Let’s talk about sewage

Well the good news is that Los Cristianos old beach is open again for swimming, after a 2 day E-Coli scare, the bad news is it’s the latest in a running series of possible health  problems around Tenerife beaches.

Los Cristianos beach

The sea by the old beach tends to be a bit oily due to the amount of boats moored up just outside the line of marker buoys, but on Monday a routine public health check on water quality, found a raised level of E-Coli bacteria in the water, and on Thursday the shoreline was closed to the public. E-Coli is a fecal (that’s pooh to you and me)  bacteria that can cause sickness, several beaches around Tenerife have suffered from what the authorities politely call Aqua Fecales or Aqua Negra, basically sewage in the water. Only a week ago, the Varadero beach at Las Galletas was closed due to leaks from a broken old sewage pipe, this resulted in several dead fish.Â

Swimming at the Los Cristianos old beach was to be suspended until next Monday, but yesterday, after a lot of complaints from local business’s, the water was declared safe again and the warning signs taken down. Further tests will hopefully show what caused the raised levels of bacteria, but in the meantime, the political row continues.

Pipe flowI went down to take some pics of the re-opened beach today and further round by the ferry port, I noticed a lovely stream of brown liquid dribbling out of a pipe, just near where the fisihng boats gather, it may well have been harmless, but i wasn’t tempted to take a taste.

Switch your thoughts to Santa Cruz in the north, and all eyes the last few days have been on some leaking Cepsa oil pipes by the old Castillo Negro, just along from the auditorium and more worryingly just by the Parque Maritimo lido. Critics say the liquid has traces of petrol but Cepsa maintain that it is a harmless mix of salt and water. APNUM, the environmental protection agency for urban and national areas, is looking into the leak and intends to make a full report about the exact content of the liquid.

Seperate cases in seperate areas but they all highlight a concern about what is being pumped out into the sea. For publicity purposes, many would prefer to just ignore these all too frequent worries, but every year Greenpeace Spain mentions the black spots around Tenerife, maybe one day someone will tackle the problem. Personally, I still swim in the sea every day, and normally it is lovely, but I will give a wide berth to any brown fish heading for me.