Cleaning up polluted cenotes in Yucatán will continue this year, said the federal Environment Secretariat’s representative in that state.
Jorge Carlos Berlín Montero said 22 of the naturally-occurring sinkholes will be cleaned up by divers.
The cenotes have been contaminated by human activity, Berlín said in an interview, and some have been used for garbage and sewage disposal, polluting the water they contain. Divers will remove as much of the garbage as they can.
There are an estimated 7,000 cenotes in the state and at least 80% are considered polluted. Fourteen of the most popular among visitors were cleaned up last year.
The project has been budgeted 1.5 million pesos (US $73,000) to pay divers and other workers in various municipalities.
Berlín said the ancient Maya recognized the importance of the cenotes because they relied on them for drinking water.
“Some day we are going to need the fresh water of the cenotes and for that reason we must look after them.”
Cenotes are formed after the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes the groundwater below.
Source: Yucatán a la Mano (sp)