Beachgoers are reported to be “ignoring” the swimming ban imposed on Tuesday (July 25) at Praia dos Salgados (Albufeira) after tests found the beach’s water to be “polluted with microorganisms”.
“I was in the water, like everyone else on the beach, and didn’t feel anything strange,” a tourist from Èvora told Correio da Manhã tabloid.
But that does not mean the threat does not exist, according to Portugal’s environmental agency APA.
“A red flag has been hoisted at the beach and we have a panel at the entrance of the beach warning about the quality of the water,” APA’s Isabel Pires told CM.
She added that if beachgoers want to swim, they can do so “safely” just 200 metres to the east or west.
Meantime, Albufeira council has built a “sand dam” to block the water channel that links the beach to Lagoa dos Salgados, where the polluted water is believed to have come from.
Initial reports suggested the infected water came from a pipe at Lagoa dos Salgados, though APA guarantees it still does not know what happened.
“We are working with the council to figure out what the problem was”.
The swimming ban will only be lifted once the agency is sure the water is safe. Further test results are expected today, CM reports.
Praia dos Salgados is one of 24 beaches in Albufeira that boast a Blue Flag, an accolade awarded by the European Blue Flag Association to beaches and marinas that meet a number of quality standards.