Acapulco’s wastewater system appears to have failed again, causing a discharge of sewage in Santa Lucía Bay, the second major occurrence in the past two months.
Photos uploaded to social media show a massive black stain of water flowing into the sea next to the Krystal Beach Hotel.
Recent heavy rains appear to have overloaded the city’s sewer system, water and sewer official José Ramón Aysa Neme said.
Aysa was put in charge of the city’s water utility, Capama, last month when Mayor Adela Román Ocampo demanded the resignation of five of its directors and the city’s head of ecology in the aftermath of a highly publicized, previous sewage leak at Icacos beach in June.
Footage of that leak showed a plume of black water emptying into the sea over the course of 25 minutes. “It was very stinky and made me nauseous,” a witness told Reuters. The leak was blamed on a broken pipe after heavy rains soaked the resort city.
That discharge also provoked a criminal complaint against Capama from the National Water Commission (Conagua), alleging environmental damage. It also resulted in the beach losing its prestigious Blue Flag distinction for cleanliness.
Since Aysa was appointed to his post, he says, investigators have uncovered 22 different sewage leaks due to failing infrastructure. The leaks have been fixed and are being monitored, he said.
Locals have complained about leaky sewer pipes that spew untreated water into the bay for years, a situation that has repelled some tourists in the past.
Last year Capama workers repaired the sewage pipes of three restaurants in Papagayo Park that were emptying into the bay.
On August 20 Mayor Román reported that since October last year 15 sanctions have been levied for illegal sewage discharges.
Román has also pledged to clean clogged storm drains and rebuild aging pipes that have collapsed over time.