Barcelona City Council maintains cleaning the seafront water

The team responsible for keeping Barcelona’s beaches clean uses a unique combination of boats and sand vehicles, operating daily during the summer season. This summer, the sea in front of Barcelona is particularly clean, aided by favourable coastal currents and the lack of rain which has helped reduce waste on the coast. The Deputy Mayor of Urban Development, Antoni Vives, has highlighted that “this is a particularly good year for swimming in Barcelona since the water quality is high”.

CNA / David Tuxworth

August 8, 2012 09:39 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- Barcelona City Council is continuing to clean the water in front of the beaches this summer. The high water quality this year is due to coastal currents and a lack of rain, meaning that waste does not reach the beaches as easily. The water cleaning team consists of three boats which operate daily from June 1st to September 25th, during the Easter holidays and on the weekends in May. The Deputy Mayor for Urban Development, Antoni Vives said that “this is a unique service since the boats are part of the waste cleaning service, together with the vehicles on the beach and the trucks collecting rubbish”.

The water cleaning team is made up of two ‘Marnett’ boats and one ‘Pelican’ boat. The ‘Marnett’ boats are responsible for removing the waste found floating on the surface of the water. They operate from Fòrum swimming area to Sant Sebastià beach, an area more than 5.3 kilometres long, working between 7am until 6pm. The other vessel ‘Pelican’ is used in cases when specialised waste removal is required.

Once the ships have removed the waste from the surface of water, it is placed in cages on the boat’s deck and moved to a cleaning centre for further treatment. The volume of waste varies, depending on the weather, the tides and the amount of illegal dumping in the sea as well as fuel from boats.

If a large amount of waste is detected near a swimming area, a protocol is applied which is coordinated by the police and the Red Cross. The problem is indicated with a red flag which calls for any swimmers in the area to return to the shore. This means that the ‘Marnett’ boats can access the problem without putting the swimmers in danger.

The weather conditions this summer have meant that the beaches are cleaner than during the same period last year. Between June and July, a total of 14.47 m³ of waste has been collected.

Barcelona Deputy Mayor for Urban Development, Antoni Vives, said that “this is a particularly good year for swimming in Barcelona since the water quality is high due to the marine currents and low amounts of rain”.

Another function of the vessels is to capture the jellyfish found along the coast. Antoni Vives said that “although we were expecting a plague of jellyfish this year, this hasn’t happened”.