Posted: Mon 6th Nov 2023

Water Quality: Senedd motion pushes for stricter overflow management amid high level of sewage discharges in Wales

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Nov 6th, 2023

The Welsh Conservatives have brought forward a motion in the Senedd, highlighting the pressing issue of water quality in Wales.

This comes after revelations that a staggering 25% of all sewage discharges in Wales and England occur in Welsh waters, placing six Welsh rivers among the UK’s top 20 most polluted.

The Welsh Government’s Storm Overflow Report, which arrived seven months behind schedule, has been met with criticism for its lack of actionable recommendations.

This report was anticipated to offer hope and concrete measures to mitigate the effects of storm-induced sewage spills, but its absence of guidance has only intensified concerns.

Janet Finch-Saunders MS, the Welsh Conservative Shadow Climate Change Minister, expressed grave concerns about the current state of Welsh waterways and the government’s apparent inaction.

Highlighting the high water bills paid by Welsh residents – the second highest among the 11 water companies in Wales and England – she underscored the urgency of the situation.

The motion, set for debate on Wednesday, November 8, outlines a series of measures that the Welsh Conservatives believe are necessary to address this environmental challenge.

These include the imposition of legally-binding targets on Dŵr Cymru (Welsh Water) and Natural Resources Wales to enhance the management of overflows, a ramp-up in enforcement actions, and the assurance that fines are reinvested into river improvements and habitat restoration.

Additionally, it calls for a crackdown on non-permitted sewage pipes to bring them up to regulatory standards.

The motion reflects a broader call for accountability and action, noting the significant proportion of sewage spills in Welsh waters and the high water bills that Welsh people face.

It also expresses disappointment in the Welsh Government’s delayed and recommendation-free Storm Overflow Report.

In May, Welsh Water publicly apologised for significant sewage spills that have affected rivers and coastal waters in Wales.

The company was identified by Ofwat, the water industry regulator, as one of the six worst-performing water firms in England and Wales, particularly criticised for its frequent sewage discharges.

In the previous year, Welsh Water was responsible for sewage discharges lasting nearly 600,000 hours, representing over a quarter of the total discharge hours in England and Wales. Out of more than 83,000 sewage spills in 2022, 77,000 were marked as significant.

In response to the environmental damage caused and public concern, Welsh Water’s Chief Executive, Pete Perry, expressed regret and emphasised that improving river water quality is their top priority.

The company has announced a substantial £2.24 billion investment plan aimed at enhancing the health of Welsh rivers.

This plan includes an £840 million investment by 2025 and an additional £1.4 billion from 2025 to 2030.

Welsh Water has committed to neutralising the environmental impact of Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) by 2040, which is estimated to cost around £4 billion.

As the Senedd prepares to debate this motion, the Welsh Conservatives are pushing for a more robust and responsive strategy to safeguard Wales’ waterways for future generations.

Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com
Latest News

  • Voter registration closes today for next months Police and Crime Commissioner elections
  • Deeside locker maker helps greenkeepers stay on course for Open Championship
  • Fresh bid to turn a chapel in Buckley into eight new homes

  • More...

    Voter registration closes today for next months Police and Crime Commissioner elections

    News

    Deeside locker maker helps greenkeepers stay on course for Open Championship

    News

    Fresh bid to turn a chapel in Buckley into eight new homes

    News

    Deeside based Iceland launches first ever supermarket customer election manifesto

    News

    Wrexham to host to second stage of Tour of Britain Women

    News

    Young woman and child victims in Mold street robbery, police appeal for witnesses

    News

    Mold: Plans to turn former Boots store into bar given the green light

    News

    North East Wales Archives launch new digital content

    News

    Met Office issues weather warning for North Wales

    News