Published On: Sat, Aug 24th, 2013

Highly Contaminated Cenotes In Quintana Roo.

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cenote contaminadoThe authorities are aware of 19 cenotes in Benito Juarez, 5 in Leona Vicario and 14 in Cancun, where 25% of these natural water sources are contaminated to a degree that makes them virtually impossible to rescue or recover, explained the biologist Lorena Flores Dzul, Director of the Environmental Management of the Department of Ecology in Quintana Roo.

At only two months before the change of administration, Flores Dzul indicated that in terms of urban cenotes the Ecology Department is still in an early stage of identifying and creating an inventory of the water sources. Most of the cenotes have been detected and reported by the citizens who discover them.

The known open cenotes accounted in Cancun are found in Avante, El Pedregal, Supermanzana number 97, 225 and 235, Region 100, La Jungla, Region 200, and the Guadalupana. In Leona Vicario, cenotes are in San Justo, El Corchal de Freddy, Aguada Nuevo Pacto, La Rehoyada and El Corchal  de la Casa Ejidal.

These water bodies are used as illegal garbage dumps. Neighbors of the Region 100 have witnessed that people from outside the area are those who pollute the cenote located in that area.

Alberto Martinez Ake, a resident of the area, ensures that people living in other parts of the city throw their garbage in the cenote, he declare to have seen washers and tire debris floating in the water.

Martina Suarez Torres recalled that about three years ago turtles could be seen in the water, but now she does not see them anymore.

The last time the cenote was cleaned by the Department of Ecology in Region 100 was two years ago, said Flores Dzul. She warns about how dangerous it is to contaminate the urban cenotes, and also noted that some houses may have their drains connected to some of the cenotes, accelerating the deterioration. Also a contaminated cenote produces vermin, like rats and cockroaches, as well as being a source of infection that causes public health problems.

The ecology official indicated that in the event that a contaminated sinkhole is above 200 ppm of e-coli it will lead to immediate infections when contact with the skin is made. Of the 19 cenotes in the area 25% of them that are in the municipality of Benito Juarez are contaminated with these microorganisms at these high levels.

The Department of Ecology has a permanent preventive plan to discuss and teach children in schools to warn them of the contamination danger these water bodies present as well as the consequences for the entire population.

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