Sewage discharged in Aegean at touristic resort town of Ayvalık

Sewage discharged in Aegean at touristic resort town of Ayvalık

BALIKESİR – Doğan News Agency
Sewage discharged in Aegean at touristic resort town of Ayvalık

DHA Photo

Sewage from Turkey’s popular tourism resort town of Ayvalık has been discharged into the Aegean since Dec. 17, allegedly due to a debt of 4.4 million Turkish Liras owed by the municipalities of Ayvalık and Balıkesir to a wastewater treatment facility. 

The treatment plant, which was built by Koçoğlu Construction for 15 million liras with a build-operate and transfer model, became operational on Nov. 19, 2013. The facility has the capacity to treat 4,000 cubic meters of sewage daily. 

However, it was taken down on Dec. 17, reportedly due to mounting receivables, causing Ayvalık’s wastewater to discharge into the azure waters of the Aegean. 

The construction company alleges that the district municipality of Ayvalık and the provincial municipality of Balıkesir owe a total of 4.4 million liras, as they had been withholding payments for 11 and five months, respectively. 

Koçoğlu released a statement on the status of the facility, where all eight employees have been laid off except for the manager and the warden, stating the plant had become “inoperable.”

“The operation of the facility was halted on Dec. 17, 2015, for reasons beyond our power, as the facility became inoperable due to moral and material difficulties we had to endure,” it said. 

While 4,000 cubic meters of waste water has been polluting the touristic town for nearly two months, Balıkesir Water and Sewage Administration’s (BASKİ) Ayvalık-Gömeç manager Sadettin Gezen called for calm, arguing there was “nothing to fear.”

“There is nothing to fear for now. If we receive orders, we can reopen the facility in an hour,” Gezen told reporters. 

Gezen also claimed the discharged sewage was dissolved “instantaneously” the moment it reached the sea because the discharge was 1.2 kilometers long and 35-meters deep.

BASKİ also denied Koçoğlu’s claims regarding the cities’ unpaid fees, alleging instead that the company had to shut down its operations due to bankruptcy. 

“We, as BASKİ, are willing to run the facility. There is no need to worry,” Gezen was quoted as saying.