NRW advising residents on river health following pollution incident

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is asking residents to help keep their local rivers clean and healthy after a pollution incident killed around 50 fish on the River Plysgog in Cilgerran, a tributary of the Teifi.

While the source of the pollution couldn’t be identified straight away, due to the report coming in days after the initial incident, it’s thought that the cause was chemicals being disposed of down a residential drain after a patio was cleaned with substances harmful to aquatic life. 

While there are guidelines that set out how to dispose of certain chemicals, many people are unaware of them and overlook what’s being put down their clean water drains. 

NRW is calling on those living near or along water ways to be mindful of what liquids they allow down their drains as they can discharge into nearby watercourse’s and affect the wildlife that depend on them. 

The organisation is urging people to check the bottles and containers of any chemicals they use to ensure they’re aware of how to dispose of them safely. 

Chemical wash water, which includes certain products used to clean driveways and cars is one of the most common substances that incorrectly ends up in watercourses. 

Simon Shorten, Environment Officer for NRW, said: 

“Safeguarding Wales’ rivers and the wildlife that depends on them is a big part of our work and part of this includes educating and informing the public on best practices. 
“This was an incident which could have been prevented if residents had a better idea of how to use and dispose of chemicals responsibly. 
“We’re looking to improve people’s awareness of the link between drainage and their local rivers and we’re hoping this can help lower incident rates and improve overall river health across the country.”