A local mayor would like to ask for state subsidies to make the toilets on the beaches of Balaton free of charge. He believes that such a step would better the quality of the water in Hungary’s biggest lake.
The “Hungarian Sea”, as many call it, is full of inland tourists this summer, and all the hotels are booked for the weekend, balaton.hu reported. No wonder, the summer is hotter than in previous years, and people would like to spend their holiday enjoying the beauties the lake offers after months of being locked inside their apartments because of the epidemic. Of course, this number of people has a significant ecological footprint on the lake. However, some of
the negative consequences could have been evaded with the help of the state,
a local mayor believes.
Gábor Lombár is the independent leader of Balatonfenyves, a small village with 1,800 citizens, in the north-eastern corner of the lake. According to napi.hu, he would like to transfer money from the beach development program to local governments to help them make beach toilets free of charge for everybody.
That would be crucial because
he says that the water quality is worsening,
and without keeping it at an acceptable level at least, the government’s beach developments are useless. Mr Lombár, the chairman of the Balaton Alliance, already wrote to the Hungarian Tourism Agency and the ministerial commissioner of the lake to help the initiative, hirbalaton.hu reported.
He said that such a measure would not be unique because beach toilets were free of charge before. However, the
local governments could not afford to maintain them without introducing a fee.
For example, Balatonfenyves, Lombár’s village, has five beach toilets, but none of them is free because they do not have enough money to maintain them.
However, tourists would not like to pay for the toilets, so they urinate in the lake. That increases the phosphate level of the water, which causes algae to spread. He said that almost
1.2 tonnes of phosphate get into the lake through human urine.
An average adult drinks 1.5 l of water a day and urinates 1 gramme of phosphate, said Vera Istvánovics, a fellow researcher of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Budapest University of Economy and Technology.