Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water works to protect rivers and other waterways by treating the wastewater from our homes and businesses and safely returning it to the environment. It requires huge amounts of equipment and thousands of kilometers of sewers.
We must ensure that they operate effectively. If something goes wrong, then sewage pollution of watercourses can have a major impact on wildlife and amenity value.
We’re working hard to minimise such pollution, and we’d like your help. You can do it by telling us as soon as possible if you see sewage pollution in a river, stream or other watercourse.
What is Sewage Pollution?
The obvious sign of sewage pollution of a stream or river is the presence of sewage solids in the water, but there may also other indications. These include:
- Toilet debris, such as tissue paper, condoms and sanitary products
- Soap suds or a milky-looking discharge in the water
- A noticeable sewage smell
Pollution can kill fish and other aquatic life, cause a risk to human health, and also affect biodiversity, amenity value, and the use of water and land for agricultural purposes.
Causes of sewage pollution
Using toilets as bins
Flushing away rubbish down the toilet can cause blockages in sewerage pipes, sometimes leading to the flooding of homes and pollution of the environment. Our Let's Stop the Block campaign highlights the things that are flushed away to cause problems – and which should be disposed of properly.
Fat, oil and grease (FOG) poured down kitchen sinks and drains can build up in sewers and cause blockages and flooding. To help avoid this, please dispose of them correctly.