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  • Joint statement by ESG, Beach Users and Canoeists

    Joint statement by ESG, Beach Users and Canoeists
    10th June 2011

    The ESG, Beach Users and Canoeists have today issued a joint reaction to Govts statement on the decision to re-open Western Beach this weekend. We met with Minister Britto and his technical team today and presented our many concerns which were heard and discussed at length. While Government is clearly stepping up its monitoring and management of public use of Western Beach, which is very welcome, we continue to believe that its opening is premature.

    “We remain concerned that the dreadful sewage pollution which has affected Western Beach for the past 10 months or so, could return, albeit at a lower level, but unpredictably and therefore continues to present a public health risk.”


    a) The unpredictability of the water quality
    b) The time lag between testing and available data
    c) The public health threat posed by erratic dumping of sewage and lack of local control
    d) The difficulty of preventing bathing during high levels of sewage pollution could lead to possibility of people contracting infections from contaminated water
    e) The gap between guide and mandatory levels of sewage allowed to be legally present under EU law before banning bathing is huge and that we could well fall just under mandatory levels and be exposed to high amounts of sewage contamination
    f) The current ban on bathing if sewage levels are a problem would still allow the beach to be used making bathing almost inevitable on very hot long summer days, in spite of the ban in place
    g) Health information risks to the public and especially to parents of young children should be clearly displayed at the beach near the colour coded board
    h) All efforts should be applied to identify as close to an “on the spot tester” to determine the water quality at any given time
    i) Showers should be installed at the Beach (or just outside it)- to facilitate rinsing off sea water
    j) By using the beach the La Linea Ayuntamiento could slow down any permanent solutions to solving its sewage crisis
    k) Brussels efforts to press for such a permanent solution could be weakened by the re-opening the beach
    l) Gibraltar should make progress with its sewage treatment plant as should all Bay towns as further underlined by the worsening state of the bathing water quality around Gibraltar and nearby coastline in 2010/2011