Covid 19 – Our customers in local lockdown areas

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Updated: 18:00 28 September 2020

With the Welsh Government introducing lockdown measures in areas across Wales, we are having to take additional precautions to help keep our colleagues and customers safe in these areas. These areas currently are:

  • Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough
  • Caerphilly County Borough
  • Merthyr Tydfil County Borough
  • Bridgend County Borough
  • Blaenau Gwent County Borough
  • Newport
  • Llanelli (town)
  • Cardiff
  • Swansea
  • Vale of Glamorgan
  • Torfaen County Borough
  • Neath Port Talbot County Borough

We know that our role – providing water and wastewater services - has never been more important. As essential key workers, you will still see Welsh Water employees working across these areas to maintain services but we will continue to carefully implement social distancing and safety procedures. All of our colleagues will also adhere to rules on wearing face coverings in indoor public areas.

We are temporarily limiting visits to households in these areas to doing emergency or essential works. Examples includes if you have issues with your water supply or flooding in the property. Please get in touch with us as usual and we will advise you what will happen next.

Before we visit, our teams will contact you in advance to confirm that no-one has shown (in the last 48 hours) or is currently showing any COVID-19 symptoms.

We appreciate that this may cause some inconvenience, but we hope you understand that we’re doing this to keep you and your families safe.

We will keep you informed of any other changes through updates on this site and via our social media channels - Facebook & Twitter.

Sewer pollution


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 kilometres 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.

Cooking fats

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.

What we're doing

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water operates a massive network of sewers and treatment works – and occasionally pollution incidents occur due to equipment failure and other causes. These have averaged more than 200 in recent years, and we’re working hard to reduce this number. Environment Agency Wales has set us a target of 155 by 2014.

We’re investing £10million in a Pollution Reduction Action Plan. This involves:

  • £5million of maintenance and improvement schemes
  • analysis to predict potential sewer blockages
  • enhanced maintenance at pumping stations
  • involving organisations who can assist us
  • informing the public of how they can help
  • increasing the number of staff on pollution control
  • increasing remote monitoring of sewer overflows
  • working with ‘River Rangers’ who can report problems

Our goal is ‘zero tolerance’:

Sewage pollution has been included in our company vision: “...that customers should be able to look forward to: ...a zero tolerance approach to pollution”

Get Involved

If you see pollution of a watercourse from our pipes or other equipment then please ‘phone our hotline immediately. And if you think there could be a future problem, let us know. Tell us by sending an email to PollutionRisk@dwrcymru.com

Please give us as much information as you can, as well as your contact details. We’ll investigate and take any action that’s needed. And if you choose, we’ll keep you updated.

Involving the community

If you’re involved in community activities and would like information on sewage pollution, or perhaps our advice on a community project please email us with your request and contact details. A member of our pollution team will be in touch.

Living & learning with water

Would you like your children to know more about the vital role water plays in our everyday lives? We've a wealth of interesting information and resources, all linked to the national curriculum. They’ve been developed with educational experts to stimulate and educate Key Stage 2 pupils. More information can be seen by clicking here.