Residents of Benissanet mobilize against a pumping station

A group of residents of Benissanet have formed a platform and are collecting signatures against a project by the Catalan Water Agency (ACA) to clean up and purify the town's wastewater.

Currently, the wastewater from Benissanet is discharged directly into the Ebro river without being treated. Between the terms of Benissanet and Móra d'Ebre is the Móra d'Ebre treatment plant, which could take over the Benissanet waters, as it has sufficient capacity. One solution, therefore, would be to pump the water to this treatment plant. But the project proposed by the ACA to build a pumping station and install a buried pipeline to the treatment plant is not liked by the residents of the town, due to its impact.

"We believe that sewerage water should not be discharged directly into the river without treatment and we support the need to work to have a sanitation project," says Laura Farré, from the Salvem el Passeig del Riu platform. "But what we want is a solution that does not affect the people, since the one they propose will have too much impact, since economic criteria have been taken into account and not social ones."

The pumping station proposed in accordance with the current project would be located on the Paseo del Río. It is a construction of dimensions of 18 meters long, more than 6 wide and 5 high. The neighbors ask that the station be built further away from the town and that an alternative be found that does not substantially affect the visual impact, in addition to the possible nuisance of smells and noise.

For the residents, the drafting of the project has not taken into account the social significance of the Paseo del Río for the town, nor its natural value, nor its tourist potential. «It is next to the promenade, which is the most emblematic place in town, where people go for a walk. At the end of the promenade is the pier, where many excursions come, and in March we have the flowering season, with visitors from outside. It can create a negative impact”, reaffirms Farré.

In addition, on the shore itself there is a group of terraced houses. "We have begun to collect signatures because a month ago the neighbors who live in Passeig del Riu learned by chance that they put this station next to our house," details the neighbor.

At the same time, the project includes a buried pipeline to pump water through private farms, especially fruit and olive trees. “We are an agricultural town and the neighbors will be expropriated, who on top of the expropriated area will not be able to plant more for life,” Farré denounces.

In the municipality of Benissanet there would be 60 plots affected (of which 52 are private owners) and a total of 45 different owners. Also in the term of Móra d'Ebre there would be a twenty of affected parcels.

The platform held an informative assembly for citizens a few days ago, which was attended by about eighty neighbors, and is currently collecting signatures that they will deliver to the City Council to "strength" and that the ACA can consider an alternative to this project.

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