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The surface water outfall pipe during heavy rain at Rotherslade beach

Gower beach pollution worries locals

“STINKING” water has been seeping from a wall near Rotherslade beach in Gower for weeks, according to a worried swimmer.

Jim Young said he reported the issue to Swansea Council in May, and again more recently, before getting in touch with Welsh Water in search of a response.

Mr Young said Welsh Water came out quickly to look at the issue on Rotherslade Road, which has a number of houses and flats and slopes down towards the beach.

The discoloured water has been dribbling through the bottom of the wall.

“It’s stinking,” said Mr Young, of Norton.

He stressed that it wasn’t sewage, and reckoned it was more likely to be “grey water” from sinks and washing machines.

The leak emerging from the bottom of the wall on Rotherslade Road, Gower, with the sea in the distance (pic by Jim Young)

The 70-year-old, who has a beach hut at Rotherslade and swims in all weathers, also wondered if a surface water outfall pipe, which juts out onto the beach, could be taken underground and extended out to sea.

He described the volume of surface water spraying from the pipe onto the beach after very heavy rain as “like a river”, carrying with it debris like cigarette butts picked up along the way.

Mr Young said he was grateful to Welsh Water for its swift response, and said the water quality generally at Rotherslade was very good.

“And we don’t get much plastic,” he said.

Rotherslade is adjacent to Langland beach, which has Blue Flag status. Water quality is one of four criteria assessed as part of the Blue Flag scheme.

A Welsh Water spokeswoman said it had dispatched a team to Rotherslade Road following Mr Young’s phone call.

She said: “This confirmed it is a private issue, and is not related to Welsh Water assets or our network. Following this, we let relevant authorities know so they could conduct further investigations.”

She added that the outfall pipe was designed to flush away surface water away from homes and businesses during downpours, and was functioning as it should.

“While we do keep investment plans under constant review, we don’t have plans to change the operation of this,” she said.

A spokesman for Swansea Council said: “We are assisting other agencies to deal with the issue which is on private land.”

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