Nerja mayor to appear in court over raw sewage entering sea

Untreated sewage pumps straight into the sea off Nerja.SUR
Untreated sewage pumps straight into the sea off Nerja.SUR
  • Environmental group Ecologistas en Acción claim the town hall has been committing fraud by charging residents for water treatment

Four of the nine current and former councillors from Nerja who are due to give evidence related to the release of untreated sewage into the sea of Nerja have been summoned to do so over the next two weeks.

Mayor José Alberto Armijo who also held the position between 1995 and 2005, urban planning councillor and housing councillor, Mari Nieves Atencia, former environment councillor, Jorge Bravo and José Miguel Jimena will all appear in Torrox court to be questioned over their part in the case, known as ‘operation Vastum’.

Former mayor Rosa Arrabal will also have to give evidence at a later date.

In 2017, environmental group Ecologistas en Acción denounced Nerja town hall, along with Coín and Alhaurín el Grande town halls to the Junta de Andalucía for not complying with EU rules which state that towns with populations over 15,000 should treat their own water.

They also accuse Nerja town hall of fraud for charging residents for water treatment in their bills, despite that fact that none of the towns have operating waste water treatment plants. The organisation claims that the council has been doing so as far back as 2011.

Nerja businessman Jorge Narváez has joined Ecologistas en Acción in their complaint as he claims raw sewage is present in a stream that passes his establishment and flows into the sea on Burriana beach.

In Coín, five current and former councillors, including the last two mayors, are under investigation. In January this year SUR reported that the amount of raw sewage discharged in Alhaurín el Grande currently stands at the equivalent of 10,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.