Pollution in South Wales rivers is affecting wildlife, report finds

25 March 2016

The River Taff and Millennium Stadium in the centre of CardiffThe River Taff and Millennium Stadium in the centre of Cardiff

ollution in South Wales rivers is affecting wildlife, a review has found.

Most of Cardiff is located on a large flood plain which hosts three rivers - the Taff, the Ely and the Rhymney.

A report is going to Cardiff council’s environmental scrutiny committee about the water quality of the city’s rivers, listing concerns and pollution issues.

It also looks at work being carried out to keep them clean and any impact the water quality is having on the local environment.

The report says that ongoing work by Natural Resources Wales and Dwr Cymru Welsh Water has resulted in significant improvements in water quality and pollution levels in each of the rivers but that there are still difficulties.

Silting and other forms or river pollution are regularly reported on the River Ely and heavy rain can result in the discharge of sewage from overflowing sewers.

Natural Resources Wales has the statutory responsibility for monitoring and maintaining river quality in Wales.

The status of the River Ely is 'bad'

In an appendix to a report going before councillors on Tuesday, the status of the River Ely, Nant Clun to Cardiff Bay, is “bad”.

It says that animals in the river have been “impacted by pollution incidents from unknown sources likely to originate from the Clun catchment upstream”.

The report says that likely pressures are from the Sewage Treatment Works, organic pollution and combined sewer overflows or misconnections as well as industrial estates.

There are known barriers to fish migration in this water body, the report adds.

Part of Clun is also listed as “poor” saying that the water body has been polluted from a number of sources.

It blames sewer overflows and misconnections, plus pollution incidents from unknown sources.

The condition of the other sections of river are listed as “moderate”.

The rivers Ely and Taff drain into Cardiff Bay

Warm weather at Cardiff Bay as a yacht berths near the Oval Basin

Committee chairman Paul Mitchell said he hopes opening the discussion will lead to more awareness about who does what with the rivers and how problems occur.

He said he hopes it will also raise the profile of the rivers.

“This is an independent review giving a chance for stakeholders and residents to comment on and learn about the state all of the rivers and water courses in Cardiff and what is being done to improve the quality of our rivers.

“Whilst there is a continuing improvement in the state of the Taff for example, some fly-fishers reported that grayling had vanished and that some fish were seen to be diseased. There are also invasive plant species such as Himalayan balsam and non-native fish such as the barbel affecting the ecology of the rivers to be considered.

“The rivers flowing through Cardiff drain a huge area of South East Wales and often the tributaries can affect the main rivers such as the Clun affecting the River Ely which some anglers consider to be effectively lifeless .

“Last year saw the ‘Clean the Clun’ campaign and other activities by National Resources Wales and the South East Wales Rivers Trust to improve water quality and we are keen to learn what future actions they plan to take and how the council and other interested parties can assist them.”

 

Article Source: Wales Online

 

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