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Peeing In The Ocean Can Attract A Fine On Spain’s Costa Del Sol

Costa del Sol in Spain bans peeing in the ocean
Travelers peeing in the ocean on the Costa del ~Sol in Spain can face fines [Image by Javier Roca de Togores Ginestar from Pixabay]

We’re not sure how police can regulate this new rule but Spain is planning to fine tourists €750 ($805) for peeing in the ocean. Maybe someone standing in the waves with a self-satisfied expression on their face could give them away? Meanwhile, in other areas of Spain, you are not allowed to swim in the sea after midnight. Are local Spanish authorities going too far in their handling of increasing overtourism?

Marbella on the Costa del Sol bans peeing in the waves

Max Beach, Mijas Costa
One of the best beach clubs in and around Marbella [Image Max Beach on Facebook]
The Costa del Sol in southern Spain expects record-breaking numbers of tourists this summer. Meanwhile, authorities are taking a pre-emptive strike against one bad habit – peeing in the ocean. Moreover, the “physiological evacuation on the beach or in the sea” attracts fines of up to €750 ($805).

The upmarket city of Marbella follows the practice by more than doubling its previous fine of €300 ($323). Last week a meeting of the city’s councilors voted yes to protect the ocean by approving an ordinance banning underwater urination at 25 of its beaches.

Meanwhile, public urination on dry land is also banned and is easier to police. However, most coastal locations in Spain offer public toilets. Moreover, “physiological evacuation” isn’t the only prohibitive practice.

While they still have to be passed by the local government, beachgoers are to be banned from reserving an area of the sand with a parasol or playing with a ball in the water. There are also new rules about keeping dogs out of the water while restricting them to dog-designated beaches only.

Other Spanish coastal locations levying regulations include Vigo in Galicia in northern Spain. Local authorities there have had a €750 ($805) fine for beach and water urination since 2022, dubbing it “an infringement of hygiene and sanitary regulations.”

Moreover, Benidorm, a resort city hugely popular with UK travelers, is levying a €660 ($710) fine for using soap or shampoo when using the beach showers. That city also fines smokers €2,000 ($2,152) on the beach, while late-night party people on the beach between midnight and 7 am can face a €1,200 ($1,291) fine.

What is wrong with peeing in the ocean?

Beach in Marbella
At the beach [Image by Jürgen from Pixabay]
While the UK has a saying, “Every little helps, said the old lady while peeing in the sea,” it likely doesn’t help at all. According to Euronews while urine comprises around 95 percent water, it is still toxic to marine life. It can reportedly contribute to the destruction of biodiversity while being especially damaging to coral reefs.

The remaining 5 percent contains everything from urea (nitrogen-rich), residue from medications and bacteria. It is for this reason that Thailand and Portugal have also banned peeing in the ocean.

Despite this, scientists at the American Chemical Society have poo-pooed (pun intended) this information by saying that the amount of urea in the pee is negligible when compared to the ocean’s volume.

Meanwhile, the thought of someone peeing in the water next to you as you try to enjoy the beach is not pleasant.





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