We understand the importance of river quality to our customers, and take our responsibility to the wider environment seriously.

On this page you can find out more information on how we are working hard and investing heavily to protect our valuable water resources and the wider work we are doing to protect and enhance our precious environment.

Our Manifesto For Rivers in Wales

We have published our ‘manifesto’ to outline our plans for how we are going to be investing to improve river water quality in our operating area. The development of the manifesto acknowledges the increasing public concern there is in reiver water qaulity and details how we will be investing £840m in the five years to 2025 and a further £1.4bn between 2025 and 2030 to protect the environment.

We plan to target our investment to those assets which have the biggest impact on the environment, whether that’s storm overflows operating more than we’d like or too much phosphorus leaving our treatment works. We understand we must improve their performance. Our plans include:

  • Investing significantly to improve storm overflows with £140m being invested between 2020-2025 with a further £420m planned from 2025 to 2030.
  • Investing an additional £60m specifically to reduce phosphorus in the five failing Special Area of Conservation (SAC) rivers in our operating area.
  • Delivering a comprehensive programme of upgrades to our treatment works that will remove 90% of our phosphorus releases by 2030.
  • How our business operating model has allowed us to bring forward over £100m additional investment in our wastewater infrastructure accelerating investment that will have a direct benefit in improving rivers in Wales by 2025.
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Our Manifesto For Rivers in Wales

PDF, 1.3MB

We have launched our Manifesto for Rivers in Wales which outlines our plans to help improve river quality.

Open Water Swimming Survey

Open Water Swimming Survey 2023

PDF, 2.2MB

Did you know?

  • We are investing £936 million in our wastewater infrastructure by 2025, including almost £100 million for improving CSO performance
  • We will directly improve at least 420km of rivers in Wales and Herefordshire, helping the rivers move closer to ‘good ecological’ status by 2025
  • We are providing £250,000 funding and expertise to the Welsh Government ‘Four Rivers for Life’ programme, on the river’s Cleddau, Teifi, Tywi and Usk
  • Over 99% of our CSOs are monitored and openly reported on our website
  • We have launched our interactive web-based CSO data map in July 2022
  • By 2025 we will be able to report on all CSOs within an hour of them operating
  • Wales has 105 Bathing waters which are mostly excellent and good status. You can find NRW’s latest bathing water results here
  • Wales has the highest percentage of Blue Flag Beaches in the UK – with 34% of the total awards achieved in Wales in 2021

There is a lot of talk in the media and amongst politicians about how water companies contribute to pollution in the aquatic environment.

However, it is clear that we are only part of the problem and can’t be responsible for all the pollution issues affecting our rivers and seas. We don’t do anything to deliberately harm them but where we are responsible, then we are committed to making sure we take positive action to reduce the impact and play our part in improving them for everyone’s benefit.

Because this is such an important subject, we want people to have all the facts. That is why we have created this area on our website which presents useful information and how you can contact us if you have further queries.

Journey to Zero

Our Journey

to Net Zero

As one of the largest energy users in Wales, we need to adapt the way we deliver our services to allow us to deal with the challenges we face in the years and decades to come.

Learn more
Welsh Water Operational Worker

Information on

Combined Storm Overflows


  • The important role they play in protecting properties and communities from sewage flooding
  • Why CSOs exist
  • The rules we must comply with to operate them
  • The investment we have already made and plan to make to further improve CSOs
  • Latest information on the performance of CSOs in your area
Learn more
Information on river water quality

Information on

river water quality


  • The sources of nutrients in rivers and our contribution. The investment we have already made, and plan to make to improve rivers quality further including developing nature based solutions
  • the plans we have developed as part of the Welsh Government led Better River Quality Taskforce to improve river water quality
  • the findings of independent reports confirming what our contribution is to nutrient loading in Special Area of Conservation rivers
Learn more
Information on pollution

Information on


Help us minimise pollution in water by telling us as soon as possible if you see sewage pollution in a river, stream, or other watercourse. 53% of our wastewater pollution incidents are caused by blockages with about 24% of incidents attributed to blockages caused by wet wipes!

Other causes include:

  • Bursts on pressurised pipework from our Pumping Stations or Collapses of our sewers
  • Mechanical or electrical failures of pumps and other equipment
  • Loss of treatment at one of our treatment works
  • Discharges from our storm overflows due to blockages
Learn more

We know this is an emotive subject and we are committed to having open and honest conversation about it.

If you have specific queries about a river quality issue and would like to speak to someone you can email sewerage.services@dwrcymru.com or riverqualityliaison@dwrcymru.com