A new report has revealed extensive long-term Welsh Water failures to comply with legal permits. The report’s author, Professor Peter Hammond, had been advised by the Rivers Trust of Wales, Afonydd Cymru, to investigate a number of Welsh Water’s wastewater works following concerns over compliance against their discharge permits.
The investigation shows repeated failure of Welsh Water to treat the amount of sewage it should, instead diverting it untreated to storm tanks and/or directly into rivers.
This is causing more environmental damage to both protected and non-protected Welsh rivers and estuaries that can ill afford it. This includes our River Teifi, where the worst performing treatment works has been polluting for several years.
Of deep concern for us, is that these permit breaches have been in the full knowledge of Natural Resources Wales, who have taken very little enforcement action to stop them, despite one of three key objectives of their latest corporate plan being to minimise pollution in Wales.
Coinciding with the report, Welsh Water have announced that they will be investing £20 million on a new works for Cardigan. While this is welcome, the historical environmental impact of a site that was allowed to fail for so long is likely to have been significant.
More information can also be found on Afonydd Cymru’s website here: https://afonyddcymru.org/welsh-water-permit-breaches/