Fire brigade divers search for sewage leaks that pollute Marbella beaches

Fire brigade divers prepare to go out to sea.
Fire brigade divers prepare to go out to sea. / JOSELE-LANZA
  • Professionals from the fire service have joined the council and water companies looking for points not connected to the sewage network

Complaints from several residents about large quantities of sewage floating in the sea water at specific points along the Marbella coastline raised the alarm earlier this month. After technical checks ruled out a breakdown in the system, representatives from the Beaches department at the council and the water companies Acosol and Hidralia set about the task of inspecting the underwater outlets in search of a leak. Divers from the local fire brigade's subaquatic unit joined the operation to check the pipes located around 200 metres off the shore.

The fire brigade divers began by concentrating their inspections off Casablanca beach although the aim is to examine outlets at different points of the coastline, as the councillor for Beaches and CEO of Acosol, Manuel Cardeña, pointed out.

"We are trying to detect the source of the leakage, which could come from a pipe that is not connected to the main sewerage and is tipping [sewage] directly into the sea," he said. The councillor added that the local authority has been working to separate rainwater drains and sewers and their intention was to "rule out the possibility of the existence of an unofficial connection" to a drain.

Manuel Lavigne, a member of the fire brigade's diver unit, said that they were working in conjunction with lifeguards on the beaches who report the presence of sewage in the water so they can "act directly at that specific point".

The joint operation will also enable the local authority to draw up a general inventory of underwater outlets and their condition, explained Cardeña.