Statement in response to issues at Cardigan wastewater treatment works

We are aware of significant compliance issues at the Cardigan wastewater treatment works, and we have used our regulatory powers to enforce the improvements required at the site over the years.

The issue is now unresolvable without significant investment and upgrading of infrastructure by Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water.

But this is the kind of investment that we, and the public expects. The enforcement action we are taking at this site requires Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water to commit to this programme of work during their next investment period and we will work with them to drive the improvements at this site that we all want to see.

We are currently investigating permit breaches at the site and this investigation is ongoing. Any breaches will be dealt with in line with our Enforcement and Sanctions Policy.

Both regulators, Ofwat and NRW, have been clear that the current use of storm overflow discharges is unacceptable and needs to change. We understand the concern of many across Wales that overflows are operating too frequently, and we are taking steps to ensure our regulation of overflows responds to the needs of the environment and public.

We continue to challenge water companies to improve their performance across all assets, to ensure overflows are properly controlled. Part of this work includes the tightening of our regulation and through our work on the Wales Better River Quality Taskforce. We are also overseeing a programme of investment of £20m by the water companies to further reduce the impact of storm overflows, prioritising high spillers.