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Here’s Why Balluta And St George’s Bay Are Contaminated With E. Coli

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Malta was hit with two E. coli contaminations in one day: news that is expected to reoccur as the days get hotter, the tourists start flocking, and the strain on our sewage system increases.

But, why is this happening?

Lovin Malta reached out to the Water Services Corporation (WSC), which works under the Ministry of the Environment, to figure out why Malta’s bays suffer from a disproportionate number of bacterial contaminations in the warmer months.

Last year, the island endured seven instances of sewage-contaminated seas between the months of May and September, and this year, we’ve already recorded two: St George’s Bay and Balluta Bay.

Well according to the WSC, these two contaminations were not caused by the faults in the WSC’s sewage network.

“Instead, it results from blockages due to third-party activities and improper waste disposal by said third parties into water culverts which shouldn’t be used for such use. Our network has been thoroughly tested and confirmed to be leak-free, even in the case of St. Julian’s Bay.”

“Regarding our investments, in January, WSC has launched a comprehensive €310 million National Investment Plan aimed at modernizing Malta’s water and sewage infrastructure. This ambitious plan includes:

  1. Upgrading and expanding sewage treatment facilities to increase capacity and efficiency.
  2. Improving the sewage network to prevent blockages and enhance overall performance.
  3. Implementing advanced technologies to monitor and manage water quality, ensuring the safety and reliability of our services.
  4. Enhancing wastewater recycling and reuse initiatives to support environmental sustainability.
  5. Strengthening infrastructure to accommodate the growing population and future demands.”

When asked what exactly causes these blockages, the state agency explained that this happens “when third-party siphons are not properly maintained and cleaned”.

“These blockages can result from various causes, particularly the improper disposal of materials into the wastewater network.”

Meanwhile, Infrastructure Malta stated that it “continuously incorporate WSC proposals in our works, but WSC retains full ownership of the sewage infrastructure, including strategic decisions”.

Are you concerned about these contaminations?

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Ana is a university graduate who loves a heated debate, she’s very passionate about humanitarian issues and justice. In her free time you’ll probably catch her binge watching way too many TV shows or thinking about her next meal.

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