PEDESTRIANS were ‘sprayed by cars’ after a sewage pipe burst at La Zenia beach resort releasing 56,000 litres of stinking human waste.
The spill was blamed on a broken pipe from the local Estación Depuradora de Aguas Residuales (EDAR) treatment plant, which backed up near the Zenia Boulevard shopping centre.
The sewage, which had reportedly been treated for use in agriculture, started pouring out at 2pm on Thursday before reaching the blue flag Cala Bosque beach in peak tourist season.
Footage taken by shocked holidaymakers showed cars slowing as they hit large puddles of sewage water on the main road.
Meanwhile, pedestrians tried to keep their distance as they walked along the pavement to avoid being splashed.
One social media user, Trevor Bone, said: “This is what we drove through and the car in front was spraying the pedestrians.”
Another user, Michelle Oliver, said: “We had to plodge through it to get to taxi – the smell was horrific.”
The seafront promenade was left deserted in the worst affected areas as council workers banked up sand to try to stop it reaching the beach at Cala Bosque – one of 11 blue-flagged beaches in the Orihuela Costa area.
Orihuela’s councillors for infrastructure, Angel Noguera, and beaches, Ramón López, coordinated the work to prevent damage to the beach.
Ángel Noguera said: “We had to act to prevent these sewage from reaching the beach, we have put a sand dam and we have controlled it.
“A little has reached the beach, but it has not reached where people were.”
Noguera said a meeting was held with the company awarded the management of the treatment plant to prevent ‘this from ever happening again’.
“We had to completely think on our feet to stop the water,” he added.
The treatment plant services close to 60,000 people, treating 7,436 metres cubed of wastewater per day.