The extensive work that has been taking place on the hillside behind and above the Marina del Este, La Herradura, has concluded.
All told, 30 shafts have been sunk to drain off underground water within the hillside.
What has caused all the problems to date is that the hillside has been retaining water, which has softened the ground, causing parts to slip, resulting in cracks through many of the new buildings in the area.
The stabilizing work cost over a million euros, which is a small price, considering the damage that the earth movements have caused and the loss of equity on affected properties.
However, locals have had to put up with the noise and inconvenience of the works during the hottest and busiest month of the year.
The work that has concluded corresponds to the first phase; i.e., the sinking of the drainage shafts, both vertical, as well as the horizontal connecting ones, all leading to the main gallery.
The shafts are between 14 and 23 metres deep, having lateral draining sub-shafts, which take the water to the central gallery (cave). The amount of flow is equivalent, on some occasions, to 37 litres per second, in other words, 133 metric tonnes of water an hour, which equivalent to two Olympic swimming pools in every 24 hours.
Precisely because of this huge amount of sweet water, there is talk of utilising it this ‘windfall’ for the irrigation of private and public garden areas. (Waste not; want not.)
The next step in the process is to build a sort of screen, or wall, which will be built in the lower section of the hillside, near the central gallery.
The Agencia Publica de Puertos de Andalucia (APPA) carried out emergency work last year, costing some 400,000 euros, on the central gallery, which had been built to drain water when the first houses and the port were done. Since that time, the gallery has reportedly fallen into disrepair, resulting in the subsequent land slips.
Whilst this emergency work was still being carried out, it was decided to carry out a second project involving drainage shafts, which is the work that has just concluded.
So, with the repair to the underground gallery, the sinking of the 30 drainage shafts and the soon to be built lower wall near the gallery, the adequate drainage of the hillside should be ensured, despite the characteristics of the hillside being prone to accumulating water below ground.
One reader (of a briny origin) tells us that the shafts that have been sunk actually on the road stick out about a metre above the road.