Testing the Waters of Zihuatanejo

Playa La Ropa
Playa La Ropa

Things appear to be improving and the responsible authorities seem to be taking their jobs a bit more seriously regarding the testing of the ocean water at our beaches for bacteriological content. The Secretario del Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT) announced that it is stepping up its monitoring program of our local beaches.

For the past 10 days SEMARNAT has been taking water samples in order to have a more realistic picture of the bacteriological conditions of the water at our local beaches, and they are reporting their findings in a more timely manner. They used to only take one sample a month and publish the findings a month or more later. Now findings for the same month can be found on the website for the Comisión Federal para la Protección contra Riesgos Sanitarios (COFEPRIS) and findings are being released to the press even sooner.

Additionally, the Sistema Sanitario Federal has applied the standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO) and lowered the unacceptable risk level from 500 to 200 enterococcos per 100 milliliters of water. I definitely see this as a step in the right direction. Now the question is if signs will actually be posted at any beaches that surpass this new level, because this has been a problem in the past.

Our local wastewater treatment plants are being repaired and upgraded by our municipal government and new ones are also being built in nearby communities to lower the risk of potential pollution to our area’s beaches. Hopefully before the end of 2010 all three of Zihuatanejo’s wastewater treatment plants will be operating as they should and Playa Principal will finally be considered a safe swimming beach by locals. The current test results still show this as the only beach that poses a potential health risk. Thankfully all our other beaches are looking good.

Playa El Palmar
Playa El Palmar

Ixtapa’s Playa El Palmar is on the verge of receiving the important distinction of becoming certified as a “Playa Limpia”. This requires strict monitoring not only of the water quality but also of other factors including even the cleanliness of the sand. This certification should help the promotion of Ixtapa by travel agents and tourism professionals. And if things go as planned then beaches such as Zihuatanejo’s Playa La Ropa should not be far behind in meeting the criteria to become certified as a “Playa Limpia”.

One Reply to “Testing the Waters of Zihuatanejo”

  1. We were in Ixtapa – Zihuatanejo in February, 2010 for only a week. Just shared our pictures with friends and looking at the beach & sunset of Playa El Palmar and the Pier in Zihuatanejo and our hotel pools etc…., they said “why, it’s just beautiful”. Then they asked, is this your favorite place in Mexico and our fellow travelers said “yes it is”. The beaches are so clean. That I believe is because the local people take pride in their home and are good caretakers of their land & waters. Also, the winter long term vacationers have taken a role of responsibility in cleaners of the beaches. I hope the short term vacationers also do their part. I think we left our play areas just a little cleaner than we found it. That’s all anyone really needs to do. Keep up the great effort! It shows!!

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