Replace current section titled “Streams & Rivers” in the Environment Agency Webpage of Newport (North) Bathing Water Profile – as follows: Dealing with predictable short-term pollution events.
The River Nevern drains a large area (113 km2) beginning east of Crymych, flowing around the Preseli hills, through Felindre Farchog and Nevern, before entering the sea at Newport. The catchment is predominately rural with dairy farming on improved pasture being the main land use (61 %), followed by moorland (17%). The river discharges into Newport Bay at the southern tip of Newport Sands (Beach), approx. 1000m south of the “designated sampling point”, where samples of bathing water are taken for testing under the terms of the relevant European Bathing Waters Directive
Bathing water quality in the Bay is adversely affected by high flows in streams, rivers and sewers draining into the Nevern, due to heavy rainwater run-off. Natural Resources Wales (“NRW“) does what it can to advise local farmers on preventing farm slurry run-off and is prepared to take enforcement action where minimal standards of practice are repeatedly ignored. However, inevitably in such a large agricultural catchment area, in the immediate aftermath of a heavy rain storm, the quality of the Nevern River water discharging into Newport Bay can fall dramatically, to very much lower standards than we would wish. Also, there are numerous small streams and surface water drains which empty directly into the Bay, and which can equally become sources of reduced water quality after heavy rainfall.
In addition, NRW has granted legal consents for a total of x20 combined (sewage/rainfall) storm overflows (CSOs) which also discharge into the Nevern at times of severe storm water conditions, and two of these are especially close to Newport Sands where the Nevern itself discharges to the sea. Parrog CSO is located in a field drain, a little way above the “red” telephone kiosk at the entrance to Parrog Car Park. Whilst the Newport town sewage pumping station, at Yr Cwm, has a CSO which discharges directly into the recently upgraded sewage sea outfall, and which terminates some 500m or so off the beach at mean low tide. (see map).
Whenever NRW is made aware of reduced and poor quality bathing waters, as a result of sample testing following a severe rain-storm event (or otherwise), if deemed of sufficient concern, a public notice will be put up at the Newport Beach notice board, warning of any potential hazard to public health bathing and the results of both initial, and on-going, sample testing will be immediately posted. We will also examine whether there has been any discharge from the CSOs associated with any storm event, especially those mentioned, and publicise those results as well. We will also give notice of any relevant procedures, including management measures, we deem it appropriate to undertake in order to minimise and terminate the effects of any such short-term pollution events. All of this information will also be made available to the public on our website (click here.).
 Currently the EU Bathing Waters Directive of 1976 (76/160)[cBWD] , but soon to be fully replaced by the EU Bathing Water Directive of 2006 (2006/7/EC 76/160) [rBWD] as of 24 March, 2015.