A public meeting will be held in Amroth next week, to discuss bathing water quality in the locality, after a dedicated community group committed to environmental stewardship is set to unveil more worrying findings on river pollution in South Pembrokeshire.

The Llanteg and Amroth Renaturing Community (LARC) is set to release a comprehensive report shedding light on the concerning state of river pollution in South Pembrokeshire.

Titled the ‘Keep the Streams Clean Project (KTSC)’ - the report is scheduled to be distributed this month.

The one-year initiative, initiated in 2022, focused on assessing the impact of nutrient pollution from land runoff on the New Inn stream and its tributaries, which play a vital role in sustaining the ecosystem of Amroth Bay, a popular tourist destination in Pembrokeshire.

Recognising the importance of this water body to the local ecosystem and tourism industry, LARC members observed and addressed pollution events through community-driven efforts.

Llanteg and Amroth Renaturing Community
The Llanteg and Amroth Renaturing Community (LARC) is set to release a comprehensive report shedding light on the concerning state of river pollution in South Pembrokeshire. (Pic supplied)

Over 268 water quality tests conducted by volunteers, revealed widespread pollution along the entire stream network. Five pollution incidents were identified and reported to Natural Resources Wales (NRW), highlighting the urgent need for action.

High levels of nitrates and phosphate exceeding recommended thresholds, indicative of severe nutrient pollution, were recorded. Indeed only 2% of water samples tested for nitrates and 20% of samples tested for phosphates would have been classified as clean water according to accepted criteria. Although ammonia values were generally low, there were a small number of times when ammonia levels toxic to aquatic life were recorded by the team, occasionally breaching National thresholds.

The report reveals concerning levels of nitrate, phosphate, and ammonia pollution along the entire stream. Findings indicate a widespread issue, likely stemming from diverse sources such as private sewage plants, slurry runoff from intensive dairy farming, and pollution incidents from residential and commercial properties.

The report acknowledges the collective responsibility of the community in addressing water quality issues. It emphasises the need for a collaborative approach involving regulatory bodies, local communities, and businesses to find sustainable solutions.

“The poor quality of the river at the New Inn is a community problem, and we are all culpable in large and small ways,” said a spokesperson for LARC.

Pollution sign
A pollution warning sign that went up at Wiseman's Bridge last year, but there was no signage at nearby Amroth and Saundersfoot for the same incident (Pic. Gareth Davies Photography)

“Pointing fingers won't solve the issue; instead, we must collectively seek solutions and adopt practices that prioritise environmental sensitivity.”

The report concludes with a series of recommendations and encourages community members to engage in conversations about water quality. LARC hopes the report will inspire similar initiatives and foster a sense of responsibility for local environmental issues.

Moving forward, LARC remains committed to promoting biodiversity, environmental conservation, and community resilience in the region, with ongoing projects focused on biodiversity assessments and habitat restoration.

LARC has recently started to monitor the streams that flow through the Colby estate with the full support of the National Trust. As with the New Inn project, it is intended to undertake this analysis over a 12 month period.

As part of its commitment to community engagement, LARC has submitted the report to Amroth Community Council who have subsequently organised a public meeting for Tuesday, February 20 at Amroth Parish Hall, Summerhill, at 7 pm, to address concerns about deteriorating water quality in Carmarthen Bay off Amroth and Wisemans Bridge, featuring presentations from Welsh Water, Pembrokeshire County Council Environmental Health, and NRW.

The meeting will be an opportunity to hear from the organisations tasked with maintaining bathing water quality at Amroth and Wisemans Bridge and what measures are being taken to protect it. All are welcome to attend.

Amroth village
Amroth village (Pic. Gareth Davies Photography)

The Fishmongers Company generously sponsored the KTSC project through the Small Grants Scheme of their Fisheries Charitable Trust.

Andrew Wallace, Fisheries Director of the The Fishmongers' Company’s Fisheries Charitable Trust expressed pride in supporting the initiative, emphasising the significant impact citizen-led efforts can have on improving local water quality.

“We are incredibly proud to have supported the Keep the Streams Clean Project through in Pembrokeshire. This report shows what a determined and enthusiastic group of citizens can achieve to enhance the quality of their local waterways,” he said.