Playa del Carmen, Q.R. – Claims of water contamination along CTM Avenue in central Playa del Carmen pushed federal authorities to take water samples after numerous public and private complaints.
Environment Directorate says the beach at the height of CTM Avenue is a natural outlet for mangrove water, not sewage, after investigating and testing water in the area.
According to a release issued by City Council, the Department of Environment carried out a tour of the area taking eight water samples and found the presence of hydrogen sulfide which is being generated by the natural decomposition of organic matter.
The smell has been particularly troublesome to beachgoers and business owners in that area as the smell of sewage has been detected as far away as Shangri-La beach, some 300 meters away.
Municipal president Cristina Torres Gómez, who held a meeting with Miguel Nadal Novelo of Environmental Protection explained, “The tests indicate that it is not sewage, but the natural outlet of water from a mangrove. The smell is hydrogen sulfide resulting from water mixed with leaves and organic matter that has accumulated in that space, and when it recirculates, it arrives with the smell of mangrove which creates confusion since it is very similar to the smell of sewage.”
“Being a federal zone, we do not have direct abilities, but we are working with the authorities to assume the corresponding responsibilities,” she said.
This particular area of beach has been cause for concern as the strong and unpleasant smell dominates the area, however, some still believe the smell is due to sewage claiming there is no mangrove in that area and that some beachgoers have erupted in a rash after entering the water.
Hydrogen sulfide is highly toxic, and like all sulfur compounds, possesses a rotten egg smell that is often referred to as sewer gas.