P-06-1312 To help improve water quality in the River Usk by upgrading sewage systems in the Usk valley



This petition was submitted by Michael George Cowburn, having collected a total of 1,612 signatures.


Text of Petition:                    

The River Usk is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation. Yet water quality in the River Usk is such that 88% of its water bodies are failing to meet their targets. Improvement targets could be set. (For example: 50% by the end of 2023, 25% by 2024 & so on). Salmon, sea trout and eels are all seriously on the decline. Ranunculus weed growth in the river has virtually disappeared. People who wild swim in the river are at risk of picking up infections.


Additional Information:

Yet what is happening to help prevent this decline? Welsh Water is a not for profit organization and has been for 20 years. Without the need to pay dividends to shareholders, such funds could have been invested into upgrading sewage systems throughout Wales. It is ironic that water from the River Usk is pumped from Prioress Mill to Llandegfedd Reservoir for consumption in South Wales. Natural Resources Wales is meant to enforce water quality standards, but it is widely perceived as ineffective. Agricultural pollution and soil run off are also significant parts of the problem. Climate change with increased droughts and flooding also causes complications. The Well-being of Future Generations Wales Act 2015 is meant to help the natural environment for future generations, but this is clearly not happening. We call on the Senedd to ensure that Welsh Water invests sufficient funds to upgrade sewage treatment systems in the Usk valley to help the River Usk to return to its former glory.



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This petition was considered completed by the Petitions Committee at its meeting on 13/03/2023.


The Committee considered the petition and given the work already done by The Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs Committee on the broader issue of agricultural pollution, and Welsh Water’s plan to upgrade the sewage systems at Brecon, Llanfoist and Usk, Members agreed to close the petition and thank the petitioner.


Full details of the consideration of this petition by the Committee and related documents can be seen on the Meetings tab above.

It was first considered by the Petitions Committee on 09/01/2023.



Senedd Constituency and Region

  • Monmouth
  • South Wales East



Further information


Business type: Petition

Reason considered: Senedd Business;

Status: For consideration

First published: 09/01/2023