Three days after the rain stops, the sewer at the end of Maria Ascension is still overflowing. It appears to me that this is a mixture of sewage and relatively clear water, suggesting there's significant infiltration of ground water now. It has a strong odor of relatively fresh, raw sewage. That is NOT coming from the lagoon!
I walked around and looked at some of the manholes of this sewer system. I also discussed my observations with a long time local resident who is expert in construction. He stated that this sewer system was very poorly constructed, is poorly maintained and likely leaks like a sieve, which certainly seems confirmed by recent events.
Right now, you have dilute raw sewage running into the lagoon and then onto the beach via the breached lagoon wall. This is a serious health hazard folks!
You don't need to import engineers to find out that the sewage collection system requires significant repairs. Just check out the collapsed manhole cover on the SE corner of the Plaza (next to the entrance of the Friday Tianquis). This is all too typical.
During the rains, this one and a number of others were underwater and water was obviously flowing through them and into the sewer. The manhole covers are NOT the proper sealing kind that one uses when the covers are going to be flooded.
Even a brief walk around reveals numerous places where water is probably entering the sewer system. And that's before you even start to look for illegally connected roof and yard drains.
Supposedly, you have a water authority that operates this system and the treatment plant. The first thing that should happen is that pressure is applied to get the needed repairs to cut the rain inflows.
In advance of that, the breached wall of the lagoon should be repaired ASAP so that raw sewage does not continue to flow onto the public beach. For now, it can be diverted back into the lagoon. That would only be a stop gap solution to protect the many people who will be coming here for Semana Santa.
Our sewer system in Ajijic had many of the problems I see here. Our SIMAPA has been proactive in the last few years in replacing those leaky cement covers and finding the sources of storm and ground water entering the system. They did this on their own because the infiltration was washing out the treatment plant repeatedly.
Mexico isn't some backwater third world country. The expertise to repair, maintain and operate this system is here already, the problem seems to be that the people who are supposed to be doing this job and getting paid with your water/sewer fees are not doing what they are paid for. That's where you need to start IMO.
Since volunteering insight on this problem based on years of professional sanitarian and engineering experience seems to be upsetting for some of you, this is my last post on this topic. I'll be here until Sunday morning and would be happy to discuss this matter further with anyone who wishes too.
In the mean time, I reiterate my very strong suggestion that you do NOT go in the ocean in front of the town as after days of raw sewage drainage into that area, it really shouldn't be considered safe for swimming. One should go at least a quarter mile north of the lagoon before entering the water in my professional opinion.
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