RAW sewage and used sanitary products have been found flowing out of a pipe and into the Severn Estuary.

Black Rock Lave Net Heritage Fishery secretary Martin Morgan made the discovery by chance while exploring the estuary last week.

The pipe is located near Caldicot Pill.

"It was opposite the redundant sewage works at Caldicot," said Mr Morgan.

"As far as we understood, the pipe and works were not in use since the new mains sewerage line was installed in 2001, taking sewerage from our local towns and villages to treatment plants further west."

"I was genuinely shocked to see the discharge."


As well as used sanitary products, there was no small amount of what Mr Morgan referred to as "solids" in the water around the pipe.

Mr Morgan reported the issue to Welsh Water, which said it would investigate.

He says that he then received a phone call on February 5 during which Welsh Water said "no problem had been found".

"There obviously is a problem somewhere, was this a one off or has it been happening for years?" he asked.

Welsh Water said that the pipe leading to the Severn performs "an essential role" in preventing sewage flooding inside homes in the Caldicot area during periods of heavy rain.

"The sewerage system in the area deals with sewerage and rainwater so if there is too much rain for the sewer to cope with then the pipe acts as a release point to the release the storm water," read the statement.

"Relief pipes such as this are permitted and their performance is closely regulated by Natural Resources Wales. "We are liaising with them regarding the latest spill and are arranging for an engineer to visit the pipe to understand if any further action is required.