‘Extreme’ storms at fault for amount of effluent discharge into Usk say Welsh Water
“Extreme conditions” caused by storms in 2020 was responsible for the amount of effluent released into the river Usk, according to Welsh Water.
Brecon treatment works, operated by Welsh Water, spilt for 3,449 hours into the Usk, according to a report was prepared by Professor Peter Hammond, a member of the campaign group Windrush Against Sewage Pollution.
The analysis used data provided by water companies and environmental agencies to assess incidents where sewage treatment works released untreated waste diluted with rainwater into watercourses.
This happens when the treatment plants are in danger of being overwhelmed by rainfall so that the effluent does not back up into people’s homes.
Welsh Water was one of five water companies that were part of the report prepared for the Times newspaper, alongside Wessex Water, Southern Water, Yorkshire Water and United Utilities.
A spokesman for Welsh Water told the Times: “Part of the period in question saw the UK experience nine named storm events and  was deemed the third wettest year since 1910.
“Despite significant investment, our wastewater system, and our sewers which often carry surface water as well as wastewater, were not designed to deal with such intense and extreme storm conditions.”
It comes after Tory MPs came under fire last month for voting against an amendment to the Environment Bill that would have forced water companies to reduce their discharge of effluent into rivers and seas.
However, following public outrage at the vote, the UK government announced a partial U-turn over the sewage amendment after Tory rebels threatened to scupper an upcoming vote in the Commons.
MPs will debate the latest plans today.
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