POWYS' main water suppliers have come under fire in a major report looking at pollution.

Natural Resources Wales is asking Welsh Water and Hafren Dyfrdwy to improve their performances after it published its annual environmental reports.

Welsh Water came in for particular criticism and its environmental rating has been downgraded from four-star (industry leading) company status last year to three-star (good company).

The company was involved in 83 sewage-related pollution incidents up from 77 the previous year. Two of these incidents were categorised as having a serious environmental impact. There was also one serious incident from a water supply asset.

The report also shows that compliance against permitted discharges dropped from 99.7% to 98.3% and self-reporting of incidents dropped from 80% to 76%.

Meanwhile at Hafren Dyfrdwy, the number of pollution incidents were much lower rising from six to eight and the company were able to report no serious pollution.

They, however, also had a drop in compliance at permitted discharges from 100% to 97.9% and self-reporting of incidents dropped from 100% to 75%.

Ceri Davies, NRW’s executive director for evidence, policy and permitting said the performance of the companies was “disappointing” and asked them to renew efforts to improve: “Water companies have a responsibility to the environment, as well as their customers, and they must take these incidents – and the impact they have on our water quality – seriously.

“Over many years water companies in Wales have invested significantly and improved their environmental performance so we are challenging their recent performance and asking them to set the standard for the water sector by attaining industry leading status, whilst also showing leadership in responding to the biodiversity and climate crises.

A spokesperson for Welsh Water responded: “As a company, we take our responsibility for protecting the environment seriously and we are disappointed with the result of this year’s Environmental Performance Assessment.

"We already have taken action to help improve our performance in the areas identified in the EPA. This is part of £836 million we are investing in our wastewater network between now and 2025 which includes £100 million in priority storm overflows to help improve river water quality."

Hafren Dyfrdwy, on the other hand, today announced its commitment to the Wales Better River Quality Taskforce by launching five pledges to improve river water quality by 2030.

The company has also become the latest UK water company to join ‘Get River Positive’ to transform river water quality. Central to the pledges is a commitment that work carried out by the company will ensure storm overflows and sewage treatment works do not harm rivers.

James Jesic, managing director of Hafren Dyfrdwy said: “We’ve listened to you, our customers, local communities and campaign groups and I am delighted to be able to announce this series of clear and actionable commitments, which will lead the way in protecting and revitalising rivers.”