The first phase of a major investment scheme to help improve how the town’s wastewater system operates has been completed by Welsh Water.

The investment work being carried out will improve the way the wastewater serving the town operates, which in turn will help improve the quality of the water in the river Usk. Since April 2021, the company has been developing its plans which will be carried out between now and 2025.

The first phase of the work – which was carried out at Usk Sewer pumping station near the cricket club – was completed before Christmas. This work involved installing screens to remove things such as rags and wet wipes the pumping station receives.

The company are currently in the planning and design stages for the second and third phases. The next phase will help increase the amount of waste pumped to the nearby wastewater treatment works to reduce the number of spills from the station’s combined storm overflow (CSO). The final phase will increase the capacity at the treatment works itself.

Welsh Water’s assets play a key role in helping protect the local community from flooding. While it appreciates some would like to see CSOs removed, this is not possible as it would cause significant disruption and involve digging up and laying new pipes in every street in the area. Given the amount of surface water in Usk town, it would also involve building a storage tank equivalent to the size of a cricket ground.

Steve Wilson, Welsh Water’s Managing Director for Wastewater Services said: “Delivering this investment scheme to help protect river water quality in Usk is a key priority for us and we are committed to play our part to achieve this.”.

Steve added: “Our research with Natural Resources Wales of the River Usk shows that our assets such as treatment works and CSOs are responsible for between 21% — 23% of the phosphates in the main water bodies, with CSOs only responsible for 1%. The remainder — over 75% — is caused by other factors such as agricultural run-off and animal faeces, urban surface water drainage, misconnected drains, as well as private septic tanks. While our £10million investment in Usk will reduce our contribution, it will not reduce the contributions others make to the river. We are however committed to working collaboratively with them where we can as ultimately we all care for the river and want to ensure we pass it on in a better condition to our future generations.”

The company is also investing £9 million to upgrade the wastewater treatment works in Brecon, which will in turn help to boost the quality of the river Usk.

To find out more about what the company are doing to help improve river water quality, visit