Anglers report sewage discharge into the River Wye at Redbrook below Monmouth. These discharges have been taking place each morning over the last 7 days. One angler reported seeing sewage and a very bad smell along with dead fry and dead adult salmon. Another angler reported seeing dead fry and a rash appearing on his hands when removing debris from the river. The owner of one beat reported a release of pollutants as soon as it started to rain last Friday. This pollution was foaming and smelt bad.
The discharges occur in the morning, which would seem to imply that partially treated sewage is being stored and then released, possibly to coincide with high tides.
Migration of adult salmon is being seriously hindered by these discharges, the pollutants causing fish to drop back to the tide. A period of low water and hot weather could result in high mortality and a serious fish kill as a result.
One fishery owner suggested discharges to be a growing problem. In previous years he reports juvenile flounders and coarse fish, were regularly seen in his stretch of the river. Now this is a rarity. It seems a problem that can only be solved by Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water cleaning up the Redbrook plant.
The Wye is a special Area of Conservation (SAC), and in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. These discharges would not be permissible if they were pumping out off a swimming beach, but are being allowed in an SAC , regularly used by canoeists with young children.
Newland Sewage Treatment Works at Redbrook is owned and operated by Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water. It is hoped Welsh Water will upgrade this facility in the current investment period, and stop polluting a river that forms the border between England and Wales.
We are advised an EA response team is now investigating, At present it is understood the EA monitor water quality upstream of the outlet, which may explain why this discharge has been allowed to rise to such appalling levels.