An urgent call to Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water to replace the sewage pipe which caused Tenby’s pollution incident this week is being made by town councillors.

This was the second time in just over a year that the rising main - which is the main pipe carrying raw sewage from the town -  has burst.

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water has since admitted that the pipe is at the end of its life, and has identified it as ‘a high-risk pollution site’.

However, replacement is not due to be completed until 2030.

“It's crucial to recognise that any future bursts from the rising main could have catastrophic effects on our environment and the tourism industry,” said town councillor Duncan Whitehurst, who has chaired a Clean Seas Working Group with Dŵr Cymru, Natural Resources Wales and Pembrokeshire County Council for the last three years.

“As one of Wales’ premier tourist destinations, we must take decisive action before the rising main bursts again."

Cllr Whitehurst added: “Given the gravity of this week’s pollution incident, Tenby Town Council has urgently requested Dŵr Cymru to prioritise the replacement of the rising main.

“We believe that works should commence immediately and a target completion date should be set.”

The rising main is the main pipe carrying raw sewage from the town, pumped to the Wastewater Treatment Works at Gumfreston.

The solid material is removed, then UV-treated, and pumped out to sea via the long sea outfall, which empties into the bay near the Woolhouse Rocks.

Cllr Whitehurst added: “On June 5, 2023, a burst was detected on the rising main, spilling raw sewage into the marshland near The Clicketts.

“The sewage drained into the River Ritec, emptying into the sea off South Beach via the Ritec Culvert approximately 300m from the shoreline.

“Any pollution that enters the River Ritec makes it into the sea off South Beach - close to the shore.

“At the Group's last meeting, the rising main was identified as a “high-risk pollution site” by Dŵr Cymru and added to the programme of works.

“We were told that the rising main is made of fibreglass and is end-of-life.

“Provided it is signed off in December, works to replace the rising main will be completed by 2030."

Tenby North county councillor, Michael Williams, said it was ‘scandalous’ that the water company was not delivering necessary improvements.

He commented: “ “We see ever-increasing water bills together with massive salaries paid to the top executives; it’s no surprise that they claim to be 'a non profit company'.

"Given the level of executive remuneration, it’s not surprising that they are non profit making, but where is the infrastructure improvements we deserve?

"A few days after we see the raising of the Blue Flag in Tenby we witness red flags flying on our beaches and notices warning people not to enter the water. Surely we should expect better than this.

"We see the quality of our rivers being being damaged on almost a daily basis, from recent massive overflows of foul water on the Towy in Carmarthen, the overflows of slurry on the Teifi to the Ritec now devoid of fish, and yet we pay ever increasing bills, this together with an almost invisible and toothless monitoring agency in NRW.

"Our water quality now resembles that which we would expect to see in a third world state, many now believe we are already such a state."