FOUR giant sluice gates installed to reduce the emission of foam from Pembroke Power Station are currently out of action, it has been confirmed.

Western Telegraph reader Bill Wright, whose home overlooks the haven, contacted us to report "large lumps of ice flow-like polyfoam" covering the still waters between Pembroke Dock and Milford.

"This is a regular occurrence," he said. "My neighbour who overlooks the river has told me that if tidal conditions are right, foam extends along below his house towards Pembroke

"Surely in this day and age this pollution should be trapped within the power station area and treated before being released into the haven or disposed of to a waste site.

"It would be nice to know if RWE are taking any action to deal with this after all these years."

In 2015 RWE, the company that owns Pembroke Power Station, commissioned and installed four penstock valves, similar to sluice gates to manage water levels in the station's cooling water system, which they hoped would reduce the formation and release of foam from the power station.

Following questions from the Western Telegraph the company admitted last week that the valves were not currently working due to damage caused by sea water.

"The foam that occasionally comes from the Pembroke Power Station cooling water outfall is the same as the sea and beach foam which occurs naturally," said a company spokesman.

"This is often more apparent in autumn and spring when there is more organic matter in the sea water and rivers. It is harmless and is seen on coastlines up and down the UK and is not caused by any form of pollution.

"We installed penstock valves on the water outfall at the plant to explore ways to reduce the development of foam and to trap any additional foam on site.

"They have been somewhat successful, however the aggressive nature of the seawater operating environment has meant that the installation has proved unreliable and is currently out of service."

The spokesman added that RWE's expert engineers were currently working to further explore options for foam reduction.