Welsh Water’s £19m boost for Menai Strait

23 February 2024

A scheme which aims to help protect the environment and improve the water quality of the Menai Strait in the Bangor area is set to get underway by Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water.

The £19 million investment scheme, which will start mid-February, will increase the capacity of the wastewater network which in turn will help improve the water quality of the Menai Straits.

The project, by the not-for-profit, utility company will involve installing a new underground storage tank which will enable the wastewater network to perform more effectively during heavy rain. The waste network in Bangor is a combined system, which means that wastewater from kitchens and toilets are mixed in with excess water from the runoff from rooftops and roads rainwater. During heavy rainfall, the additional rainwater can sometimes overwhelm the network which can cause flooding, so this essential investment will help the system cope better with these additional flows.

As part of the work, which is set to be completed by mid-2025, a new storage tank and underground pipework to connect the tank will be installed. The intention is that when it rains heavily, the tank will store a lot of the stormwater and then slowly release it back into the wastewater network after the rain has passed. This in turn, will reduce the risk of flooding from the network, and reduce the number of times the nearby storm overflow needs to operate.

The work will take place on Beach Road football pitch, located in Hirael, Bangor which is where the new underground tank will be installed. The pitch will be fully reinstated once the work has been completed.

Welsh Water’s Project Manager Angela Meadows said: “Our major investment in the Hirael area of Bangor reflects our commitment to play our part in helping to improve and protect the quality of the waters surrounding Wales.

“This major £19 million project will ensure that Bangor has a much more robust wastewater system that is better placed to deal with periods of heavy rainfall – which are becoming more frequent due to the impacts of climate change.”

Bangor City and Gwynedd County Councillor Nigel Pickavance, said “This is a large and welcomed investment in Bangor’s infrastructure and will help protect properties from flooding as well as the environment. This project will overlap with the flood defence scheme in the area and it’s great to see all parties working together to try and minimise disruption to local residents by carrying out the work at the same time.”

Bangor City and Gwynedd County Councillor Dylan Fernley, said “I’m happy to see Welsh Water investing in the Hirael area of Bangor. Even though there will be some disruption locally short-term while the work is being done the project will bring a number of long-term benefits to the area.”

Angela Meadows added; “As with any major construction work there will be some disruption, however we have planned the work carefully to minimise disturbance and there will be no impact on the wastewater services to customers. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank local residents in advance for their patience and understanding as we carry out this work.

“We held a drop-in information event in January for local residents, stakeholders, and businesses to meet with us and ask questions, which was well attended and hugely beneficial. Residents will be able to follow progress on the work and receive updates by following our ‘In Your Area page’ on our website. We are also urging local community groups to keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for more information about our Community Fund which provides funding for groups who want to improve their area and community.”