Swimming was prohibited again yesterday. | Joan Torres

Remedial measures to deal with the spills of waste water that have led to the red flags being raised at the Can Pere Antoni and Ciutat Jardi beaches in Palma will not be effective until the end of 2020.

Neus Truyol, councillor for ecology and the president of the Emaya municipal services agency, said yesterday that work on a new manifold will start at the end of this year but will take two years. Twenty-six million euros are to be spent on this, the investment coming from the water-treatment levy. Work at the Coll d'en Rabassa treatment plant will not start for another two years and will take four years in all.

Truyol defended the closure of the beaches on the grounds of public health, accepting that whenever there is heavy rain there is an issue. It is an old problem, she noted. The Coll d'en Rabassa plant is some forty years old, and previous administrations - especially those of the Partido Popular - have tried to hide the problem. When the PP was in power from 2011 to 2015, the beaches were not closed when there were spills, Truyol claimed. She accused the PP of cynicism because they neither closed the beaches nor demanded investment.

The councillor regretted the current situation but said that right at the moment there is no solution. And sure enough, Can Pere Antoni beach had to be red-flagged again yesterday because a downpour produced another spill.