La Message Board Archives

Re: raw sewage

Posted by Calzones on September 11, 2011, 11:43 am, in reply to "raw sewage "

One doesn´t need an encylopedia to know that untreated wastewater is a source of all kinds of infectious disease. It contaminates the groundwater that we drink and the bay that we all swim and fish in. It pollutes the estuary, the crocodiles, the jardin and the streets where we eat tacos and buy food. Animals track it into yards and through homes, and it is one cause of the elevated levels of diarhea, skin infection and conjunctivitis that occur during this time of year in our town.

It is ironic that La Manzanilla has an adequate treatment plant and a pump station with three separate pumping systems capable of lifting hundreds of thousands of gallons of wastewater each day to the plant (on the other side of the highway along the road to Los Ingenios) yet still tolerates the direct discharge of untreated sewage into the town center.

The principal problem rests with operation of the lift station. Evidently, the operator feels that it is a waste of money to operate the pump at full capacity during times of heavy rainwater infiltration into the wastewater collection system. Hence he manually shuts down the for 20 hours each day which causes wastewater to overflow at the lowest points of the collection system (the manholes at the lagoon and in front of the delegacion).

Apparently he thinks it is preferable to allow wastewater to overflow into the town center and into a sensitive habitat (and tourist attractions), than to pay the extra pumping costs caused by rainwater infiltration after times of heavy rainfall.

The operator doesn´t seem to fully understand the reasons that we have a sewer in the first place, nor the link between sewage and disease. He probably has not been taught that even dilluted sewage represents a severe and immediate risk to the health of families--including his own--who live and work and who visit La Manzanilla.

What can you do? document the problem with fotos, complain directly to the Director of obras publicas in La Huerta, call the president of the municipality in La Huerta, keep calling, keep complaining and demand that this expensive and necessary infrastructure be operated properly.... all the time.


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