Last update: Monday, April 15, 2019

Quality of beaches –Fecal Coliforms and Intestinal Enterococcus Indicators

8 vite mė parė
share()?>
Albania is a country blessed with a coastline of 316 kilometres, where there are a lot of sandy and rocky beaches making it one of the preferred choices over the summer holidays. However, rapid urban development have contributed not a little on its purity. Ionian and Adriatic Sea are nowadays hosts of urban discharges, industrial, agricultural or livestock.  In these seas the level of pesticides and chemicals from agricultural raw, organic wastes, which contain phosphorus and nitrogen, pathogenic viruses and bacteria, heavy metals is going out of control.

The growth of population in some urban cities has made impossible the process of self-cleaning, because of large amounts of urban discharges. Besides these factors, which should have been under the management and control of local governments, the long list of added endless rubbish left everywhere along the coast, including one of the main enemies of marine life, plastic bags.

But pollution from direct discharges into the sea or fertilizers is not the main cause. Pollution of rivers, especially in rural areas, where the valleys are often waste landfills is another source of impurity. And also pollution of groundwater provides its influence in this great vortex. In summary we can say that Albanian beaches are in great danger. If some of them are still under pollution limits, it does not come because of their careful management, but simply because of non massive frequentation.

Two of the most important indicators of marine water quality, which are related to the micro organisms associated with fecal contamination, are: fecal Coliforms - FC) and intestinal Enterococus - IE. Our analysis is focused mainly on these two indicators because the biggest source of seas pollution which is source of infectious disease is the pouring of the sewage. From the data of the Public Health Institute, the most polluted beaches are: Durres, Kavaja, Vlora and Saranda. Borshi, Dhermi, Shengjin, Velipoja Himara remain the beaches of a better quality.

Durres Beach:


Source: Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration (data is taken from the year of 2009)-MMPAU
Comments and Analysis: Opern Data Albania (ODA)


As can be seen from the graph, all beaches monitored by the presence of Public Health Institute have an FC - 50 over the allowed limit of 100. The highest level of pollution is the places near the main castle, Plepa and Pioneers camp, about 10 times above the allowed. In the 2009 in the MMPAU report is noted that the 21 beaches surveyed in Durres, 90% classified as poor quality and only 10% has a normal quality (page 90).

These finding rank Durres Beach as the most polluted beaches in the country. Meanwhile, all the beaches that belong to the category of Poor Quality needing immediate attention, to their closure, as they represent a high danger to public health. The level of ppollutions on the beaches of Durres is aggravated from the lack of sanitation of new constructions, especially in the beach area. In most cases the situation is resolved with septic hole. Construction in sandy areas which are not in accordance to the parameters makes these waters flow into the sea completely raw.

Kavaja Beach:

Kavaja Beach has resulted in 10% of the beaches monitored and is classified as the optimum sea quality. 50% with good quality, while in 40% of its poor quality emphasizing its necessity for immediate intervention (2009 MMPAU Report, p 91).  One of the more polluted beaches in Kavaja  is Golem Beach and the part of sank-ship, which are also the most frequented beaches.


Source: Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration (data is taken from the year of 2009)
Comments and Analysis: Opern Data Albania (ODA)


Vlora Beach:

Even Vlora beach is very dirty. A particular area such as at the Navy School is out of every parameters and extraordinary source of infections. In this area of only 800 meters everyone can count easily 6 sewage channels flowing directly into the sea. This part of Vlora beach is 15 times more polluted than the norms; however this part is still one of the most attended beaches in summer.

The situation is not less problematic in the New Beach, which is also declared as public beach area from Vlora municipality. It is managed directly by the municipality, which has provided free umbrellas, coast guard or other facilities for the citizens. Nevertheless in this area are easily distinguished4 sewage channels because they are located in the middle of the beach.
 

Source: Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration (data is taken from the year of 2009)
Comments and Analysis: Opern Data Albania (ODA)


Meanwhile, the polluted area beyond the allowed parameters is presented even in the Old Beach area. Not surprisingly Durres, Golem and Vlora area are polluted. Constructions without a urban plan, without laying sewerage networks have been the “curse” of these beaches.  What is more worrying is the lack of concrete plans to improve this situation. While the Public Health Institute gives the alarm signal of and call for immediate intervention since many years, the measures seem nonexistent.

The situation is also problematic in the new preferences of Albanians. High pollution in the most popular beaches has made the Albanians to explore new beach areas. Growing demand for destinations like Shengjin, Lalzi Bay, Yala, etc., as well as road pavement has aroused the interest of developers for these areas, which is accompanied also by the first hotels constructions.

However, if these buildings will not be controlled and if they do not initially raised sewer system, the urban massacre would continue indefinitely and 316 miles of clear and pure sea will remain nothing but a beautiful memory to show through photographs.

Minimum and maximum parameters for FC,FS in Saranda, Velipoja and Himara Beaches is shown in the graph below:


Source: Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration (data is taken from the year of 2009)
Comments and Analysis: Opern Data Albania (ODA)


Source: Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration (data is taken from the year of 2009)
Comments and Analysis: Opern Data Albania (ODA)



Source: Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration (data is taken from the year of 2009)
Comments and Analysis: Opern Data Albania (ODA)


All the information is shown in the graph below:


Source: Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration (data is taken from the year of 2009)
Comments and Analysis: Opern Data Albania (ODA)






Excel datasets : XML, N3 datasets :
    Contributer: Blerta Zilja, M.Sc
    Translated by: ODA
    Edited by: ODA