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    Joint Press Release re Western Beach and Sewage at Sea 24th October 2011

    The ESG and the Western Beach users have recently been in contact with Sir Graham Watson’s office and have been informed that their petition is likely to be heard by the European Petitions Committee before Christmas.

    Campaigners, however, continue to be concerned about sewage pollution from La Linea as all indications are that the recent heavy rains will bring about heavily polluted seas around Gibraltar once again.


    Checking the Environmental Agency website for data reveals that even while not as frequent as desired, the data from most beaches indicates a steady and at times, spiking, level of sewage contamination. Campaigners trust that the Gibraltar Government will maintain sampling frequency at all beaches as it is public knowledge that the Western Beach problem didn’t simply disappear; it was re-routed in the main, towards Eastern Beach coastline. Concerns remain that the time lapse between sample taking and publishing information is still too long (well over a week, for example) meaning that the public cannot rely on this data to check on the safety or otherwise of the coastal waters.

    Informed Choice

    Although the official bathing season is now over campaigners worry that people are still using the beach as is evident in the recent bursts of hot weather. “Even if people do not swim they may use the beach in good weather,” says Karen Everett. She adds that, “It is therefore vital to ensure that up to date information on the pollution levels at all beaches is readily available and accessible to the public. Storm Drain sewage contamination is clearly already occurring and it is therefore very difficult to know when this can spike creating a serious pollution episode which could affect public health.

    Problems at other Beaches

    Both Western Beach users and the ESG consider that all efforts must now be made to ensure the situation does not deteriorate further and that monies are provided to the La Linea Municipality by the National Government to resolve this cross border pollution situation.
    Anyone can see for themselves that our bathing water quality has dipped considerably this year due to sewage contamination. This slide must stop to ensure the protection of our marine environment and safeguard our beaches for our families to use for future summers.

    Campaigners will publish any further developments with their Petition and Complaint lodged at the European Commission and will continue to monitor water quality at Western Beach in case of serious sewage dumping which could see further actions from them. The public are invited to please send in any reports of marine pollution to: esg@gibtelecom.net and sewageatsea@gmail.com

    The ESG adds it hopes Gibraltar will soon see progress in our own sewage treatment plant which is long overdue.