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Recent sewage spills in Nerja blamed on heavy rain and unfinished treatment plant

Image of untreated sewage on Playa Burriana on Wednesday.
Image of untreated sewage on Playa Burriana on Wednesday. / SUR
  • A court has ordered the Guardia Civil to investigate the source of effluent leaks this week in Nerja at the mouth of the Chíllar and Playa Burriana

A court has asked the Guardia Civil's environmental unit to investigate the source of effluent leaks around Nerja town centre this week. On Tuesday sewage was spotted spilling into the mouth of the Chíllar river, at El Chucho and El Playazo beaches to the west of town, and on Wednesday more effluent was reported on Burriana beach.

According to the councillor responsible for water management and infrastructure, José María Rivas, the spillage on Tuesday was caused by an electrical fault at the Calle Mérida pump which is connected to the pipes that flow into the Chíllar river and the sea.

Rivas explained that this “can happen during heavy rainfall or storms”. However, he added that the problem was “resolved within 15 minutes” of the town hall being alerted to the problem. Rivas admitted that the lack of a waste water treatment plant in Nerja “complicated the situation”.

On Wednesday Malaga MP for the PSOE party, Miguel Ángel Heredia, visited Nerja and joined the town's PSOE mayor, Rosa Arrabal, in calling upon national government to allow work to restart on the waste water treatment plant, which has been stopped for over eight months.

On the same day neighbours reported more waste water at Burriana beach, but the reason for the leak wasn't immediately clear.

Rivas said on Tuesday that “while we don't have a treatment plant this kind of situation is what we have to deal with”.

Work was halted when the company responsible for carrying out the project, Isolux-Corsán-Corviam, went into receivership last July. 76 per cent of the work has been carried out, including connecting pipes to pumping stations. However, the main site as well as the pumping station near Burriana beach remain unfinished.

The tripartite leadership at Nerja town hall announced last week that if there was no news on progress by the end of January a series of protests would be organised.