Daniel, I'm a licensed professional sanitary engineer, I've addressed problems like you have here many times over. There's nothing new or unique going on here, these kinds of problems are found in the developed world as well.
In many places in the U.K. U.S. and Europe they have combined sewers. The solution there has been very expensive, building treatment plants and holding systems that are sufficient to contain and treat waste and stormwaters from really big storms.
Obviously that kind of very expensive solution isn't practical here.
What is practical and what has been done in a number of less developed places around the world is to use natural treatment via holding ponds as an inexpensive way to tame the problem.
Not a perfect solution but far better than just having the sewers overflow and pollute the town and the ocean.
Of course storm water shouldn't be getting into sewers but how many homes have water tight sewers and how many of them have illegal connections into the sewer system for yard drains? How many of the sewer pipes are properly installed and how many of them leak?
I can't speak for here but in Ajijic where I live there are plenty of illegal connections and plenty of poor laid and leaking lines. And this is a relatively new system in a place where they have probably stronger controls on construction.
Clearly there is a lot of storm water getting into the sewers here. Finding those leaking pipes and cross connections is going to be a very expensive process.
It is unrealistic to think that sewer systems in Mexico are particularly tight and more realistic to recognize you're going to have infiltration and deal with it by using short term, cheap holding and treatment.
Raw sewage overflows are a major health hazard as the stuff gets blown around, tracked around, etc. I wouldn't conclude that the only overflows are by the lagoon, arroyo, etc. Water from the street was running through some of the restaurants. It would have been carrying pathogens from the sewer overflows.
And of course those that are have gone into the bay and created a short term health hazard. People need to stay out of this water for a week at least. I wouldn't walk in town or on the beach in anything less than shoes and those should be taken off at your front door.
This mud in the streets is most certainly polluted and needs to be handled with care. No one should be cleaning it up without some sort of breathing protection.
Aside from the problem with the sewers, the failure here to channel rain water better results in a lot of beach damage every time you get these big storms. This needs to be addressed as a separate issue, to try and channel rain waters into the bay at surf level so that the beach isn't eroded so badly.
After all, the beach is the source of your livelihoods.
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