Pyrénées Atlantiques, France

16/07/10

The Lamoulie Stream flows through a natural area that is partially protected and classified as Natura 2000 and sheds itself directly into the ocean at Ilbarritz Beach in Bidart. It has been subjected to reoccurring pollution, the source of which is currently under investigation.

Samples taken from the stream were analyzed by the Surfrider laboratory and revealed serious bacteriological pollution of the water. They found Enterococcus contamination, which caused ‘poor' water quality in Ilbarritz when referenced to the parameters of the Bathing Water Directive.  The former Keeper, Renaud, mapped out the site to determine the potential sources of the pollution. Several letters were sent out to the concerned town councils of Biarritz and Bidart, and to the ‘Intermunicipal Syndicate for the Development of the Ilbarritz-Mouriscot Area' (SIAZIM).

As a result, several steps have been undertaken by 'Lyonnaise des Eaux' (water distribution company) and SIAZIM to eliminate one of the pollution sources: the inadequate linking to the public sewerage network of a hamlet and a riding school. SFE meets with the concerned town councils twice a year to discuss the progress of the work and to raise any remaining pollution issues. Hence, on the 20th of November 2012, SFE got together with representatives from the municipal services of Biarritz to talk about the work which had been ongoing since the previous spring.  According to analyses commissioned by the Town Hall, there was a marked improvement of the water quality in the stream during the dry summer season. The work was concentrated on the improvement of the connections to the public network and modifications to the facilities at the nearby golf course. The manager and users of the riding school were also asked to be more foresightful in their habits.

However, since March 2013, serious eutrophication of the Lamoulie Stream has been observed again, which proves that there is a need for a follow-up from the analyses taken during the summer.

Every witness report is welcome to help us with our investigations!

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