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Contaminated groundwater big problem for Cancun

Cancun, Q.R. – Recent government studies are showing that Cancun’s pollution load heavily outweighs its infrastructure.

A study conducted by the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (Cemda), shows that due to the rapid increase in Cancun’s population coupled with the lack of sanitary infrastructure, Cancun is experiencing severe sewage contamination problems.

From 2002 to 2015, Cancun has seen a 110 percent population increase in addition to becoming a main tourist attraction for the country. Cemda says that the overload on the city’s system is causing major problems with contamination in the aquifer and, due to the type of existing subfloor, a large amount of waste water infiltrates the ground due to the lack of proper drainage.

The results of their study has been backed by the Autonomous University of Yucatan, which conducted their own water monitoring in the region.

The results were significant.

Every year more than 14,000 tons of feces are filtered into the ground, while more than 11.2 million cubic meters of wastewater contaminate groundwater as a result of leaks in managed Aguakan networks in the municipality of Benito Juarez.

Aguakan, which is the legal entity Hydraulic Developments Cancun SA de CV, say they have made requests to the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources for the expansion of the north sewage plant in the municipality of Benito Juarez. While Aguakan’s website says they are continually investing in upgrades in modern equipment and technology, studies show the rapid deterioration of groundwater quality in Cancun.

During the study, it was also noted that human activity is also potentially polluting groundwater. In some urban areas, pollution is being unloaded into the ground without sewer intervention. The study also found that only one third of Cancun is connected to a proper drain system. The other two-thirds goes directly into the underground river system.

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