Playa de Mogán beach was closed yet again this week and bathing was prohibited, on Wednesday, when fecal contamination was detected in its waters. Independent Spanish-language news portal for the south of Gran Canaria, El Sur Digital Gran Canaria, reported subsequently that Mogán Town Council workers removed the delimiting tape closing the beach to bathers in Playa de Mogán at around 9:00 a.m. on Thursday morning.

Analysis carried out on Thursday came out negative for contamination and therefore within the safe range to allow bathing on the beach once again.

The beach had been sealed by agents of the Mogán Local Police on Wednesday at around 1:00 p.m. due to “high rates of microbiological contamination of the water”, meaning that there were clear indications of fecal contamination detected. Poop in the water.

The businessmen of Playa de Mogán were reportedly “grateful for the rapid reopening of the beach”, as the image of the closed beach greatly affects the destination and businesses in the area.

El Sur Digital Gran Canaria report that this has been the third time this summer that Playa de Mogán has been found to have rates of microbiological contamination too high for safe bathing, it happened on May 25 and June 30 of this year, and on both occasions, the beach reopened within 24 hours, after bathing was prohibited.

Mogán Council workers spent all afternoon Wednesday and Thursday morning, examining the area’s sanitation network, cleaning it and looking for any type of uncontrolled discharge.  The water company responsible for sewerage, who collaborate closely with the CIUCA dominated town hall, have made no statements about this fourth incident to have occurred since April.

No Blue Flag Beaches in Mogán for many years

Mogán’s council have in recent years been moving to wrest control of the municipality’s beaches away from the private companies that have always previously cared for them over the last four decades, the latest beaches over which they now exercise dominion being Tauro and Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria.  Mogán, however, no longer has any Blue Flag beaches, nor have they had in recent years having lost those they had under this still serving administration, despite the arrival of hundreds of thousands of tourists every year to the south west of Gran Canaria, and indeed two years of #TourismZero during the pandemic.

The only Blue Flag left in Mogán these days is the one, again, awarded to the private port of Puerto de Mogán SA, which remains as the sole coastal facility on the south west that has been recognised for its water quality and provision of services.

4th case since April

On April 8, Mogán Local Police sealed the only beach in the tourist enclave of Taurito, after data from a health analysis report arrived at the Mogán town hall.  There were apparently abundant indications of raw sewage in the water.

Taurito beach closed on April 8, 2022 – Image El Digital Sur Gran Canaria

EL SUR DIGITAL GRAN CANARIA wanted to find out more about these instances of public health concern, and so requested copies of the documents and reports on the individual cases from the Mogán Town Hall, as it appears these closures are beginning to occur again and again on the beaches of Mogán.

However the representatives of the people of Mogan municipality, serving in the town hall, rejected their request for this public health information, claiming that it was “Inadmissible for processing”, and therefore denied access to the information “held by the Health Service of this Town Council, due to the following reasons:”

  • “The information requested by the interested party is subject to the provisions of letter b of article 18 of the Transparency Law, considering that the documentation requested corresponds to internal reports that are exchanged between administrative entities, for merely informative purposes that lack any formality. “

Mogán Town Council do not inform citizens or tourists

The town council do not appear to have any system to inform people about the repeated health risks being detected on their beaches, having published no notice or statement on their website or social networks, to help citizens understand the de facto situation repeatedly detected in the coastal waters of some of our most popular beaches. The high levels ​​of contamination detected are sufficient for the police to cordon off the beaches and prohibit swimming, yet no warning is issued for the benefit of anyone who happened to have been there prior to pollutants being detected or reported. 

It is only reasonable to suggest that members of the public could well have been swimming in fecal matter prior to its presence being detected, isn’t it therefore only sensible to let people know the public health problem that has led to the closure of the beach?  So that they can be aware of any potential illness that could arise?

The Law on “Information to the public”

According to article 13 of Royal Decree 1341/2007, of October 11, regarding the management of bathing water quality, it is a requirement that “whenever bathing is prohibited or refrain from it recommended, (there must be) a warning in which the interested public is informed indicating the reasons”, something that the Town Council, directed by La Alcaldesa Onalia Bueno, has repeatedly failed to comply with.

The legislation is clear in explaining that “during the bathing season, the public administrations, within the scope of their powers, will actively, quickly and through easily accessible mechanisms disseminate information to the interested public on the quality of the bathing and, where appropriate, the beach. Likewise, in an easily accessible place in the vicinity of each bathing area, (…) information will be provided” to bathers.”

Mogán Town Council have ignored requests for more information, and repeatedly declined to make any comment whatsoever, let alone provide any further details about the raw sewage that is being allowed to pollute the beaches of one of Gran Canaria’s most popular holiday coastlines.

Gran Canaria’s Southern tourism heartlands have only one Blue Flag beach, with none in Mogán for 5 years now

Mogán to control Tauro Beach, but it is not likely to open any time soon, despite Anfi being summoned to sign the public declaration cancelling their concession