ABOUT A year ago, the Asociacion de Vecinos de la Montana de Pego (AVMP), Monte Pego’s Official Residents Association noticed that the Monte Pego sewage treatment plant was spilling what appeared to be insufficiently treated sewage.
The spill went directly into the the Barranc de Batlle and floated toward the River Riu Riaxo beyond the CV-700.
There it would potentially contaminate the waterways of the adjacent rice fields and the Marjal nature reserve.
The AVMP believe the spilling to be due to‘the antiquated technology of the plant, its limited capacity considering the increasing number of residents and what appears to be inconsistent maintenance and upgrading’.
In July 2016, the AVMP decided to bring the problem to the attention of Pego Ayuntamiento, submitting an instancia with photo evidence.
The association were informed months later that its request for a thorough investigation had been forwarded to the environmental authority in Valencia and the spill was soon stopped.
The sewage dried up after a few days leaving behind contaminated mud interspersed with used sanitary items.
The sewage spill started again this year around the middle of May and has not stopped since.
The AVMP claim the spill to have been running ‘24 hours a day with varying velocity’.
At the lower end, the association estimate the velocity to be about 4 litres a minute, adding up to nearly 500,000 litres over a period of two months.
The AVMP say, ‘it may be fair to assume that parts of this spilled sewage would have leaked into the table water. It also may well have entered the waterways, which are part of the watering system of the rice fields.’
They continue: ‘As part of our regular contact with municipal representatives of Pego, Rafol, and Denia we learned that the municipalities are fully aware of this problem. They have acknowledged its severity and the necessity forit to be resolved.’
‘At the same time, they state that remedial actions are beyond their responsibility and budgetary resources.’
‘A further aggravating circumstance for the continuation of this problem Pego Ayuntamiento sees is the contentious legal relationship with the developer of Monte Pego, to whom the treatment plant still belongs.’
‘The AVMP is not addressing the sewage spill as a specific problem for Monte Pego residents. At this time, we consider it as an alarming incident with a high potential for contaminating adjacent municipal and agricultural areas. As such, it might, if not stopped immediately, affect the physical and economic well- being of all residents in this area. Additionally, it might have a devastating effect on wildlife, vegetation, and nature in general.’
At a conference on Monday at the Casa de Cultura in Pego, the AVMP vowed it will not stop in its pursuit of resolving the sewage spill, ‘we will continue to bring this problem to the attention of the public at large and its political representatives, hoping that the value of living in a healthy environment prevails.’