Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pollution growing at Yucatan Peninsula

The latest report published in the journal Environmental Pollution talks about the problem of growing water pollution at Yucatan Peninsula, or to be more precise at the well known tourist destination "Riviera Maya".

"Riviera Maya" is the popular destination for tourists, and this is the main reason behind the sudden increase in pollutants such as pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs, shampoo, toothpaste, pesticides that have started infiltrating a vast labyrinth of water-filled caves under the Riviera Maya.

The additional problem is the fact that this polluted water is making its way into the Caribbean sea, and there have been significant number of scientists who claim that polluted water (together with climate change) has been the main cause for the rapid loss of corals in Caribbean sea.

The water pollution at Yucatan Peninsula looks very unlikely to improve, in fact many experts believe that things will become even worse in years to come because of the expected rapid growth of population in this area. And more people means in most cases more pollution.

Experts agree that the first thing that needs to be done in this case is to establish monitoring systems in order to find the locations from where these pollutants are originating.

Also, further development of this area needs to be planned very carefully in order not to interfere too much with marine environment, though high levels of pollution are not only a serious environmental problem, but also a serious health issue.

It's all about tourism for people in this area, but if pollution levels continue to grow tourists will stop coming, and federal as well as local government will have to come up with the adequate solution to stop further water pollution in this area.

Researchers believe that the most likely origin of these pollutants are latrines, septic tanks and leaking sewer lines. A logical presumption given the fact that only one-third of the state is served by municipal wastewater treatment systems.

The levels of pollutants found in the water are still not considered to be a health threat but if this situation continues drinking water could soon become contaminated.

As researchers remark "the area's highly permeable geology, characterized by remarkable sinkholes offering access to the groundwater cave systems, makes the peninsula very susceptible to contamination."

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