THERE were more than 20,000 incidents of river pollution in west Wales last year, according to new research.

The research found that there were 11,195 incidents across the Carmarthenshire in 2022, coming in as the second highest in the UK behind Cornwall on 11,285.

The incidents relate to storm overflows, according to Utility Bidder who carried out the research.

The research also found that Carmarthenshire had the longest number of hours of overflow spillage with 86,603 hours and that pesticides used in farming have contributed to the pollution.

The average duration of spills was 7.7 hours.

Pembrokeshire comes in seventh on the list for total number of incidents, with 6,988.

There was a total of 65,260 hours of spills in the county, with an average duration of 9.3 hours.

Ceredigion came in 18th with a total of 3,935 incidents in 2022, with 32,983 hours of spills and an average duration of 8.4 hours.

Storm overflows are praised for helping to protect streets and houses from flooding but are also said to be a leading factor in river pollution.

Utility Bidder carried out the research using the Catchment Based Approach Data Hub to find the total number of spills in each local authority and duration and divided the total duration of spills by the number of spills recorded to get the average duration of spills.