Ses Salines canal cleanup

Neteja canal ses salinesDaisee Aguilera, head of the Formentera Council's Office of Environment says a recent cleanup of the ses Salines canal was aimed at “ensuring the free flow of water and preventing the loss of ornithological biodiversity”. The operations were conducted in the underground portion of the canal extending from the commercial dock of the Balearic port authority (APB), adjacent to the Formentera Mar tower, to the salterns behind carrer Gregal in la Savina, known as Salines Ferrer.

Over 13 days, a four-person crew —one foreman plus specialists in prevention, quality and environment— extricated 650 cubic metres (m3) of sewage sludge and slurry and 12m3 of solid waste from a 150-metre stretch of canal. Nearly two decades of buildup had, in Aguilera's words, made the task “very necessary”. Although such measures are not within the Council's purview, “unblocking the canal and restoring the flow of water was urgent, so we acted”. The canal serves to funnel rainwater to the sea and prevent its entering estany Pudent and nearby salt ponds.

Aguilera hopes such efforts will help encourage other branches of public administration to adopt conservation measures as well. The secretary described Formentera's salterns as emblematic.

Operations included:
-Clearing vegetation from uncovered portion of canal to allow for access
-Ventilating manholes and repositories
-Daily oxygen-level checks
-Equipping the underground gallery with lighting
-Sealing off portions of the canal to prevent leaks into groundwater
-Draining tanker truck of water and sludge
-Manual removal of solid waste
-Pressure washing to remove solidified slurry, sand and gravel
-Vacuuming loosened material with tanker truck
-Breaking up and removal of blocked passages to restore flow of water