THE shocking volumes of sewage discharged into Powys rivers have been confirmed in analysis of official data by the County Times.

Figures from the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales show that some areas of fresh water have had sewage leaking into them for thousands of hours - and one particular hotspot suffered leaks for more than half of the entirety of 2021.

One area around Llanbrynmair had the most persistent leaking of sewage in Powys – lasting 5,413 hours - or nearly seven and half months - in 2021.


The pollution seems to be sourced from the local pumping station and local councillor Gary Mitchell has said that the issue is something that local residents are largely unaware of.

“Issues of pollution have been raised and are a concern within Llanbrynmair Council – a body that I sit on," he said.

"I would assume people are largely unaware of the issue or perhaps the scale of it as I’m sure it is of concern to all,” said Councillor Mitchell.

Councillor Mitchell has said he will be putting forward some “robust questions” to Natural Resources Wales and the local Water companies.

“Absolutely any elements of water pollution are a concern for me, where ever they take place, but especially those in my locality,” he said.

Another hotspot is the area around Beulah which saw sewage leaking into the River Cammarch for 2,027 hours – nearly three months. There were also over two months of leaks in nearby Llanwrtyd Wells in the River Irfon.

Although Beulah resident, John Matthews, claims issues go back much further.

“We have lived in Beulah since 1986 and we are told by neighbours there are issues going back further,” said Mr Matthews.

“The sewerage system is old and in need of replacement and relocation. In 2012 after sewerage filled our garden we had a visit from Welsh Water and one man said the sewerage system was built in the wrong place as it relied on pumps.”

“In Llanwrtyd Wells I am horrified to think that local children playing in the park which is right next to The River Irfon do so without knowing the dangers and diseases that can potentially exist in the water.” 

Local Councillor Peter James said he was only made aware of the situation around sewage relatively recently.

County Times:

“The sewage drain problem in Beulah this was brought to my attention early in July 2022 and has been a problem for very many years as I have been informed by residents suffering back up from the sewer,” said Councillor James.

Councillor James has been trying to get help to solve the issue from Powys County Council, the Senedd, Natural Resources Wales and Welsh Water.

Councillor James said the discharge of sewage in the both Beulah and Llanwrtyd Wells was “very worrying and not acceptable”.