Sewage pipes, destroyed after a storm in Marbella. / JOSELE

Project to remove sewage pipes from Costa del Sol beaches starts to take shape

The Junta has awarded the contract to draw up plans to replace and relocate the infrastructure and will ask the government for help with the 300-million-euro cost

FRANCISCO JIMÉNEZ MALAGA.

There is a long way to go and it will be complicated and expensive, but it looks as though at last the project is under way to remove the sewage pipes and pumping stations and manhole covers from beaches on the Costa del Sol, all the way from Torremolinos to Manilva.

The Junta de Andalucía has just awarded the contract to draw up the plans to relocate the main pipeline so it runs under roads and promenades instead.

There are two reasons for this: environmental and aesthetic. The infrastructure which was built in the 1970s and 80s has deteriorated and keeps breaking. Priority will be given to the 23 kilometres of pipes which are in the worst condition and need replacing, and moving 800 manholes and most of the 50 pumping stations along the western coast. The pipes will be removed from the beaches because, among other issues, their presence makes it difficult for the sand to regenerate naturally.

Altogether, the total investment needed is estimated to be 300 million euros, so efforts are being made to secure the collaboration of the government.

Consultations

The contract to draw up the plans has been awarded to the Narval y Prydo engineering consultancy, with a budget of 312,809 euros and a completion period of one year. They will use reports already produced by the Acosol water company and will propose alternative locations for the infrastructure and provide information about any compulsory purchase of land which will be necessary.

Initial consultations will have to be made with all the administrations that may be affected so that when the time comes to start work on the project, all the different bodies have already agreed to the works.

Once the new locations have been agreed by all parties involved, the work will be done by sections, so that all the appropriate licences and plans can be put in place in advance.