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Welsh Water has 3,000 special overflow pipes which act as relief valves to deal with the extra sewage and rainwater but go straight into rivers and the sea.
One of the major threats to bathing water quality is overflow pipes, which discharge raw sewage into rivers and the sea when heavy rain overloads the system with water from street drains.
If there are issues with old overflow pipes or other problems near the bridge footings, now would seem the ideal time to address them, and certainly not the time to brush them under the proverbial rug.
Hugo Tagholm, director of campaign group Surfers Against Sewage said combined sewage overflow pipes were a continuing problem.
Water companies will also have to fit monitoring equipment to more than 340 sewage overflow pipes.
Also sort out dripping overflow pipes that can freeze up and cause untold interior damage.
The sewers have been specifically designed with escape overflow pipes so that the mixture of sewage and stormwater doesn't back up into buildings, including homes.
He was carrying out inspection work on overflow pipes at a water treatment site in Oldham when the accident happened at 11.