Raw organic sewage has minimal impact on environment, says local scientist

Mark Viales

Tonnes of grimy brown sludge expelled from Europa Point on a daily basis have a minimal effect on the global environment, according to local scientist Lewis Stagnetto.

The European Union is currently fining Gibraltar for pumping raw sewage into the sea, directly breaching EU legislation from 1991 concerning urban waste-water treatment.

However, the marine biologist insists that the secret to dealing with pollution is through dilution and that is exactly what occurs to Gibraltar’s untreated sewage.

“Our raw sewage at Europa Point is pulled out into the Atlantic Ocean due to our very strong currents,” he said. “It is not the ideal scenario, but not as hazardous as one may believe. The effect we have on the Atlantic is negligible due to our size, so the organic sewage will eventually brake down and dissipate. The problem arises through our inorganic waste such as plastics, which can take centuries to decompose.”