DCWW: Preventing Pollution
Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water is the fourth biggest company in Wales and sixth largest of the ten regulated water and sewerage companies in England and Wales. Responsible for providing over three million people with a continuous, high quality supply of drinking water and for taking away, treating and properly disposing of the wastewater that is produced. We operate and maintain a huge sewerage network comprising more than 30,000km of sewers, almost 2,000 sewage pumping stations and over 800 sewage treatment works.
The size of this network, combined with the age of some of the infrastructure, the unpredictable nature of weather and the difficulty of controlling unlawful discharges to sewers, means that preventing pollution from our sewer network is a major challenge. We recognise that the environmental damage and impact on our community caused by unpermitted discharges from our assets is unacceptable and work hard to prevent them.
We encourage anyone that spots a sewage pollution incident to report it directly to us via our See it Stop it Report it hotline 0800 085 3968 or via the website www.seereportstop.com, that way we can respond quickly to mitigate or prevent any potential impact.
For any pollution incident that is reported to us, we will inform Natural Resources Wales (NRW) or the Environment Agency (EA) depending on the location.
Other activities that we are undertaking to prevent pollution include:
- We deal with over 2,000 blockages a month, intervening to prevent flooding or pollution. Our sewer network is an ‘open’ system and we have little control over what enters it. Our analysis shows that blockages triggered by tree-roots, silt and debris in our sewers are reducing, but the number of blockage incidents caused by sewer abuse, such as fats, oils and grease, and nappies and wet wipes are increasing.
- Promoting Let’s Stop the Block, our education campaign to discourage people from flushing everyday items like cotton buds and wet wipes down the toilet; or rinsing things like fat, oil and food scrapings down the sink which can result in sewer blockages. http://letsstoptheblock.com. Please visit the site and sign the pledge. Also, visit our exclusive night club Loo Loos http://www.looloosclub.co.uk/
- Adapting to our changing climate. As it rains more heavily and more often, and our towns and cities are also growing, there is more surface water than ever before entering the sewer. At Welsh Water, we are leading the way in developing and using new, innovative solutions to manage the amount of surface water entering our sewers. We have called this approach RainScape. This will help to reduce the risk of sewer flooding and pollution, and help to support economic development.
- Working with Natural Resources Wales to look at the impacts of permitted discharges across Wales to understand where the permits may be contributing to rivers not achieving good status under the Water Framework Directive.
- Working with NRW and local authorities to identify misconnections that pollute rivers and beaches http://www.connectright.org.uk/
If you have any further questions or would like information on any of our initiatives please contact Emma Harris, Pollution Reduction Strategy Manager firstname.lastname@example.org