Brecon and Radnorshire’s rivers have been revealed as some of the most sewage-filled in the UK, according to recent statistics.

An analysis of the sewage dumping statistics released by Welsh Water last week has sparked an angry response from the Welsh Liberal Democrats, who have accused both Labour and the Conservatives of not doing enough to tackle the problem.

The latest figures show sewage was dumped in Brecon and Radnorshire’s rivers 3,906 times in 2022, lasting for over 30,000 hours. This means that Brecon and Radnorshire has the 10th highest number of sewage dumps in the entire UK.

The health of the River Wye has come under the spotlight in recent years, with increased pollution threatening wildlife in the river. But the figures released by Welsh Water show that two of Brecon and Radnorshire’s other rivers, the Usk and Tawe experience even higher levels of sewage dumping.

The figures for the constituency’s three major rivers are:

• River Tawe - 1,818 sewage dumps lasting 13,981 hours

• River Usk - 1,560 sewage dumps  lasting 11,040 hours

• River Wye - 1,521 sewage dumps lasting 6,959 hours

Brecon and Radnorshire’s Conservative MP Fay Jones has previously come under fire from the Liberal Democrats for failing to support tough action on water companies who carry out sewage dumping, alongside Welsh Labour for not investing enough in tackling the problem.

Powys Lib Dems have said that the sewage releases are posing a serious risk to local wildlife and human health as well as potentially damaging the region’s tourism industry. They have called on the Conservatives to ban bonuses for water company executives and for the money to be reinvested in improving infrastructure.

Over the last three years, the bosses of Welsh Water have received over £1 million in bonuses including almost £400,000 last year alone.

Liberal Democrat Candidate for Brecon & Radnorshire David Chadwick said: “It is tragic that Brecon and Radnorshire has some of the most sewage-filled rivers in the UK.

“The Conservatives have failed at every step to take this issue seriously. Now they expect the taxpayers to pay to clean up their mess while water company executives have spent years siphoning off money to pay themselves large bonuses.

“The Conservatives have the power to ban these bonuses, but refuse to do so. It would be the very first thing I would be calling for if I was the MP for Brecon and Radnorshire.”

Mid & West Wales Senedd Member Jane Dodds added: “Being from Hay-on-Wye I find it desperately sad the state our rivers now find themselves in. Both major parties are failing the public abysmally on this issue. It seems like only the Liberal Democrats care about the health of our rivers and the wildlife they contain.

“Welsh Labour is failing to take responsibility for sectors of the environment that are devolved to the Welsh Government.

“We need to see a much greater investment in improved infrastructure from the Welsh Government, yet sewage dumping doesn’t even seem to be on their radar, instead they seem intent on blaming farmers for our rivers’ poor health.”

But Brecon and Radnorshire MP Fay Jones has in response said it is “completely wrong” to say Conservatives in mid Wales have not taken the issue seriously.

“Yet again we see the Liberal Democrats trying to blame the Conservative Party for what is an entirely devolved matter,” said Ms Jones.

“The Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales are responsible for our rivers and waterways in Wales.

“It is completely wrong to say that Conservatives in mid Wales have failed to take this seriously. Only last year, Welsh Government ministers failed to attend a water quality summit which I organised. The UK Government is prepared to act – why won’t Welsh Labour?

“Earlier this week, the Scottish Liberal Democrats applauded the UK Conservative Government for their action in England. It’s a shame that message hasn’t been passed onto their colleagues in Wales.

“Our groundbreaking Environment Act contains measures to force water companies to reduce sewage discharge in England. Sadly, these laws do not apply in Wales because Welsh Labour will not stand up to Welsh Water’s slow pace on this issue. It would be wonderful if the Liberal Democrats could turn their attention towards holding Welsh Labour’s feet to the fire – rather than political attention seeking.”