The beach at Cala Mesquida was affected by an oil spill. | A. Bassa


Red Eléctrica has started further clean-up work at Cala Mesquida beach. It is for an area that was affected by the spill of some 3,600 litres of biodegradable industrial oil for electrical insulation.

There was a leak in the cable that connects Majorca and Minorca in October last year. When it was discovered, the cable was sealed and emergency operations at the beach were started. Sand which had been impregnated with the oil was removed and treated as waste.

Two surveys of water and quality were conducted in order to assess the level of any remaining oil. While this had gone down, weather conditions had caused the oil to spread. An external company undertook a risk analysis which showed that there was only serious risk to health if there happened to be a significant ingestion of the oil.

The electricity company then presented a recuperation plan to the government's environmental quality department. This consists of water and sand treatment without the need to import sand. There are two phases to this recovery process. The first involves installing treatment equipment and the removal of sand. The second requires the pumping and treatment of water and the cleaning of sand. When the sand is restored to perfect condition, it will be returned.