Wales’ biggest water company has made cuts for the second year running after rising pollution levels.
Welsh Water By 2022, there were 91 sewage pollution incidents, five of which were classified as having “high or significant impact”.
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has downgraded the company’s rating from three stars to two stars, meaning “requires improvement”.
“The performance is not where we want it to be,” Welsh Water said.
World flyweight champion Hywell Morgan called the company a “disgrace”.
“They don’t even deserve one star,” he said. “There is not one river in Wales that is suitable for swimming.
We as fishermen report pollution every week and nothing is done,” he added.
A year ago, Welsh Water was downgraded from an industry leading four star rating to a three star rating following the NRW Environmental Performance Report.
This is after it was confirmed that the company caused 83 sewage-related pollution compared to last year 77.
In April, the not-for-profit provider increased its rates to an average of £499 a year – the second highest in Wales and England.
NRW’s The latest annual reviewPublished on Wednesday, pollution levels rose by 9 percent by 2022, and the number of events with high or significant impacts rose from three to five.
Welsh Water itself failed to make an improvement in the number of incidents reported to NRW, falling to 65%, a 7% decrease from 2021.
NRW chief executive Clare Pillman said: “The decline in performance of Duke Cymru Welsh Water is very disappointing.” “Water companies must take urgent and sustained action to make the necessary changes to address the serious pollution problems we are seeing in our water.”
In a statement, Welsh Water said: “We are working tirelessly to make the necessary improvements in challenging situations, particularly as we face more extreme weather events and greater variability in climate.
“These changes are having a significant impact on our water and wastewater infrastructure and are challenging how we deliver our services.
“For 2022, we have recorded five serious pollution incidents, compared to three in 2021, the second lowest total pollution incidents in the water industry, and the number of pollution incidents has halved over the last 10 years.
“However, we are sorry for any environmental damage.”
The company said it plans to invest a further £100m to improve river quality by 2025, with an £840m upgrade plan.
The NRW report found that water company Hafren Differdwy, which operates in parts of mid and north-east Wales, “continued to perform well in serious pollution incidents with zero serious pollution incidents in 2022 and reduced the total number of pollution incidents to eight.” Up to four in 2021.