Costa floods contaminate expat water supplies

Published:  28 Dec at 6 PM
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The recent once-in-a-lifetime floods in Spain’s Costa del Sol have left the expat community in danger due to sewage contamination of the water supply.

Heavy rain battered the popular Alicante area for four straight days, with flooded rivers inundating residential districts and destroying many homes. As communities struggled to recover, the local water authorities discovered sewage contamination in the water supplies and banned the service.

Around 22,000 residents in Alfaz, near Alicante, were told not to drink, cook with or wash in tap water contaminated by swamp water run-off in the Guadalest River. One family was told they could shower provided they kept their eyes shut, but bottled water became a necessity for Christmas cooking. Electricity supplies were also cut due to the floods, leaving Christmas by candlelight the only option.

On a more cheerful note, the Costa expat community’s second annual Boxing Day Charity Plunge took place as planned, attracting several hundred spectators and 16 participants. The Sabi Spantans braved the less than tempting winter waters of the Mediterranean on Boxing Day to raise money for a Zambian school ad other charities.

Swimmer Gary Beaumont, speaking to local expat newspaper the Olive Press, said all profits would go to the Duquesa Charitable Society of St George and the Nyland K Charitable Foundation. Also benefiting will be two local charities, the Estepona soup kitchen and the Hogar Marillac charity.

One South African expat living in the area told reporters the waters weren’t as cold as he’d expected, adding he’d been delighted to take the plunge in a good cause, especially as the Med was far warmer than the ocean off Cape Town, even in the summer months. Charity Plunge’s organiser Ian Ewing wore a Santa suit for his swim, and noted the water was far calmer than at last year’s windy event. All 16 swimmers did their best for the charities before heading off to a popular local bar for several glasses of warming brandy.
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