Beach users warned to avoid sea due to pollution

People are being warned not to go into the water at a popular south Wales beach following a recent report of pollution.

Last weekend a leak was discovered on a container tank at a treatment works alongside the River Ogmore in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water is advising anyone planning to go into the sea to use alternative beaches.

It said “extensive investigations” have been made at its Penybont Wastewater Treatment works, which have “identified a small leak.”

Pollution from treatment works alongside the River Ogmore
The problem stems from a leak on a container tank at a treatment works alongside the River Ogmore [BBC]

In a statement the water company said: “This is mostly groundwater but it contains a small element of wastewater.

"We are now working to contain the leak and prevent it from entering the nearby watercourse.”

Steve Wilson, managing director of wastewater services, said work was under way to make sure any restriction was lifted by the bank holiday weekend

"In the meantime as a precaution we are saying it’s best not to go in the water until we have this problem fixed," he said.

"We hope to isolate it over the next 24 hours and await test results which should be back at the latest by Saturday, but hopefully sooner."

Steve Wilson Managing Director, Wastewater Services, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water
Dwr Cymru's Steve Wilson said the move was precautionary until the problem is fixed [BBC]

Mr Wilson said the leak is "roughly one litre a second into the river" and he apologised for any disruption caused.

It is estimated about half a million litres of polluted water could possibly have gone into the River Ogmore already .

Mark Ryan, chairman of Ogmore Angling Association, which has 250 members, said some were "wary" of fishing in the area.

"We have told our members to wash and sanitise their hands after fishing," he said.

"The impact is the river is written off, you can't fish it.

“Closer to the treatment works all the grey toxic liquid will have killed everything.

“We've seen a huge downturn in the numbers of salmon and sea trout and it does coincide with the pollution in the river.”