Council call on Natural Resources Wales to consider state of Cardiff’s rivers

Council call on Natural Resources Wales to consider state of Cardiff's rivers

Cardiff Council is to write to Natural Resources Wales to ask for its views on a report into the state of the city's rivers.

TheRestore our Riversreport, written by Cardiff Council's Environmental Scrutiny Committee, shows that areas of the Ely, Taff and Rhymney rivers are experiencing declining fish stock, poor water quality and contamination which is damaging to wildlife and the local ecosystem. The report also highlights problems such as pollution, sewer abuse and invasive species.

Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Recycling and Environment, Cllr Michael Michael, said: "It is essential that people are aware of the issues that are affecting our rivers and that we all come together to take responsibility for improving them.


"Every resident and business should be aware that various actions can have a detrimental impact on our local environment and watercourses. Although accountability for our rivers does not solely lie with the local authority, we do recognise the importance of partnership working in order to rectify and restore our rivers. This is why as a Council we accept the recommendations in the report but also why we have chosen to write to Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and ask them to consider the report.


"If we are to make headway in cleaning up our rivers then we need NRW to look at the issues highlighted in the report and to help come up with actions which can improve the situation. As a Council we will look to encourage the partnership groups we work with as part of our Love Where You Live campaign to help us clean up our rivers and riverbanks. I would like to thank the previous members of the Environmental Scrutiny Committee and the former chairman for their hard work and contribution to this report."


Chair of Environmental Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Ramesh Patel said: "It has become apparent that the pressures of modern life are having a negative impact on our local rivers and this report demonstrates that a range of initiatives are needed to tackle these issues, ensuring that our rivers flourish and are restored. Control measures need to be implemented and so a partnership working approach is vital. By working together as a partnership we will achieve more."


The main pollution causes were found to include sewer abuse and misconnections of white goods such as dishwashers and washing machines - the discharge from such appliances ultimately finding its way into local watercourses. Other pollution sources included littering, farm waste including silt and slurry and the incorrect disposal of fat, grease and oil from catering outlets.

Alien and invasive species such as Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsalm, Zebra Mussels and Killer Shrimp were found to be having a detrimental effect on the local ecosystem. At the same time species, such as salmon, trout, chub, eel and invertebrates have been affected by industrialisation and urbanisation, with the introduction of man-made structures such as weirs creating barriers to fish migration to their spawning grounds.

The inquiry was delivered by the Council in partnership with Dwr Cymru, Natural Resources Wales, Keep Wales Tidy, South East Wales Rivers Trust, Cardiff Rivers Group, Glamorgan Anglers and Groundwork Wales.