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New waste water treatment standards for Cancun will force improvements

Cancan, Q.R. — The first steps are being taken for government and private agencies to be forced to improve their waste water standards, said Alejandro López Tamayo, coordinator of the Sentinels of Water Association.

During a public meeting he pointed out that the official standard currently used dates back to 1996, and although it was supposed to be reviewed every five years, it was hardly addressed last year with the Federal Government removing a modification project that would force treatment plants to not exceed certain levels of contaminants in water.

The activist explained that 22 years ago, more lax parameters were set for the treatment plants, but that technology has improved a lot since then, which allows them to be more ambitious in environmental demands.

“An improvement would be made,” he said. “The drainage is channeled to plants which normally inject their discharges below the surface, but because this liquid has a density different from that of salt water, it can arise, which creates a risk of contamination. If we modify the limits, we could improve this.”

However, López Tamayo said that once the consultation was completed and the new NOM approved, a 10-year adjustment period would be granted.