Raw Sewage in Rivers
The data was released following monitoring of Storm Overflow (CSO in England) events within Welsh Water’s Operating Area.
How Much Sewage
The below data shows three plants and the number of hours in each year when a Storm Overflow was is use, and the number of time the overflow system was in use.
|3676 Hours 30 Minutes
|2620 Hours 15 Minutes
|4100 Hours 0 Minutes
Storm overflows were originally intended to bypass sewage treatment works (delivering raw sewage to rivers) in time of heavy rainfall. But failure to increase capacity of sewers as populations have grown, have lead to for raw sewage to be passed direct to river of 50% of year.
This means that any flushed plastic items such as wet wipes, tampon applicators, dental floss will potentially end up in the river.
Sewage Plastic on Beaches
These visible elements of plastic pollution are troubling enough, but billions of plastic particles from laundering of clothes will also be released.
This Storm Overflow system, also i use in England and Scotland is responsible for severe environmental degradation.
This makes our job of cleaning up beaches even harder, as we are fighting against a tide of small plastic debris.
This image above shows a swathes of small plastic debris on Camasumary beach. The very close range in sizes likely indicates that this is primarily flushed material. If it was not flushed plastics, then there would be larger items too perhaps.