The River Usk in and around Brecon is set to receive a boost thanks to a £9 million investment scheme currently being carried out by Welsh Water.

Earlier this month, the company started work on a project to upgrade the wastewater treatment works which it owns and operates in the area.

The treatment works already treats the wastewater it receives from the surrounding area, but the planned upgrades will see the treatment process enhanced even further.

The main improvement will be the introduction of a process which will remove phosphates from the treated wastewater. Phosphates can cause algal bloom so by removing them from the treated wastewater, this will help reduce levels in the nearby river Usk – which in turn will benefit the river quality and its aquatic life.

The upgrade work is taking place within the boundary of the treatment works which is located next to Brecon County Showground. The company aims to have it completed by June 2024.

Welsh Water’s senior project manager, Adam Bush, said: “As a company, we are committed to ensuring we protect the environment that is in our care, and that includes the watercourses we interact with. There are a number of factors which contribute to phosphate levels in watercourses, and we are committed to ensuring we do all that we can to keep our contribution to the absolute minimum. Our significant investment here in Brecon reflects this.”

“We appreciate that this kind of work can cause some inconvenience, but we will do all we can to keep this to a minimum and would like to thank people for bearing with us whilst we undertake this essential work.”

The company is also currently investing £10 million to upgrade the wastewater system in Usk. The work is being carried out in three phases.

The first phase – which involves installing screens to remove things such as rags and wet wipes that the station receives – will be completed by the end of the year. The second phase of work will 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 of the work will be to increase capacity at the treatment works itself.