Dŵr Cymru completes £52m investment in south west Wales in 2011-12
Further £82m of works now underway
Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water reports that investment in south west Wales during 2011/12 reached £52m – and a further spend of £82m is underway this year to maintain top quality services to customers.
Announcing its financial results for the past year, Welsh Water reported that its spending programme is on track to deliver an ambitious £1billion boost to water services infrastructure throughout its area over the next three years.
Spending in south west Wales during 2011/12 on maintenance programmes for the company’s drinking water and wastewater systems totalled £27m, with investment over the year of £20m spent on delivering drinking water quality and environmental improvements. Investment of £2m was made supporting economic growth by ensuring adequate network capacity for new developments and a further £3m was invested to alleviate the risk of sewage flooding to properties.
Investment was also completed on a £29m advanced anaerobic digestion facility at Afan wastewater treatment works. The facility extracts methane gas from wastewater which is then used to produce the equivalent electricity that would be required to power 3,500 homes. Reduction in reliance on power from fossil fuels enables Dŵr Cymru to keep down customers’ bills.
The area also benefited from part of a £9m investment across the whole of south Wales to reduce leakage from the company’s massive network of water pipes.
Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water managing director Nigel Annett said, “We are investing heavily in projects in south west Wales, upgrading the wastewater network to both minimise the impact of our operations on the environment and also protect properties from the risk of sewer flooding.
“During 2011/12 investment was made on improving and increasing the capacity of wastewater treatment works and network overflow outlets. We also completed the installation of an anaerobic digestion plant at Afan wastewater works in Port Talbot to capture gas from wastewater and turn it into electricity.
“We are increasing investment levels in this area during 2012/13, focusing on improvements to operating processes at a number of other wastewater treatment works, including our Swansea works, and additional sewer flooding alleviation schemes, including the Briton Ferry scheme, already well underway.
“Our investment in wastewater treatment is benefiting the environment by helping to improve rivers and coastal bathing water quality – which contributes to the number of Blue Flag beaches that we have in Wales.”
Highlights of investment in 2011/12 included major schemes on the wastewater network in Neath, Swansea and Pembrokeshire, together with a project to improve the environment at Aberporth wastewater treatment works in Ceredigion.
Further investment of £82m is already underway or planned in south west Wales for the present financial year 2012/13. £36m is being spent on maintenance works, with £38m for drinking water quality and environment improvements. Investment of £3m is planned to support economic growth by ensuring network capacity for new developments, with a further £5m allocated to schemes to alleviate the risk of sewage flooding of properties.
Welsh Water is a ‘not-for-profit company’ which has been owned by Glas Cymru since 2001. It does not have shareholders, and any financial surpluses are reinvested in the business for the benefit of customers.
Click here to view a map of the investment
Enquiries to the Dwr Cymru Welsh Water press office on 029 2055 6140
Notes to editors
Highlights for the year
- lowest bill increase of all water and sewerage companies for the second year running. After deducting RPI inflation, Dŵr Cymru’s average household bill is projected by Ofwat to be 6% lower in 2015 than it was in the year before Glas Cymru took over the ownership of Dŵr Cymru;
- sector leading performance on operating cost efficiency, with a further 3% real reduction in operating costs taking the total reduction to 8% since 2001;
- gearing – total net borrowings as a percentage of regulatory asset value – reduced to 65% from 67% in 2011 and 93% in 2001;
- highest credit ratings in the UK utilities sector;
- capital investment of £262 million (up from £242million in 2011);
- profit (before tax and fair value movements) of £7 million retained in the business for the benefit of customers.
- high drinking water quality maintained with 99.96% of samples taken at customers’ taps complying with standards;
- 90% customer satisfaction with day to day service as measured by both independent tracking research and by research carried out by Ofwat, the industry regulator;
- 89% business customer satisfaction as measured by independent research carried out with Dŵr Cymru’s largest customers;
- customer complaints cut by more than half to less than 5,000;
- just 116 properties experienced unplanned interruptions to supply lasting more than 6 hours;
- private sewers are now the responsibility of Dŵr Cymru, potentially doubling the size of our sewer network, removing worry and expense for many of our household customers;
- more than 13,000 sewer blockages cleared, keeping the number of flooding incidents to less than 200 properties, the best result for several years;
- some 44,000 household customers benefitting from one of Dŵr Cymru’s sector leading social tariffs and Customer Assistance Fund
- 43 beaches and five marinas won Blue Flags this year - a third of the total awarded to all of the UK – and 53 Green Coast awards for rural beaches were also won;
- a record number of Welsh beaches recommended in the Good Beach Guide;
- leakage target achieved and is now at record low level – leakage has been halved since the 1990s;
- no water use restrictions across our operating region for 23 years;
- serious pollution incidents cut to just four and the total number of pollution incidents caused by sewer blockages and equipment failures also lower; however, 22 wastewater treatment works (out of more than 800) did not comply with their consents; moreover, insufficient samples were taken at a further four works to demonstrate compliance; a “fast tracked” turnaround plan, backed by an additional investment of £30 million, is progressing well and our performance to date in 2012 is better than in the same period last year
- carbon emissions cut by 12% or 40,000 tonnes with new green renewable energy schemes fully operational at Cardiff and Port Talbot.