Are Tenerife’s coastal waters clean? Podemos says not, and insists that the problem that closed Troya beach recently was not an isolated incident, but part of a constant discharge from the south Tenerife sewage treatment plant. Podemos’ Cabildo councillor Julio Concepción says that initial enquiries into deficiencies in the Arona-Adeje water treatment plant and into this summer’s sewage spills have thrown up such worrying details that they are going to take the matter up in the next Comisión Insular de Sostenibilidad y Medio Ambiente. Among these findings is the suggestion that the spills are not occasional but constant, and that they are due “as much to problems with the functioning of the plant as to the treatment of the waste that is entering the sea”.
Concepción said that Podemos was obviously concerned for the public who use the beaches and swim in the sea, but also for the dolphins and pilot whales who swim in these waters, species that are protected and require a clean environment both for their own sake, and for the sake of the many economic benefits they bring to private and public companies because of the interest they generate among visitors.
And of course there is also the question of fish caught in these waters. We will all have seen the lights of the fishing boats not too far out to sea, and Concepción said that “we are facing a genuinely serious problem that is putting at risk the health of many people”, and which, he stressed, “ran the risk of sanctions being imposed by the EU for irresponsible sewage spillages that affect the whole coast”.
The councillor reiterated that “there is no water purification system worthy of the name between Las Américas and Santa Cruz, i.e. the whole of the south and south-east of the island, and practically none from Las Américas up to and including the municipality of Santiago del Teide”. He called on the Cabildo to make suitable investment in projects to make the water safe and free from pollution, and with reference to the Cabildo’s recent Hug a Brit campaign said that British visitors would prefer to know the water was fit for bathing. He has a point, surely?