Welsh Water asks customers for help on pollution after dry spell
Dwr Cymru Welsh Water has urged its customers to be vigilant for signs of pollution and to avoid flushing inappropriate items after the recent prolonged dry weather increased the risk of blockages in the sewer system.
The not-for-profit company appealed for customers to report any signs of pollution in rivers or streams directly to them so that investigation and any necessary remedial works can be mobilised quickly to protect the surrounding environment.
Welsh Water relies on customers reporting blockages and suspected pollution so it can protect the environment – last year, four out of every five incidents of pollution reported to the company, or to the environmental regulator Natural Resources Wales, was originally from a member of the public.
If left unchecked, sewage pollution can kill fish and other aquatic wildlife, affect biodiversity and be a risk to human health.
A significant cause of pollution comes from blockages, most commonly caused by inappropriate disposal of wet wipes.
The company deals with around 2,000 reports of sewer blockages every month, which costs it around £7 million a year to correct.
It comes after a sustained period of dry weather stretching from the hottest June on record in Wales, with little rain in the following weeks. Dry periods mean there is considerably less water entering the sewer system to dilute wastewater that is flushed, and there is a bigger risk of blockages in the system if unsuitable items are flushed away.
Steve Wilson, Welsh Water’s managing director of wastewater services, said: “The recent dry weather means there is a bigger chance of blockages in our sewers – with less water flowing through our pipes, the objects that cause blockages can’t flow through as easily, and the wastewater is less diluted.
“Blockages are mostly caused by the wrong things being flushed down the toilet and washed down the sink – around three-quarters of all our blockages – and when this goes wrong, it can cause very upsetting damage to customers’ properties.
“We always ask customers to be careful about what they’re disposing down the drain and the toilet, and we would ask they are especially cautious now as we recover from the prolonged period of dry weather we’ve experienced – and we would also ask all customers who discover a blockage, or what they think is pollution, to get in contact with us as soon as possible so we can investigate.”
- Bluewater Bio secures three phosphorus removal contracts Bluewater Bio's high-rate multimedia filtration technology FilterClear has been selected for three further plants by three... Read More >
- Water industry in Wales to discuss strategy and regulation Senior finance, investment, asset management, environment, wastewater, customer services and commercial figures from across... Read More >
- New Environment Bill outlines measures to enhance water resilience Environment Secretary Michael Gove has set out new measures to boost the environment that include efforts to improve the... Read More >
- Through the keyhole: The King's Scholars' Pond project The use of keyhole engineering on Thames Water's King's Scholars' Pond project saved money and carbon while keeping London... Read More >
- Flushed with success: FOG and Unflushables Southern Water's FOG and Unflushables programme has brought a significant improvement in the state of its sewers. Robin... Read More >
- Will SfA8 make as big a splash as hoped? Martin Lambley, product manager for stormwater management at Wavin, looks at whether Sewers for Adoption 8 will meet... Read More >
- Developing ideas: Thames Water's innovative sewer plan Thames Water is radically re-engineering an Oxfordshire market town's sewer network to help developers prepare for... Read More >
- Brexit, WWII, ancient artefacts: Southern Water's testing sewer project Southern Water's £2.5 million project to replace an 800m stretch of sewer main in Kent was complicated by - among other... Read More >