The Welsh Liberal Democrats have slammed the bosses of Welsh Water after said customers faced "significant bill increases" to pay for measures to stop sewage being released into rivers and seas.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats hit out at the large bonuses it pays to its bosses, amounting to more than £1 million in the last three years alone, “makes a mockery” of the company calling itself a "non-profit".

The party has called for a ban on bonuses until the sewage dumping crisis has been solved and for the money to be redirected into improving infrastructure.


Steve Wilson, managing director of wastewater services, told the Welsh Affairs Committee that five of the "most iconic rivers in Wales, if not the UK" were not meeting standards.

He said spillages related to storm overflow, with Wales seeing more rain than England.

Welsh Water has also come under fire in recent months for upping water prices for customers despite these large bonuses and for maintenance problems with the Golden Valley in Herefordshire, and large parts of West Wales, left without running water last year.

But the company has been investing in treatment works in Herefordshire to cut down on the amount of phosphates being released into rivers.

Phosphates are causing problems across Herefordshire, affecting river health, and which has led to a housebuilding ban across the north of the county.


Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said: “It is absolutely ridiculous Welsh Water now expect taxpayers in Wales to pay to clean up their mess while they have spent years siphoning off money to pay themselves large bonus.

“We know the Conservatives have utterly failed to tackle sewage dumping, with almost all of their Welsh MPs having voted against stronger action to ban the practice. Yet the Welsh Labour Government isn’t also without power to take a stand on this issue.

Hereford Times:

“While rivers in regions like my own such as the Wye, Tawe, Usk, Teifi and Severn continue to seriously decline in health the bosses of Welsh Water are using the publics money to give themselves handsome bonuses rather than reinvest the money into infrastructure improvements and the Government have failed to regulate them.

“The whole thing makes a mockery of the idea Welsh Water is a ‘non-profit’. The Welsh and UK Governments must work to ban these bonuses and mandate the infrastructure improvements we need.

“Our rivers and the wildlife in them are running out of time.”