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Friday, 25 January, 2002, 13:19 GMT
MP demands harbour pollution action
Rhyl town
Rhyl relies on having clean beaches for tourists to enjoy
Dwr Cymru Welsh Water has been asked to take urgent action to prevent further waste water leaks into Rhyl Harbour.

Chris Ruane MP wants a full inquiry and weekly monitoring at a storm flood relief tank, where four incidents have been reported in the past week.

The MP said he was annoyed that the authority had not yet taken action to rectify the problem with the 100ft deep tank.
Chris Ruane MP
Chris Ruane MP: 'Very disappointed'

The latest incident in Rhyl Harbour was reported by a local fisherman.

The water authority said it was aware of the problem with and said steps were being taken to rectify the situation.

Mr Ruane has also called on the Environment Agency to review its policy of monitoring beaches for pollution, which currently takes place from May to September.

The MP for the Vale of Clwyd said he was angry that Welsh Water did not start an investigation in November 2001.

This town relies heavily on tourism - the situation simply is not good enough

Chris Ruane MP
Mr Ruane said he had been told unofficially that the source of the problem lay with a faulty valve at the storm water tank.

"Rhyl had problems with its beaches for 13 years, failing standards," he said.

"That has been rectified in recent years, but there were five incidents in north Wales last year at locations including Rhyl and Prestatyn, which rely on clean beaches for tourism.

"Welsh Water said each one of these incidents was a surprise and they said an investigation would take place."

Inquiry calls

"This is the second biggest town in north Wales, which relies heavily on tourism and we pay among the highest water rates in the UK. This situation simply is not good enough."

The water authority responded by stating: "Dwr Cymru Welsh Water is aware that there is an issue surrounding waste water discharges into the Foryd Estuary.

"The company is keeping the Environment Agency (Wales) informed of this work and has been in contact with the local environmental group and MP.

"Dwr Cymru Welsh Water has always said that it will work with the Environment Agency to help resolve the problems causing bathing water quality failures at Rhyl and Prestatyn, and will continue to do this."

But Mr Ruane added he was not prepared to take Welsh Water's word the work would be carried out and insisted an official inquiry was now needed.

  • Mr Ruane is the honorary president of the Rhyl Environment Association, which was set up to monitor pollution incidents 13 years ago.

  • See also:

    14 Aug 01 | UK
    Seaside stories: Rhyl
    23 Aug 00 | Wales
    Resort tops poverty league
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