A CARDIGAN councillor has said he is ‘encouraged’ by the impact of a new scheme aimed at improving the waters of the River Teifi through cutting phosphate inputs, improving water quality and reversing a decline in nature.

And Cllr Clive Davies says the support of local landowners for Ceredigion County Council’s Afon Teifi SAC Catchment Phosphate Reduction and Mitigation (PRAM) Project has been crucial to the initiative.

Under the scheme, four flower planters, containing multiple substrate types designed to filter run-off and take water from building run-off, have been positioned on the river bank.

In addition PRAM have set up over 9km of fencing along the most severely livestock-damaged areas of the Teifi aimed at allowing vegetation to re-establish along with improving river water quality, habitat and livestock health.

West Wales Rivers Trust working in tandem with Ceredigion County Council, have also undertaken farmyard improvement works along the river to reduce phosphorus inputs and improve water quality, while eight on-farm capital works have been launched to implement the identified measures.

And PRAM have teamed up with local company D I Evans Cyf to encourage more people to regularly service and maintain their septic tanks by offering a discount to anyone living alongside the Teifi and surrounding areas.

“As a largely rural area, poor agricultural practices can be a significant issue for the health of our rivers in West Wales, amongst other pressures,” Cllr Davies told the Tivyside.

“However, often all that is needed is some advice and support and we are so pleased to be able to help to make a difference in this way.

“Working with the local authority is WWRT who have been doing excellent work on this project and other funded interventions for the Teifi and its tributaries.”

Cllr Davies cited the case of a local farmer who had expressed concern over the possibility of his business contributing to the input of pollution to the local river.

“When WWRT first approached offering help, I was slightly dubious. In fact they've been a godsend,” he said. “I've now recommended them to neighbours.”

Last month - after persistently denying any wrongdoing, Welsh Water finally conceded it had been polluting the River Teifi with untreated raw sewage for decades.

Data compiled by mathematician and former UCL professor Peter Hammond, shared with the BBC, confirmed that the Teifi had suffered a higher level of pollution than any other river in Wales.

This was the result of a ‘highly inadequate’ wastewater treatment plant situated close to the town’s cemetery which had continued discharging sewage into the river despite it never having been treated.

The Cardigan plant is situated just two miles from Poppit Sands in St Dogmaels.