Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Health agency reverses decision on Sayulita beach: it’s safe after all

Mexico’s health regulatory agency has reversed a previous decision that said contaminated sea water at Sayulita beach in Nayarit could present a health hazard to beachgoers.

Cofepris said that while the beach, highly popular with both Mexican and international tourists, is under a permanent sanitation watch, it fully complies with federal requirements and is safe for recreational use.

Although Cofepris initially said that data for Sayulita was not available, on Tuesday it reported that tests of the beach’s water found that fecal coliform levels were well under the limit of 200 per 100 milliliters of water.

“This tourist destination meets with the established security levels . . .” Cofepris said, explaining that a special test of the water quality found that fecal coliform counts were under 20.

The town is currently working on a project to upgrade its treatment plant, including the installation of an outfall that will carry treated wastewater offshore.

It is not the first time there has been confusion over Cofepris’s ruling on the beach’s sanitation levels. In March of last year, local newspapers reported that the agency declared Sayulita safe despite the town’s water treatment facility not operating at optimal levels.

Comments by Mexico News Daily readers after this newspaper’s story on Saturday about water quality at Sayulita indicate there continues to be some risk in swimming there.

One wrote that every guest at the complex in which he stayed had a stomach illness and that local residents were in denial.

Source: El Occidental, (sp), Eje Central (sp)

CORRECTION: The previous version of this story said the fecal coliform limit of 200 per 100 milliliters of water was that set by the World Health Organization (WHO). In fact, 200 is Mexico’s limit. The WHO threshold is half that at 100 coliforms per 100ml of water.

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