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The Welsh beaches and rivers that are the most-polluted

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The Welsh beaches and rivers with the highest pollution rates have been named in the annual report from marine conversation charity Surfers Against Sewage.

Overall in England and Wales 16% of swimmable days during the bathing season, which runs from May 15 to September 30 and is when people are most commonly having a dip in the sea and/or rivers, were lost due to high water pollution that meant water and beaches were too unsafe to swim in.

Read more:The beginner's guide to autumn wild swimming in Wales

River water quality is significantly worse than sea water quality with only 14% of rivers in England and Wales meeting 'Good Ecological Status' and none passing chemical standards suggesting serious problems with sewage and pollution.

Many locations and beaches along the south, west and north coast of Wales received notifications for sewer overflow into the sea in 2021, including Langland Bay, Saundersfoot Beach and Newport North Beach.

The worst beach in Wales for sewer overflow and pollution is Benllech Beach on Anglesey with 53 sewer discharges in 2021 and the River Dee is the worst river in Wales for sewage pollution with 70 discharges.

River Dee is the worst-polluted river in Wales (Image: Daily Post Wales)

The River Dee has also remained in the top 20 locations for the amount of health reports submitted, linking sickness to the water quality and these illnesses include gastroenteritis and ear infections.

Other areas that reported more than 50 spills of sewage in the sea include around Swansea and in Pembrokeshire.

Llanrhystud beach in Cardigan Bay, which the Afon Wyre River flows into, has poor bathing water results with very high E.coli levels, some levels so high that they are an extreme risk to human health.

However, Whitmore Bay Beach at Barry Island, which the Cadoxton River flows into, has excellent bathing water results with very low levels of E.coli in both the river and the sea.

But in other beach locations at Barry Island at least one result during the bathing season showed such high E.coli levels that they posed a risk to health.

Welsh Water reported sewage overflows in more locations in 2021 compared to 2018 and 2019, however, despite more locations, there were fewer reports of sewage overflow in Wales in 2021 compared to the two previous years.

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