E. coli and salmonella at food compost firm WormTech
E. coli and salmonella have been found at a food composting firm in Monmouthshire, Environment Agency Wales (EAW) has confirmed.
WormTech in Caerwent has had its environment permit suspended and said it was working with EAW.
The firm recycles waste for councils, including Monmouthshire, Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent. They say food waste collections won't be affected.
Public Health Wales (PHW) says there is "no wider public health risk".
Officers from EAW found a substance known as leachate, produced by the composting process, coming out of the wall of a building used for food waste deliveries.
End Quote Monmouthshire council
There will be no break in green waste and food collections as we have contingencies in place”
It has served a notice suspending WormTech's environment permit, meaning it cannot process any more waste until it proves it has sealed its buildings.
Nadia De Longhi, environment manager at EAW, said ammonia, e. coli and salmonella had been found in the leachate.
"We've suspended inputs of waste to the composting facility at WormTech," she said.
"We believe there is a serious risk of pollution to groundwater and surface water from the operations.
"From a health perspective we've been liaising with PHW and they are satisfied that there is not a public health risk at this stage."
WormTech, which is based inside a Ministry of Defence training area, handles 10,000 tonnes of food and green waste a year.
It says on its website that materials are processed inside converted old munitions buildings.
The company said: "We are working with Environment Agency Wales and have asked for more time to deal with situation".'No disruption'
Blaenau Gwent council said it is in discussions with WormTech and are in the process of agreeing contingency plans.
"Suitable arrangements will be put in place so that food waste and green waste is still collected and recycled across Blaenau Gwent," it said.
"There will be no disruption to the public."
Monmouthshire council said "there will be no break in green waste and food collections as we have contingencies in place".
Torfaen council added: "We are working closely with the Environment Agency and have a contingency plan in place to manage all of Torfaen's food and garden waste.
"We would like to reassure our residents that this will not affect any waste collections and to continue recycling food and garden waste as normal."