On the morning of this Friday, two residents of the municipality of El Sauzal came to the north of the island to take a dip in the pool of Los Chochos (Los Silos), in Tenerife. At the entrance to the place, a dozen people surrounded a sealing sign. In the background, this traditional bathing and recreation spot gave off a strong stench, with dozens of dead fish on the surface. “The puddle is like a fish tank that, if you don’t change the water for several days, oxygen is lost and the fish die,” says a visitor while she watches.
The Santa Cruz de Tenerife City Council recommends not bathing on the beaches of Las Teresitas and Las Gaviotas after finding more piche
The Silense City Council proceeded to close it “for health reasons”, as quoted by a sign at its entrance. A municipal worker from the Area of Works and Services, Infrastructures, Maintenance, Parks and Gardens, Waters and Cemetery approached the place. He took several photographs and advanced in a telephone conversation that they would take samples to analyze them. In statements to this newspaper, the municipal body affirms that the pool has suffered the “fish tank effect, because of the heat and as there was no renewal with the high tide of the water, there was no oxygen and some fish appeared floating,” says the City Council. However, the Consistory has decided to take samples of the water and send them to be analyzed in case it is not the hypothesis that is being considered so far.
“We are not the sewer of Isla Baja”
However, the problem of sea pollution in the Canary Islands goes further. The lack of useful and trained resources to manage wastewater jeopardizes the security of the Islands and their economic future. “We are not the sewer of Isla Baja,” reads a sign at the entrance to Los Silos. The problem of spillage in Isla Baja, made up of the municipalities of Garachico, Buenavista, Los Silos and El Tanque, leaves Los Silos in a difficult situation in the face of the control of garbage that is thrown into the sea and that the waves return to the Bank. Thus, the closure of beaches for health reasons are not isolated cases, but are part of a lack of solutions.
In the last week of August, Tenerife closed several beaches due to the presence of hydrocarbons: Almáciga and the Roque de las Bodegas beach (in Santa Cruz), the coast of Puertito de Güímar (Güímar) and all the beaches in the municipality of Candelaria, as well as El Muellito, in Garachico, for another spill. From the main road of this municipality, several houses display posters against the discharge of sewage to the coast of Los Silos. This initiative arose in 2017, when the Los Silos – Isla Baja Platform led a fight against the discharge of wastewater on the coast of Silence.
Likewise, five kilometers from Los Chochos is El Canto del Barranco, on the coast of Garachico, a beach that has been contaminated since 2001. As published in June by Canarias Now, Ecologists in Action has awarded the Black Flag to this beach after analyzing your state. In this case, the spill has been produced by failures in a Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), located in Barranco Hondo, and has led the Garachica municipality to pay several fines for polluting the marine environment. However, the situation remains the same. According to this report, the only solution proposed by the Tenerife Island Water Council (CIATF) is to divert the waste to Los Silos through a marine outfall. But this initiative “violates the law” and threatens the habitat of a protected species, the Canary clam.