Arnold Cassola was accompanied by EP election candidate Yvonne Ebejer Arqueros and myself as the AD Secretary General and spokesperson for Gozo.
Prof Cassola added, "It is understood that the local water utility, the Water Services Corporation (WSC) was supposed to build a pumping station at Wied il-Mielah to transfer the sewage coming out from the villages of Gharb, San Lawrenz, St. Lucija and Ghammar to the new sewage treatment plant at Ras il-Hobz - thus preventing the further discharge of raw sewage into the sea at Wied Il-Mielah. This has not happened."
"We understand that by March 2007, all sewage in Malta and Gozo had to be treated prior to disposal into the sea. This is not happening at Wied iI-Mielah, Gozo and this is therefore in violation of the EU Urban Wastewater Directive."
During the press conference I said that Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party is therefore asking the Commission to intervene on this issue, which is not only endangering the biodiversity of the area but also the health of people in Gozo. Various written reports were sent to the MEPA section in charge but no answer was ever given.
We are also suggesting that given that a pumping station in Wied il-Mielah has not been built, the WSC should consider the construction of a small sewage treatment plant so that instead of pumping sewage all the way to Ras il-Hobz for treatment and disposal, the community in the west of Gozo could have a source of 2nd class clean and safe water within their community for irrigation and other 2nd class water uses - as a substitute for groundwater which is being extracted at an unsustainable rate.
This beneficial project would contribute to the cutting down on groundwater extraction and would save on the capital costs of laying sewage mains and resurfacing of roads, and also on the energy costs in pumping the sewage across the whole of Gozo, whilst getting nothing in return.
Let's hope that common sense prevails.