SEWAGE water has been allowed to flow into the River Dee in Chester just yards from a city pub and rowing club.
But Dwr Cymru Welsh Water has stressed it has permission from the Environment Agency to release ‘diluted wastewater’ into the river after heavy rain to prevent homes from flooding.
The issue first came to light when Twitter user Vertebrate posted a video on Monday that clearly showed effluent coursing into the water at The Groves, near The Boathouse pub, in Chester.
He wrote: “Welsh Water @DwrCymru pumps stinking raw sewage into River Dee in #Chester. Macedoine of **** & sanitary towel? Don’t row swim kayak sail.”
It was quickly noticed by several others, including Sealand Road businessman and homelessness champion Adam Dandy.
He tweeted: “Raw untreated sewage being pumped out into the River Dee in Chester!! #Unbelievable
“Is this acceptable in 2017 in one of our tourist hot spots? What about the @COCHfundraising Duck Race?”
Many people began demanding Dwr Cymru Welsh Water be fined for pollution and have alerted councillors to the issue.
“This is clearly a health risk for all River Dee users,” tweeted Handbridge Life.
“Of course no-one should put wet wipes or tampons down the toilet – ignorant people [are] not helping.”
Another social media user wrote: “On a sunny day, young kids paddle and swim 10 foot from this.”
Another added it was “absolutely unacceptable” to pollute rivers.
However, a spokesman for Dwr Cymru Welsh Water said the company had permission to carry out the procedure and had alerted the Environment Agency of its intention to do so on Saturday.
He said: “During the heavy rain that occurred in the Chester area on Saturday, the emergency relief valve on our wastewater system released diluted wastewater into part of the River Dee.
“During heavy rain like that, we do have consent from Environment Agency to release diluted wastewater into the river.
“This is essential to prevent internal sewage flooding to homes and businesses in the area.
“The release over the weekend was compliant with our consent and we also did notify Environment Agency of the release.
“The use of the release valves, known as Combined Sewer Overflows, is common practice across the whole of the water industry, particularly where sewers carry both waste and surface water – as is the case in Chester.
“They help protect properties from the risk of flooding while, at the same time, minimising impact on the local environment as the releases are heavily diluted with rain water.”
He added: “We are currently liaising with @greengrounded [Vertebrate] to explain more about the system and the essential role it plays in protecting public health and the environment.”