What steps is the Welsh Government taking to upgrade the elderly sewage works in Usk, as per the Dŵr Cymru-funded research published in June?
Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water (DCWW) is investing over £10 million between now and 2025 to improve the way Usk Wastewater Treatment Works operates. A number of phases will be completed, with new assets and storage tanks being fitted to increase treatment capacity. This forms part of DCWW’s wider investment package totalling £836 million to improve wastewater assets between 2020 and 2025.
Specific future investment plans will be considered as part of the investment plans for which will be determined by Ofwat, the independent economic regulator, through their statutory price review mechanism. However, as the source apportionment report shows, excess phosphorus levels in the Usk come from multiple sources. A cross sectoral approach, including changes in agricultural practices, will be required to deliver the desired improvements in Water quality.
I am working with NRW to encourage Wales’ water companies to develop effective and evidence-based Drainage and Wastewater Management Plans (DWMPs). These will look at ways to address existing and future pressures on the sewer system, including population growth and climate change, to build a more resilient wastewater and drainage infrastructure. DWMPs will provide the opportunity to adopt a multi-sector catchment approach where the water companies and stakeholders are able to integrate their investment and development plans.