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Garden upkeep and trimming near Sant Francesc school

foto 2021 poda 1With schools closed for the holidays, the Formentera Environment Department has ordered a range of garden upkeep and trimming to be performed in the Sant Francesc school zone. Last week crews pruned a number of trees, including one eucalyptus more than ten metres tall, and rid nearby pines of processionary nests. Pruning the tallest portions of trees makes the surrounding area safer by reducing the risk that branches are felled by strong winds.

8 January 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Consell reminds landowners to keep pine trees in proper phytosanitary conditions

foto 2021 processionariThe Formentera Environment Department (FED) reminds landowners with pine trees that they are required, in light of growing local spread of the pine processionary, to make sure proper phytosanitary conditions are maintained among the trees. Islanders can alert the municipality to the presence of nests by means of the Línea Verde app, by contacting the Consell directly, or by visiting FED.

New telescopic shears and 5,000 munitions cartridges for nest removal

This year the Formentera government has purchased two long-handled pruning shears to remove nests at heights of five to six metres. Islanders who agree to certain conditions can borrow the shears at no charge from FED. Five thousand recently purchased ammunition cartridges will be distributed to local hunting groups who have traditionally joined in efforts to eliminate processionary nests.

“The Consell will do everything it can to make this easier for landowners”, said FED councillor Antonio J. Sanz, calling such individuals’ help “fundamental to combating the invasive pest”. Landowners are the ones responsible under municipal bylaws to remove nests, and Sanz said additional help is available to islanders who are unable to do so.

Wintertime signs of the pest’s spread in untreated areas include dry needles at branch tips and groups of caterpillars nesting for warmth. Pine processionaries are defoliators, meaning they feed on leaves, attacking pine trees and even causing serious damage if attacks are sustained or trees are already in a weakened state.

In the final months of 2020, the Healthy Forests Service of the Balearic division of natural spaces and biodiversity teamed up with the Consell de Formentera to perform targeted helicopter dustings of biological agent Bacillus thuringiensis.

Recommendations

FED and the Balearic Healthy Forests Service reminds islanders:

1.-If you see the processionary on the island, tell the appropriate authorities, noting where they are and how many nests you see.

2.-Remove nests from any affected pines.

3.-The most effective way to stop the processionary is to cut down nests and burn them.

4.-Take steps when removing nests to protect yourself from the caterpillar’s urticating hairs. Wear long-sleeved shirts, gloves and protective eyewear.

5.-Because urticating hairs that come loose in the wind can cause breakouts or other dermatological reactions, nests should be removed with one’s back to the wind.

6.-Once removed, nests must be destroyed. Forest services recommend burning them far removed from wooded areas to minimise the risk of fire.

7.-Caterpillars can also be crushed or shot (make sure you have a hunting permit and that seasonal hunting restrictions allow).

For more information visit the Healthy Forests Service at http://sanitatforestal.caib.es or contact the office by calling 971 17 66 66 or emailing sanitatforestal@caib.es . Visit FED (Àrea de Medi Ambient) at carrer Mallorca, 15 (baixos) in Sant Ferran de ses Roques, or contact the office at 971 32 12 10 ext.1 or mediambient@conselldeformentera.cat.

7 January 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Formentera enhances local energy management with new info and monitoring system

foto 2020 SIEThe Formentera Environment Department announces a newly introduced system aimed at improving management and savings of energy on the island. Dubbed SIE for sistema d’informació energètica, the scheme paves the way for real-time monitoring of electricity, gas and water use in buildings and lighting installations on the island.

According to environment councillor Antonio J. Sanz, the system “generates energy efficiency data by pinpointing structures with the greatest potential for energy savings and where advanced monitoring and remote management systems could be useful”. The councillor described SIE as “a more agile and efficient way to view and compare data, and one that will help us implement energy savings and efficiency solutions”.

Municipalities commit to clean energy
The Consell de Formentera joined municipal leaders across the Balearics by writing SIE rollout and a host of other energy efficiency and renewable energy measures into a regional compact for climate and energy that was backed by the European Commission. The EC views climate change as a global problem with local solutions: cities generate emissions, but they must also be the sources of new innovative ideas and projects to fight global warming.

SIE is currently in use at more than one thousand public buildings run by roughly twenty Balearic municipalities.

18 December 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Consell incorporates new backhoe for improved separation at rubbish tip

foto 2020 backhoeThe Formentera Environment Department reports it has incorporated a new backhoe for improved separation at the island’s rubbish tip.

The €124,523 (VAT included) backhoe is equipped with a forest clamp and will allow for greater ease in operations involving earth moving, construction and demolition waste, composting and organic waste and garden trimmings fed into the Consell’s biochipper.

Environment councillor Antonio J. Sanz declared the purchase would mean “savings in the medium term”. “As a permanent feature of the municipal arsenal, the new backhoe will do away with interruptions stemming from our previous reliance on rented equipment”, said the councillor. Operators at Es Cap de Barbaria waste management centre will use the backhoe themselves.


16 December 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Formentera’s desalination plant registers 20% increase in productive capacity

foto 2020 dessalinitzadora 2Alejandra Ferrer, Miquel Mir and Antonio J. Sanz visited the island’s seawater desalination plant earlier today to take stock of the remodel currently under way of the plant’s third production line. Formentera’s premiere, the Balearic environment and land minister and the local environment chief were also joined by Guillem Rosselló, managing director of the Balearic Water Agency (ABA), and secretary general Juan Calvo.

The €330,570 remodel, financed with money from the Sustainable Tourism Levy (ITS) and on track for completion in six months, will take the plant’s daily output from 2,000m3 to 2,500m3 — a 20% increase.

Installation of a 2,500m3-capacity reverse osmosis support frame and substitution of a 37.2-square-metre membrane with a 40.1-sq.m. replacement will mean that equipment in place since a 2017 remodel can acheive optimal operation, marking an improvement for energy efficiency at the facility.

President Ferrer called the additional line of production “exciting news for the island”, and stressed that the work, together with earlier optimisation of the plant’s storage capacity, would help the island respond to rising summertime demand. “It’s worth noting that the desalination plant is Formentera’s one and only source of potable fresh water”, Ferrer added.

Minister Mir, for his part, cast the upgrade as “synonymous with an increasingly secure local supply of fresh water”, and tied it to the Balearic environment and land ministry’s goal of fortifying public services in support of the water cycle.

Councillor Sanz reminded islanders that keeping chemicals, oils and hygiene-related refuse out of the sewage network was crucial to a healthy water cycle and assuring proper levels of cleanliness when water arrives at the treatment plant.

Formentera gets its drinking water from the desalination plant courtesy of ABA. The plant’s three lines of production provide desalinated water for urban areas and alleviate pressure on the island’s aquifer, which is currently overused and registering abnormally high salt levels.

Also in the offing are structural reforms of the desalination tank. ABA recently issued a €80,159 contract (VAT not included) for preparation of the plans.

Built in 2002, the €17,500m3-capacity tank holds desalinated water and supplies it to the island. Refurbishments have not been carried out since that time, and various parts of the structure have displayed signs of wear in recent months.

11 December 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

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