Sitting on Salobreña beach you can be forgiven for thinking that we were back in the 80s because of the unwholesome-looking scum was making its way to the shore.
You see the bathers wait for the tide to take it away, but when it does disappear, more often than not it’s because it has been washed up. Once there, it dries on the pebbles where people are sitting and where children are playing.
Back in the 80s it was like that all summer, right the way along the Costa Tropical and the Axarquía end of the Costa del Sol, but over the decades, La Herradura, Almuñécar, Salobreña and Motril have all had sewage-treatment plants installed, as have Carchuna-Calahonda, as well as Castell de Ferro.
Back when the sugar factory was working, there used to be trails of cane flotsam, but that has disappeared too, when it closed down, obviously.
So where is this sewage, if it is that, coming from? Could it be from Nerja, whose own sewage plant is no nearer completion than it was a couple of years ago: construction companies behind it have gone bust and the eternal, administrative paper shuffling mires everything.
Closer to home, there are discharges from the factory in Lobres which go straight into the sea via the river and, of course, the growing greenhouse presence who contribute their own brand of contamination, which ends up in the sea, too.
Finally, there are leaky connections in Salobreña, mostly between private houses where they link up with the main sewage system. This ‘spillage’ sometimes ends up in the sea.
According to locals in Salobreña, 90% of the summer so far there has been these sticky slicks and they’re tired of complaining to the Town Hall, but what can they do about Nerja’s lack of sewage-recycling facilities, for example?
The Vice Chairwoman of the Asociación Playas de Salobreña, Almudena García, says that she has submitted official complaints to the Town Hall and to the Board of the Environment, but no measures have been taken by either.
At this point we make pains to clarify; not all that floats out there is sewage, probably not even most of it, because it’s also from greenhouses and allegedly, from the Lobres factory. In fact, every possible source mentioned gets an ‘allegedly.’
The Mayor claimed they acted immediately upon hearing of it, by which time it had “disappeared” and therefore samples could not been taken. She also says that such discharges have not since reappeared.
There was also another complaint about a dark-brown stain in the sea in front of Playa El Molino, which she says were molasses and has denounced the alleged suspect to the relevant authorities.
Editorial comment: the Seaside Gazette reflects the local news, whether it is positive or negative for our area; we cannot decide not report on robberies or cases of food poisoning in the hostelry sector (there haven’t been any on the Costa Tropical) in case it hurts local businesses or tourism in general. In the case of this affair, which is already in provincial dailies and on the Social Media, we can only hope that such media pressure will bring about positive results from the relevant administrations.
(News: Salobrena, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)