Every community council in north Wales has been contacted by Plaid Cymru's regional MS Llyr Gruffydd to assess sewage contamination problems locally.
The move comes after complaints about sewage overflow in the village of Capel Curig last year.
Dwr Cymru - Welsh Water revealed that there were 3,000 communities in Wales facing similar problems and that Capel Curig wasn't even in the top 500 - despite raw human sewage flowing down the village's main road and into the nearby river at the height of summer.
Llyr Gruffydd said: "The problem in Capel Curig was bad enough but to be told, in a fairly off-hand way, that there were 500 communities more badly affected in Wales was quite shocking. I'm hoping that community councils, which have their ear to the ground, will be able to provide more detail in terms of sewage hotspots - despite requests Dwr Cymru have not provided a comprehensive list."
The letter sent to community councils:
I'm conducting a survey of communities across north Wales to find out the extent of sewage problems in watercourses.
The matter has arisen as a result of a response to a complaint I made regarding sewage flowing through the centre of Capel Curig, a village in Snowdonia. This occurs on a regular basis due to the lack of capacity in the sewerage system during heavy rainfall, an ever-increasing occurrence.
I was informed by Steve Wilson, operational director of Dwr Cymru's waste water services, that there were 3,000 locations that face sewage overflow and that Capel Curig was not even in the top 500.
This prompts a question - where are the top 500 and is your community one of those affected by sewage overflow problems that affect residents or watercourses in the locality?
Mr Wilson goes on to say that capital spending is directed at areas where homes and commercial businesses are at risk. My view is that Dwr Cymru should also be prioritising environmental and human health considerations.
I'd be grateful if you could respond with any information regarding the situation in your community so that we can assess the extent of the problem across north Wales.
Of particular interest would be:
- Location of sewage overflow - address, postcode or more detailed if possible.
- Frequency of sewage overflow - is the problem getting worse?
- Complaints made by the community council, councillors or other representatives regarding sewage overflow
- Copies of any responses from Dwr Cymru
Please respond to [email protected]