x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Pollution fears after waters off Jumeirah shoreline turn brown

Municipality alerted and dinghies barred from leaving Dubai Offshore Sailing Club.

An unidentified brown liquid drifts in the ocean just off the beach next to the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club. Kevin J. Larkin / The National
An unidentified brown liquid drifts in the ocean just off the beach next to the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club. Kevin J. Larkin / The National

DUBAI // The municipaity has been called in to investigate the cause of a brown sludge found oozing into the waters off Jumeirah Public Beach.

The unidentified pollution, which appeared this morning, covered much of the marina at Dubai Offshore Sailing Club (DOSC) and extended the length of the open public beach next to it.

"We alerted Dubai Municipality's drainage department, who are now looking into it," said Bret Trevethan, the acting general manager of DOSC.

The pollution is most likely to have come from one of four storm water drains that open into the sea at the mouth of DOSC's harbour.

"It looks like industrial waste. There's oil in it too because you can see the rainbow effect on top of it," said Mr Trevethan.

The club closed its private beach next to the public beach, which was deserted this morning.

Mr Trevethan said keel boats could sail through today's slick but the club had halted the use of dinghies, which ride low to the water, meaning occupants could be exposed to potentially harmful elements in the pollution.

"We've not seen anything like this for a long time," Mr Trevethan said.

Four years ago, beaches along the same stretch of water were closed after sewage that had been dumped illegally in Al Quoz storm drains made its way into the sea.

Sewage tanker drivers had resorted to dumping the waste in storm drains to avoid waits of up to 16 hours in queues at the overloaded sewage treatment facility in Al Aweer.

The municipality sent out inspection squads at night to combat the problem and offered cash rewards to informers.

They also fast-tracked the opening of the second sewage treatment plant in Jebel Ali.

Dubai Municipality could not be reached for comment about the pollution.

 

eharnan@thenational.ae