Locals dispute closure of Vera beaches

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Flickr by Íñigo Terry Gómez de Terreros
VILLARICOS: Was there funny business with algae claim as local people say?

MEMBERS of the Veraplayaazul residents’ association of Vera (Almeria) have complained in a statement that the main reason for the closure of three coastal kilometres in the Levante area was not toxic algae.

“After studying the analysis carried out by the Junta de Andalucia regional government, algae was not the main reason why beaches were contaminated back in June,” reads the statement. “Beaches were shut down with a level of 160 and reopened with more than 35,000 units.”

The Veraplayaazul association said it appreciated the analysis carried out but residents alerted they were concerned with the other reasons for contamination, adding: “We wish to see an end of the leaks into the Almanzora river, as well as stricter surveillance on those companies which repeatedly discharge waste into the sea.”

They also complained the Junta de Andalucia regional government had not carried out an analysis of the water that the Villaricos treatment plant pumped into the sea, as well as the level of contamination of the Almanzora and Antas rivers.

“It is clear to us that algae was not the reason for the contamination, and we are dismayed by the several attempts to convince the population otherwise,” alleged the association.

Representatives of the regional environment department said that the shutdown of beaches in Quitapellejos, Villaricos and Playazo de Vera was in fact due to toxic algae and that the volume present was not the only factor.

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