Water Quality

Point and diffuse sources

There are a number of rivers that flow into the Cardigan Bay SAC, including the Afon Teifi, Afon Aeron, Afon Arth, with the main catchment being the Teifi. In general, water quality in the Teifi is good although the following are problems in limited areas:

  • Surface water acidification of selected tributaries and the Teifi Pools (from deposition from air and metal mine waters)
  • Organic pollution from agriculture
  • Elevated levels of phosphorus from agricultural land and sewage treatment works
  • Synthetic pyrethroid sheep dips
  • Release of metals from abandoned mines into the marine environment,
    via the Rheidol and Ystwyth rivers in the north of the county

How will point and diffuse sources of pollution be managed in the SAC?

By using a combination of water sampling and insects and fish monitoring techniques, the EAW compiles general “river health checks”. Alongside the ongoing monitoring of river quality, pollution prevention campaigns are carried out to reduce the impacts of pollutants such as sewage, slurry, pesticides, nitrates, phosphates, and oil.

Point Sources

EAW undertook an Appropriate Assessment of all existing and new discharge consents (point sources) as part of the Review of Consents process. All new consents are treated as a Plan or Project.

Diffuse Pollution

Diffuse pollution can come from many different sources, for example sheet run-off from fields or disused metal mines. The ongoing Diffuse Pollution Project (DPP) will clarify causes of inferior water quality and wherever possible drive water quality improvements. The DPP will also protect and improve the bathing water quality at EC Designated Bathing Waters. The Metal Mines Strategy will prioritise opportunities for remediation of metal mine run-off.