A report on the state of the water off Spanish beaches has raised the voice of alarm in the local tourist sector, as it claims that there are 14 points where the water is not fit for bathing. But while the health ministry admits the existence of the 14 blackspots in 1999, it said that most of them were only temporary, and they were caused by accidental breakdowns in the sewage system. Ministry sources said that seven of the spots listed had a chronic problem. They include two points in Port de Pollensa, including the Torrent de Sant Jordi, one in the Playa de Palma, one in the Playa de Palma Nova, Magalluf, and Camp de Mar (two points). The other points, due to accidents, were Cala Molins, Cala Marçal, Can Pere Antoni, Cala Portals, Santa Eulalia in Ibiza and Cala Galdana, Minorca (two points). Josep Pomar, the director general of health, said that under current regulations, water is considered not suitable for bathing if pollution recorded during one of the regular testings throughout the year showed higher levels of pollution than allowed. “But,” he added, “this does not mean to say that the water is unsuitable all year round.” Very often the problem is cleared up within a day.

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