One of the star projects was the trial for artificial oxygenation of Mar Menor last summer in the community to avoid possible episodes of anoxia, i.e. lack of oxygen in the lagoon water. The trial, which ran for two months and initially yielded good results, will not continue this summer. For now, the Ministry of the Environment and Mar Menor will not be injecting oxygen into the salty lagoon.
According to the spokesman for the Scientific Committee of Mar Menor, Emilio Maria Dolores, this is because the group of researchers in charge of these test works in 2022 has not yet proposed new procedures to develop the technology for this summer season . , a time when oxygen levels drop. “At the last meeting of the Scientific Advisory Committee of Mar Menor, no proposal in this regard was put on the table,” he explains.
They Will Test Mar Menor’s Oxidation With a Mobile System
Initially, the community planned to map the lagoon in order to locate the most problematic points due to the low concentration of this element in the water and install an artificial oxygen device there. Also, the idea of practicing with mobile systems was also considered. The results obtained on the fixed platform installed at La Isleta Yacht Club in La Manga encouraged the researchers to propose a second phase of tests.
“does it improve water quality”
Last November, the environment ministry presented its findings on the project: artificial oxidation had managed to raise the level of this element dissolved in water by 13%. both during daylight hours and at night, when the amount of oxygen decreases. Finally, “improved water quality” and even seabed conditions were possible. The next step was to test the technology in the “open sea”, according to the project’s conclusion.
2022 tests made it possible to maintain “good water quality” and a mobile system was proposed
The Scientific Committee’s Coastal Ecology Group has proposed a system that would be put into operation when levels drop below four milligrams per litre, which is when hypoxia, or lack of oxygen, is detected. “Oxygen levels are significantly improved in the semi-confined area (yacht club) in which natural oxygen is much less due to currents than in more open areas.”
The machine that was tested was allowed to have a radius of action of 250 meters in all directions, a performance that could be covered during a whole day.
Tests last summer made it possible to verify that the waters at La Manga Yacht Club had better visual appearance and less turbidity than before the tests. The installed system had an underwater diffuser, where it provided oxygen micro-bubbles to the marine environment. Last summer, only one episode of hypoxia was recorded in Santiago de la Ribera, which caused the death of several hundred fish due to low oxygen concentrations.
Two thirds of Le del Mar Menor are already executed
The latest report updating progress in the recovery of Mar Menor confirms that the community has so far taken two-thirds of the actions it is under law to undertake for the recovery and protection of Mar Menor, while the remaining third is yet to be executed. in various stages. As of February of this year, the community has imposed 90 sanctions on livestock farms for failing to comply with lagoon regulations, 286 in terms of agricultural exploitation, another 221 environmental sanctions and finally, six port and navigation restrictions.
New study to get Albuzon bioreactor ponds swimming again
The Ministry of the Environment has contracted the drafting of a project that modifies the original approach of bioreactor ponds that were going to be installed near the Rambla del Albujón to treat nitrate-laden effluent. The work, which began last October, was halted in March after the company found a stone slab while digging on the confiscated plot, which was not reflected in previous technical studies.
Community suspends operations of Mar Menor bioreactors
Now, the department of Juan María Vázquez has to carry out again a geotechnical study to verify the rock outcrops that conditioned the work and their quantity. This is done through a nominal contract and the winning bidder has a month to analyze the land, as confirmed by the ministry, which does not set a date for resuming the works Is.
The work of the bioreactor stops next to Albuzon. Loyola Perez de Villegas
The objective of the project is to construct 16 ponds that will allow for the monetization of Albuzon water with wood chips. Works are paralyzed for now and until now the ground was raised to place the boulevard’s water intake pipe, a hole that faced flooding due to the high groundwater level of the Campo de Cartagena aquifer.
The works have a budget of 4.06 million euros which is borne by the 2023 annuity in the regional accounts, but the investment will be higher due to the community’s bioreactor ponds setback.