets on Special Area of Conversation (SAC) rivers in our operating area, that are failing phosphorus targets. The SAC rivers are: Usk, Wye, Teifi, Cleddau and Dee.
“To help improve the Cleddau, between now and March 2025, we’re investing in four of our sites located along the river. These wastewater treatment works are located at Spittal (£1.5m), Rosemarket (£1m), Letterston (£3.9m) and Wolfscastle (£5m).”
Welsh Water also said it was in touch, and working with, many community groups and organisations in the area.
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