Praia do Alemão beach in Portimão shut down due to presence of fecal bacteria
Barranco das Canas beach, also known as Praia do Alemão, in Portimão banned any form of swimming today due to the detection of fecal bacteria in a water sample that was analyzed by the Portuguese Environment Agency.
A source revealed that the red flag has been flying on the beach since this morning, after the bacterium Escherichia coli, also known as E.coli, was detected in a sample of water collected yesterday from this popular tourist area, as part of the Environmental Agency’s regular monitoring of Algarve beaches.
The Port Captain of Portimão, Santos Arrabaça, confirmed that officials were asked to raise the red flag early this morning.
The same source assured the public that Portimão Council officials are monitoring the area, trying to detect if there were leaks from the sewage system which could’ve resulted in a discharge of human waste, “but found nothing”.
“Our suspicion is that it was by human action, either on the beach itself, or, more likely, by unloading a boat. There are always boats anchored in the area during the day, especially on weekends, ”said Santos Arrabaça.
Moreover, the Port Captain is confident that this is a passing situation and that the ban will be lifted tomorrow, given that “it is not normal” for this to happen. “Sometimes, when there is heavy rainfall, with the runoff of streams, it can happen. That is why the Council rapidly took the initiative to monitor the situation”, he added.
Around two weeks ago, Faro Beach was also closed down, with a swimming ban, due to the presence of E.coli bacteria, in concentrations ??much higher than deemed safe. The most likely cause at the time was the discharge of sewage from a vessel anchored off the coast. However, having two nearly identical events occur in the same months does lead one to worry about the state of the Algarve’s wastewater treatment facilities, and the honesty of local officials.
In the case of the Faro Beach shutdown, the ban on swimming only lasted one day, since the complementary analyses that were done no longer detected values ??of the bacteria within the unsafe range.