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You work long hard years, earning enough money to buy your dream home, in a well chosen location, with excellent facilities, superb views and enviable year-round sunshine. Now it’s your time to sit back and relax.
However for Marilyn Pendleton and many of her neighbours what was their chosen Tenerife paradise has become something of a hell hole in recent months with the appearance daily – in fact up to four times daily – of a large truck traversing their quiet residential zone in San Eugenio Alto, filled with raw sewage. The sight and more so the smell of said truck has become a real blot on their otherwise enviable landscape.
- Marilyn Pendleton, as this story will prove, is obviously not someone to take this kind of problem lying down, rightly insisting that she and her neighbours have the right to demand poo and pong free streets, not to mention the public health risk that is posed by the open cargo being transported daily, with occasional spillages, as Marilyn’s photos prove. She told us, “we seem to be getting the run around with the Ayuntamiento of Adeje, Cabildo and the Gobierno.
Tenerife paradise has become something of a hell hole
“We and other residents who are most affected live in Avenida Europa, San Eugenio Alto. Every day (this has been going on for more than four months) a large truck passes houses with raw sewage. The contents are not covered in any way and you can see the raw sewage slopping about in the vehicle. The smell is appalling and we all have to keep windows and doors closed as the smell lingers for sometime. We are deeply concerned obviously about the smell but also the health hazard as many of the residents are complaining about the increasing number of flies in the houses and gardens.
“The vehicle fills up with the sewage in the treatment works in the Caldera del Rey and then proceeds through San Eugenio Alto past the Adeje Clinic and heads for the motorway. The vehicle drives to Tajao, Arico where there is a large depot for waste and whatever else“. And on one unfortunate afternoon the truck actually broke down and was parked just next door to Marilyn’s house for four hours. Marilyn and husband Keith decided to pursue the matter and went firstly to the Adeje town hall. She told us that the people in the consumer section were totally unhelpful. Some from the mayor’s office did however take photocopies of all the information they had to hand, but to date they have heard nothing from that quarter. When Marilyn telephoned to inquire as to whether there was any news on the issue, she was told that it wasn’t Adeje’s problem. We also contacted the Adeje council who explained that in fact the sewage treatment operation in the area comes under the joint control of Arona and Adeje councils and the island council. However Marilyn believes that as rate payers in Adeje the council should be offering some help in the matter given the residential route the lorry takes. In fact during recent runs, as she told us, “the vehicle now travels so fast down the hill, untreated human waste is thrown from the truck on to the road. The road was in such a mess all the way down to the exit 29 turnoff that a tanker had to be brought in to hose it down; the smell is horrendous.”
Not one to wait for the slow wheels of bureaucracy Marilyn proceeded to fill in a police report regarding the truck, the route and the unbearable smell, and nice to report that she found the Local Police to be extremely helpful and attentive to her plight. “The same day in the afternoon I saw the local police pull the truck up and flash paperwork at him (the truck driver)”, she reported. And within days the truck appeared to now have a cover – however on closer inspection this turned out to be nothing more than a form of light netting, so the smell hasn’t been reduced at all. We have contacted the Cabildo department of water and have now passed on details of Marilyn’s complaint and photographs to them and are awaiting a response. Marilyn is also looking to take the matter further if it is not resolved locally and has already been in touch with the European Commission and is looking at the rules and regulations about transporting raw sewage. Surely the local authorities can resolve the issue quite simply though either by insisting on the use of closed tankers to transport the sewage or seeking and using an independent non-residential route. It would also be nice to think that such a solution could be found before we enter the hotter summer months. A little bit of effort and consideration would go a long way towards solving this very smelly problem and making the lives of some Adeje residents bearable again.