CONCERNED locals have criticised authorities for failing to give adequate warnings about sewage in the sea when red flags go up on Mallorca beaches.
One mother-of-one, who asked not to be named, said toddlers and children, including her young daughter, had been paddling in La Gaviota beach near Molinar on Wednesday despite the water being too dirty for swimmers.
Lifeguards at Playa Ca’n Pere Antoni, where red flags were raised, were telling swimmers to get out of the beach due to sewage in the sea, although some swimmers ignored the warnings.
But a couple of km down the coast at La Gaviota, a small beach popular with children, there were no red flags to warn bathers.
“The water smells and looks horrible,” the mother told the Olive Press.
“But there was nobody here to warn children and parents not to go in the water.
“My daughter arrived home yesterday with very red eyes. She says they are itchy. She hasn’t had red eyes all summer and she’s underwater all the time.
“I spoke to the police and they said everyone has to get out of the water. Tell everyone to get out and they would come to close the beach.”
She added: “This problem is not new, but it hasn’t happened in peak season before, so tourists will be unaware.
“What I don’t understand is why wasn’t the news of the red flag published at 10 am when the flag was raised? No-one knew why there was a red flag until lunch time or speaking to lifeguards.”
A spokesperson from EMAYA, the company which runs bin collections and looks after local water, said beaches were closed ‘due to a discharge of water from the treatment plant’.
The waste came into the sea following heavy rains during the previous night which ‘overwhelmed the plant and dragged waste into the sea.’
One local green campaigner, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Olive Press that raw sewage can feed into the sea after rain hits Mallorca.
Wastewater bypasses the treatment plant and feeds directly into the waters, with used nappies floating in the water, he said.
“The people of Palma have the right to swim in clean waters,” he told the Olive Press.
The Ministry of Tourism’s website for Playa Ca’n Pere Antoni showed a red flag was still raised on Wednesday evening.