The Junta de Andalucía regional government has ordered the prohibition of recreational use of La Concepción reservoir in Istán, near Marbella, after the discovery of algae which has been linked to the death of a dog.
Though a ministerial order preventing personal use is already in place (as it is a reservoir for the sole purpose of drinking water), the Junta wanted to reiterate the message after a woman, whose dog died, took a sample of the water to a laboratory for testing. There it was found that an algae, which in high concentrations can be harmful to animals, was present. Tests are ongoing to verify whether it was the official cause of death.
This news alerted the environmental branch of the Guardia Civil, Seprona, who have launched an investigation and identified various other dogs who have died after being in the area, initially thought to have consumed some sort of poison. However, they have not been able to rule out that they drank water from the shore.
Sources from the Junta have insisted that the water is safe for drinking as it must still go through the treatment process. But, while further tests are carried out and the investigation continues, over the weekend and on Monday additional cleaning measures were taken to eliminate any toxins and to ensure that the water coming out of the tap is safe to drink.