Welsh Water’s £27 million investment boost for the River Wye

27 February 2024

Welsh Water’s £27m project to improve two wastewater treatment works and reduce their impact on the River Wye are about to go live – a year ahead of schedule.

The not-for-profit water company is investing £27 million to reduce phosphorus released from Eign and Rotherwas wastewater treatment works in Hereford.

The projects are due to be completed in coming weeks, a year ahead of the March 2025 date agreed with the Environment Agency.

This investment, which has seen the installation of the latest technology and equipment, will allow Welsh Water to further improve the quality of the water which is released into the River Wye.

The treatment works already treats the wastewater it receives from the Hereford area to a high standard, but the planned upgrades will see the treatment process enhanced even further.

The main improvement will be the introduction of a process which will remove phosphates from the treated wastewater.

Phosphates can cause algal bloom so by removing them from the treated wastewater, this will help reduce levels in the nearby River Wye – which in turn will benefit the river quality and its aquatic life.

Welsh Water’s Managing Director of Wastewater, Steve Wilson, said: “As a company, we are committed to ensuring we do our bit to protect the environment, and that includes the watercourses we interact with.

“There are a number of factors which contribute to phosphate levels in watercourses, and we are committed to ensuring we do all that we can to keep our contribution to the absolute minimum. Our significant investment here in Hereford and other sites along the Wye reflects this. 

“We appreciate that this kind of work can cause some inconvenience, but we will do all we can to keep this to a minimum and would like to thank people for bearing with us whilst we undertake this essential work.”

The project is part of more than £50 million Welsh Water has invested, or is in the process of investing, across Herefordshire to increase capacity and reduce phosphorus to help improve the quality of the River Wye, including Weobley, Leominster, Pontrilas, Clyro and Clehonger.