We might need a sewer system in Akumal. . .

possible sewage treatment site
old CAPA building as possible future waste treatment site


In 2009 a study was made by Sheela Varma for a thesis on existing local sewage treatment.  At that time, it looked as if we might need a sewer system in Akumal,  or at least repairs and/or upgrades to current septic facilities.   Quoting from Varma’s Abstract:


“Wastewater management is major concern in the Yucatan Peninsula, as sewage pollution has been linked to a rise in human health concerns as well as the decline of the Meso-American coral reef. Subsurface flow constructed wetlands (SFCWs) are engineered ecosystems which involve the use of hydrological, biological and mineralogical processes to reduce wastewater volume and decrease or ideally eliminate the polluting components. Geotechnical properties, plant cover and water quality characteristics of 30 SFCWs in Akumal, Quintana Roo were investigated to determine efficacy of the systems and assess causes for variability of performance.

 “Many of the systems in Akumal seem to be undersized, overloaded and poorly maintained and planted with vegetation that might not be optimal for expected results. Aggregate dissolution might pose a risk of releasing pollutants into the environment. This study identifies several problems with these SFCWs and indicates a more efficient design and maintenance regime is needed.”

If you’re interested in reading the complete thesis, please go to http://digilib.gmu.edu/jspui/bitstream/handle/1920/5694/Varma_Sheela.pdf?sequence=1                               It’s actually quite interesting!

The document is six years old, and during that time several of the facilities mentioned have been repaired or upgraded.  But there is still much to be done.  Installation of a sewer system and treatment facility is one of the priorities of Vecinos de Akumal Norte.  It’s a work in progress, progress being measured in baby steps…






  1. Has there been any improvements for sewage in Akumal? Does any sewage go directly or indirectly into the sea? I am going to do some water quality tests in Akumal this coming week and appreciate your input as to the most important places to test.

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