Crews work to repair sewer system in Puerto Vallarta. Crews work to repair sewer system in Puerto Vallarta.

Ruptured sewer line triggers health alert in Puerto Vallarta

Some beaches were closed due to wastewater spill

Authorities in Jalisco have issued a health alert and closed some beaches in Puerto Vallarta after a sewer line ruptured, contaminating seawater in and around the El Salado Estuary Natural Protected Area (ANP).

The Jalisco Commission for Protection Against Health Risks (Coprisjal) warned people to avoid contact with water in the ANP and “adjacent beaches” because of the high risk of enterococcal infection.

The contamination was caused by the collapse of a 48-inch sewer line on March 3, Coprisjal said.

In light of the situation, Puerto Vallarta Mayor Arturo Dávalos Peña took the decision yesterday to close all beaches between the mouth of the Pitillal River and the 18th hole of the Marina Vallarta Golf Club. Beaches south of the marina in Vallarta’s hotel zone remain open.

Personnel from Seapal, Jalisco’s water utility, are currently working to repair the damaged sewer system and to clean up the wastewater spill that also affected streets in some Vallarta neighborhoods located near the ANP.

Earlier this week, Mayor Dávalos asked the media to “keep quiet” about the contamination because it could damage Puerto Vallarta’s image just before the spring break holiday season.

“. . . I want to ask all of you to help us look after the destination, let’s work together,” he said.

Meanwhile, local health authorities have been visiting homes in the neighborhoods to distribute oral rehydration solutions as a preventative measure.

No cases of illness or skin irritations related to the sewage spill had been reported as of last night.

Source: El Universal (sp), Vallarta Independiente (sp), La Jornada (sp) 

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