Wastewater sewers in many cities are not accompanied by a 2nd set of sewers for storm water. Thus, the unusual heavy rain overwhelms the wastewater system. The basic issues are money, priorities, and lack of seeking engineering advice.
Further, given that ocean beach areas are often quite flat, there is little slope (perhaps less than 2’ in 1000’) for the sewer pipes and thus they may run quite slow. In such cases a government may for cost reasons run an 8” sewer instead of a much more expensive 24” sewer which, having less friction to flow, can perform better in flat areas.
Wastewater systems cost 3 or more times water systems, thus governments with limited budgets may cut corners or skip them all together. Mexico with 70% of wastewater not treated is very much inclined to pipe such waste to the ocean, a river or down an arroyo. In Mexico, one while sure to gain public support/votes with a promise of better/more water will by contrast see much, much less enthusiasm for the big costs of sewers (1000-3000 pesos/person or more).
Lastly, few municipios have graduate engineers to plan proper pipe size sections to assure adequate flow. Thus, they often depend on a construction contractors or pipe salesmen to define a pipe size. This challenge can exist in most any town with less than 20,000 people in Mexico. Mexico has very good engineers but they are not called on when a new municipal president is tasked with filling offices with those that supported his election. In turn Mexico has IMTA, an excellent government technical institution for water issues. Sadly, government officials very often do not follow IMTA’s recommendations.
In summary, funding and the political payback system are key elements in inadequate infrastructure. Why the ocean? “The solution to pollution is dilution.” What about the health related to the hazard of sewage in the streets? “THEY” know it will run off in days and be forgotten. The UV rays of the sun will kill much of the hazardous bacteria in days . Come June the pure rains will carry away the remnants of today. If the government wished, I of course could come, study the existing system over a few days, and make recommendations. My time is always free.
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