Preventing pollution from Wrexham industrial estate

Businesses on a Wrexham industrial estate are set to be the focus of a campaign to prevent pollution from reaching the river Gwenfro.

Officers from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) will join colleagues from Wrexham County Borough Council to visit units on the Whitegate Industrial Estate to advise on their current pollution prevention methods.

The visits will provide an opportunity for businesses to identify any pollution risks and officers will discuss mitigation measures and provide advice on any Dee Water Protection Zone (DPZ) consent and environmental permitting requirements.

The river Gwenfro flows near Whitegate Industrial Estate, before joining the river Clywedog - an important tributary of the river Dee. The Gwenfro has suffered from frequent pollution incidents, caused by accidental releases of polluting substances from nearby industrial premises, as well as misconnections into the surface water drainage system.

The river Dee is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), as well as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), due to its many protected features, such as salmon, bullhead, lamprey, otter, as well as a number of plant and invertebrate species.

The river Dee is also an important source of drinking water. It was designated as a Water Protection Zone under the Water Resources Act, 1991, meaning a consent is required where certain substances are used or stored at specific sites anywhere within the designated area, which includes Whitegate Industrial Estate. 

Elizabeth Felton, NRW Environment Team Leader for Wrexham, said:

“Pollution incidents from industrial estates can happen every day because of spills, accidents, negligence, or vandalism. Such incidents can then put human health at risk and devastate wildlife habitats on rivers such as the Gwenfro.
“By proactively visiting units on Whitegate Industrial Estate we hope to ensure that businesses have the correct measures in place to prevent pollution incidents.
“We hope this will help raise awareness of the pollution dangers from industrial estates and help protect the wildlife, habitats and water quality of the river Gwenfro.”

Cllr Hugh Jones, Lead member for Planning and Public Protection at Wrexham County Borough Council, said:

“It’s essential we protect our rivers from pollution to ensure they are protected from incidents that cause sometimes irreparable damage to our environment. By helping businesses to become aware of their responsibilities and ensure safe practices in the workplace we hope to keep our waterways clean and free from harm.”

All suspected pollution and other environmental incidents can be reported to NRW initially via the 24 hours a day incident hotline service by phoning 0300 065 3000,  emailing or by reporting it online Natural Resources Wales / Report an incident.