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  • ESG concerns grow over Western Beach – mid July 2013

    “The ESG urges Government to consider permanently closing Western Beach for bathing given the increase in sewage pollution from Spain in the past week. This breakthrough effluence is unprecedented given there has been no rainfall in the area. It suggests that the pollution will be impossible to predict and therefore manage safely. While welcoming the visible efforts by the Environmental Agency and Ministry for the Environment to monitor the area and keep the public fully informed, the erratic nature of the contamination should, in the group’s opinion, result in beach closure and certainly until investigations into the July episodes have taken place. Furthermore the time lag between sample taking and results means that bathers do not actually know the pollution levels present in the waters at the time of bathing.

    The ESG welcomes the tender notice by Government to invite bidders to construct our own wastewater treatment plant (dated 28th June). The group hopes that as with the Power Station, the wastewater plant will be handled as a priority.

    A major campaign was undertaken by the ESG, beachgoers and MEP Sir Graham Watson when the illegal pipe works first appeared near Western beach. This took the form of protests, petitions and an official complaint. However, while the EU listened with some sympathy, its hard-line response was to direct us to our own sewage management.

    Its clear that no amount of cross border pressure can resolve this problem until our own house is in order on this matter. Once done the EU should have no excuse but to strictly enforce its laws against the Spanish Government on wastewater treatment compliance. There are several well known sewage pollution hotspots in the Spanish towns in the Bay area and these must be addressed.”