Warning to beachgoers after sewage flows into river near popular Welsh beach

Tenby South Beach
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

An investigation into a pollution incident has been launched, after concerns were raised that it could affect two popular bathing spots in Pembrokeshire. Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is currently investigating the incident that could be impacting on water quality at the bathing water beaches in Tenby and Penally.

The organisation has said that a warning will be put in place to inform people about the potential risks. It is understood that the spill is under control. For the latest Welsh news delivered to your inbox sign up to our newsletter.

On Monday, July 1, Natural Resources Wales confirmed that Dwr Cymru Welsh Water had alerted them to a burst rising main close to Tenby, which has caused sewage to spill into the River Ritec and has then flowed into Tenby South Beach.

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As a result, NRW has declared an "abnormal situation", as defined by the Bathing Water Regulations, at various designated bathing waters. They are:

  • Tenby South Beach

  • Castle Beach

  • Tenby North Beach

  • Penally Beach

Andrew Winterton, Natural Resources Wales' duty manager has said that Pembrokeshire County Council will place signs at the beaches to warn people of the "potential pollution risk". In a statement, Andrea Winterton said: "Dwr Cymru Welsh Water has informed us of a burst rising main near Tenby which has resulted in sewage entering the River Ritec.

"The rising main has been isolated so there should be no further pollution into the river from the burst pipe. Due to the potential for the pollution to impact the downstream bathing waters, we've declared an abnormal situation and informed Pembrokeshire County Council who will place signs at the beaches to warn people of the potential pollution risk."

Nathan Miles, the public protection manager at Pembrokeshire County Council, added: "Officers from the Council's Pollution Control Team have been working closely with Natural Resources Wales and liaising with Dwr Cymru Welsh Water following notification of this incident.

"As required by the abnormal situation declaration, the Council will place signs on the potentially affected beaches, Penally and Tenby, North, South and Castle beaches on Tuesday morning. We understand that the spill is under control and officers will continue to assess the situation alongside NRW as further information is received."

A Welsh Water spokesperson said: "We are working to repair a damaged sewer pipe on land by Clickett Lane, Tenby, after our crews discovered a burst earlier today.

"The crews worked hard to quickly isolate the pipe to prevent any further pollution and the matter was promptly reported to Natural Resources Wales. The repair is underway and is expected to be completed overnight. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause to anyone in the area."