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    09 January, 2009

    My letter to Welsh Water

    I have written to Welsh Water calling on the company to bring forward investment in the pipes and infrastructure supporting the Maerdy Water Treatment Centre.

    I also raised questions concerning the supply of information to residents on the first day of the recent disruption.

    I told them that water bowsers needed to be replenished more quickly as residents often found that they had run out.

    In my letter to the Managing Director of Welsh Water, Nigel Annett, I said:

    ‘Can I raise some issues which have been brought up by constituents as they might have a bearing on how you respond to similar eventualities in future? I also want to raise the bigger issue of investment in the Maerdy Treatment Centre and the pipes supplying it.

    ‘The first point relates to the information supplied to residents on the Tuesday. Constituents have said that they would have found it helpful if on the Tuesday Welsh Water had alerted them earlier, and if the message could have been got out through mobile loudspeakers touring the affected areas, as well as through the conventional media. Some have said to me that if they had understood earlier that the discoloured water could be used eg for flushing toilets, then they would have stored this at the time.

    ‘There was clearly a problem on the Wednesday with bowsers not being replenished quickly enough. I saw for myself people trying to get water from empty bowsers. Again, I think this needs looking at for the future.

    ‘More substantially, I think you need to accelerate your investment in the infrastructure, including pipes, supporting the Maerdy Treatment Centre. It is clear that the pipes are old and not fit for purpose. While these were exceptional weather conditions, it seems to me wise for all organisations to plan on the basis of more extreme weather conditions. I know that there are plans to invest at a future date in the infrastructure supporting Maerdy, but I hope that given what has occurred you will bring the planned investments forward.’

    These were difficult circumstances but I hope that Welsh Water will learn lessons for the future. We need new investment in the pipes and infrastructure supporting the Maerdy Treatment Centre and they should now bring this forward.

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    Promoted by Leighton Andrews AM, National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff CF99 1NA.

    Author's editorial policy: This blog does not publish anonymous comments, unless they are really witty and I like them. If you have something to say, then have the courage of your convictions and use your name or an identifiable alias. Even then I reserve the right not to publish comments that are malicious, defamatory, stupid, pointlessly cynical or boring. Any of the statements or comments made above should be regarded as personal and not necessarily those of the National Assembly for Wales, any constituent part or connected body.