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Inactive: Almost Half of Capama’s Water Treatment Plants

By: Patrick Ellis | Real Acapulco News - 16 August, 2011

(Acapulco, NA 15 August) Thousands of liters of residual water are discharged daily into the Black Lagoon of Puerto Marqués and the Tres Palos Lagoon, as well as Olvidada Beach, all as a result of the deficient operation of the 14 water treatment plants operated by CAPAMA, Acapulco’s municipal water authority. The result is degradation of the conditions of public health among a large sector of Acapulco’s population. The situation also affects the fishing and tourism industries.

In a tour made by reporters, who visited 11 of the 14 plants, it was discovered that six of them are chained and locked, inactive, shut down. Raw effluent is thus allowed to flow into the sea without any treatment.

According to CAPAMA, 264 liters per second are treated in their water treatment facilities; but the reality is quite different from that. The Puerto Marqués treatment plant (on the road to Revolcadero) is without any system operator, and as a result, a large amount of untreated water is channeled into the Black Lagoon nearby. The plant in Vicente Guerrero 200 has been shut down for around a year and a half, according to nearby business owners. Other shut down plants include “Limite Sur” (with 15 liter/sec capacity), and “Miramar.” The “La Mira” plant is the one that just channels the untreated water into the sea, at 15 liters/sec. The plant can be observed from the higher parts of the neighborhood, and looking down on it, one can see how all the settling pools are cracked and dried, indicating it has been idle for months. The plant in “El Coloso” (90 liters/sec) has been functioning at only half capacity, and the one at “Paso Limonero” (near the La Venta toll booth) is able to operate at only 25% of its capacity, according to an employee who asked for anonymity.

The plant at Cuidad Renacimiento (475 liters/sec) also discharges into the Sabana River a considerable quantity of untreated water. At Aguas Blancas, the site of another Capama water treatment plant, the horrid odors have been an intolerable nuisance and pestilence for thousands of adjacent neighbors. The plant at Pie de la Cuesta, km 30, is also said to be functioning at minimum capacity.

The $720 million pesos that the federal government was to invest in CAPAMA is nowhere to be seen; neither is the gift from the Spanish Government, offered to improve the quality of water flowing into the bay. The money has not been stolen yet; it just has not arrived, since neither CAPAMA nor the governmental authorities has yet complied with the preconditions for obtaining access to these funds.