What is happening in the Mar Menor lagoon in Murcia (Spain)? The INGEOBRAS solution

On 16 August, the beaches of Murcia’s Mar Menor were (once again) littered with hundreds of dead fish on their shores.

The Mar Menor lagoon is located in Murcia in southeastern Spain. It is the largest permanent saltwater lagoon in Europe, a unique natural enclave of great ecological value.

Before 2015 it was characterised as a paradisiacal destination, surrounded by nature, indigenous species and crystal-clear waters that created a very peculiar ecosystem.

However, the current situation reflects an increasingly alarming climate reality that requires urgent action to overcome this permanent environmental crisis.

This crisis has its origin in the start-up of irrigation of the Cartagena fields. The proximity of the intensive agricultural fields combined with the excessive use of fertilisers (composed of nitrates and phosphates) causes this nutrient-laden water to be discharged into the Mar Menor.

These discharges have been threatening the survival of the lagoon’s biodiversity for decades, which no longer resembles the paradisiacal environment it once was. In 2016, INGEOBRAS already warned of this situation and began to carry out tests and successful denitrification trials, which never materialised into a real project.

In 2019, the lagoon reached its limit, unable to absorb any more nutrients. Surface algae quickly began to proliferate, blocking the light from the algae at the bottom of the lagoon. This caused these plant species (unable to photosynthesise) die.

The water became turbid for months, causing a lack of oxygenation of the water and thus a natural disaster with the death of thousands of aquatic organisms.

Today, far from finding a solution, history is repeating itself.

These episodes usually occur in summer. A more intensive use of irrigation water and the high water temperature cause algae to proliferate. However, it is a critical situation that is present throughout the year and which represents a terrible environmental degradation.

What next?

INGEOBRAS has once again taken action and is ready to respond to this challenge by using a leading proprietary technology in biological denitrification. Puremust-sn ® is a competitive solution to remove nitrates from discharges to the minor sea, whose effectiveness has been tested and proven over the years.

It is a safe and sustainable technology certified by SGS to remove up to 1400 mg/l of nitrates in drinking water or osmosis rejects, four times more than ever before.

We are a leading company in innovation in water treatment with sufficient experience to control the complete water cycle and to carry out sizing of water treatment plants with Puremust-sn® technology