Clean water to make bathing a pleasure

posted 16/08/2013 at 15:00 h. - Verònica Heredia -

From June to September, two City Council boats patrol the city's coastline to pick up any floating waste materials they can find. The boats work every day from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. in order to ensure that the water stays clean.

'Clean water to make bathing a pleasure' video

During the summer months, Barcelona City Council works hard to ensure that the city's beaches stay clean, both in the sea and on the sand.

To make sure that people can bathe in the best possible conditions, two City Council boats patrol the Barcelona coastline every morning, from the Fòrum bathing area to the end of Sant Sebastià Beach, picking up any floating waste they can find.

They do this from 1 June to 25 September, working continuously from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The boats are both Marnett Solid 650s, and have a system of paddles and nets that collect any waste materials floating in the water. The workers collect the waste in bags, which are stored on the boats until they finish their route.

As Josep Garriga, from the City Council's Cicle de l'Aigua (Water Cycle) Office explains, "most of the waste materials we collect are plastic, such as packaging or bags, which mostly come from offshore, rather than being thrown from the beach. Another material that is recovered is wood, both natural (coming from dry river beds) and man-made (such as boxes and fragments of furniture)".

An increase in collected waste

Garriga also notes that, so far this summer, 50% more waste materials have been collected than last year. According to the Council official, this may be because working in the morning makes the work more effective (as sailing conditions are better). "In any event, it will be necessary to compare this year to future years working with the same timetable, to see if the increase in waste collection is due to the timetable or if there has simply been an increase in waste materials".

To ensure safety for bathers, the boats use the early hours of the morning to clean the areas closest to the shore, when there are fewer people on the beaches. As more bathers start to arrive, the boats maintain a safety distance of 200 m from the shoreline. In addition to this, the boat propellers are shielded, so that if anyone approaches the vessels, they cannot touch the propellers.

"In the event of a large surface area of waste being detected in the bathing area, a specific protocol becomes operational. All bathers are asked to leave the water so that the area can be cleaned without any danger", added Garriga.

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