Jaltemba Bay Municipal Water Needs Your Help!
Tara A. Spears
Look at the glass on the right- it is straight out of the tap with water supplied from Jaltemba Bay municipal water. The glass on the left is purified, bottled water. No, the photo is not staged or fake. The glass on the right shows that it is time for a new municipal well, and that takes money. You may believe that municipal water is clean and safe to use, but too many disturbing studies show otherwise. It has been an uphill fight for the last decade to upgrade or even maintain the existing infrastructure in Jaltemba Bay as the community continues to grow.
If you’re still not convinced, just weeks ago, Maria de Laurdes Gonalez, on behalf of the Guaybitos Homeowners’ Association, visited a number of government offices including the governor of Nayarit, with requests for getting Jaltemba Bay a source of good water. She was successful, with instructions to various levels of government to fix the problem and a promise to seek funding for a new well.
She also was given a copy of the Guayabitos water sample analyzed by the state’s own laboratory. The analysis determined that the current well water has an “intrusion of marine water”, with a great quantity of salt, besides high levels of ferrous (iron) and magnesium that are unacceptable for human use.
Senora Gonalez also went to CONAGUA, and talked with Ing. René Flores, Chief of Technical Department. “I gave him a copy of the letter from the Governor, and Flores told me that with these two documents (governor approval and lab test results), he will attempt to include Guayabitos in the new project budget for this year in order that a new fresh-water well can be excavated at another site.”
Amazingly, quick action was taken by the local SIAPA (Sistema de agua potable y alcantarillado/ or home water and sewer division.) It seems like the office arrived at the decision to send out individual water bills-the only time that I have seen a bill in the eight years I have lived here. Unfortunately, a sizable portion of the community consists of part-time residents who perhaps are not aware that a bill is due and payable. I watched the SIAPA worker go up and down every street poking bills in fences, mailboxes, or even on tree branches of empty lots! With the rain and winds, many of these bills are disintegrating without the owner being aware. What is impressive is that the government is doing something immediate to fix a problem that will benefit residents and visitors to beautiful Jaltemba Bay.
Obviously, without receiving a written bill, it is easy to ‘forget’ about paying for service. But as with any honor system, it is still the responsibility of the owner to comply. It seems that many people do not understand how the payment can be made. The office is located on the second street south of the avenida in La Penita:
Calle Estaban Calderon #79 (middle of the block)
Open Monday-Friday 8:00 to 2:00 p.m.
Telephone: 327 274-0518
Email: [email protected]
The agency has wonderful payment options ranging from a discount for paying for the entire year in January or you can pay monthly or quarterly. When I went to take photos and get information for this article, I saw the staff accept just a $100 pesos; it seems that they are happy to receive any regular payment on an account. The billing amount is established when the property is purchased and without bills after that, I can see where years later other owners/renters are clueless. Nonetheless the staff is very helpful, just give the address and the clerk will tell the amount due. No English spoken so dust off your Spanish.
Effects of Harmful Contaminates:
Natural well water can contain chemicals, heavy metals, nuclear material, and potential allergens. Dr. Susanne Bennett wrote in a Huffington Post article: “Water pollution from harmful minerals is detected through a chemistry test. Generally pollutants are not visible, but occasionally chemical pollutants can be seen in the color of water (murky or yellowish), or detected by its odor and its taste. Household water should be free of contaminants and pollutants, no disease-causing organisms, harmful chemicals, or radioactive substances.” We know that Jaltemba Bay has unacceptable water from the most recent lab results.
I’ve heard people say, well I drink bottled water so I’m ok” but that isn’t enough. Your skin also absorbs water when you wash your hands or shower. Toxins can seep through your skin and into your cells, triggering and exacerbating illness or allergens. Since harmful minerals can be absorbed by the body, which will accumulate over time and cause damage to organs such as kidney and liver, and disturb their function to remove toxins. If the mineral dose is high enough it can cause death.
According to Livestrong:“The thing that you’ll notice the most from water that is high in iron is that the water may taste metallic. The water may be discolored and appear brownish,(see photo) and it may even contain sediment. Iron will leave orangey rust stains in the sink, toilet, bathtub, or shower. It can build up in your dishwasher and discolor ceramic dishes. It can also enter into the water heater and can get into the laundry equipment and cause stains on clothing.
The EPA cautions that although iron in drinking water is safe to ingest, the iron sediments may contain trace impurities or harbor bacteria that can be harmful. Iron bacteria are naturally occurring organisms that can dissolve iron and some other minerals. These bacteria also form a brown slime that can build up in water pipes. Iron bacteria are most commonly problematic in wells, where water has not been chlorinated.
Effects of Ward Water: Not only does hard water leave spots on your dishes but it feels yucky on your skin. Permanent hard water occurs when the hardness (mineral content) cannot be removed by boiling. Hard water is usually caused by the presence of high levels of calcium sulphate and /or magnesium sulphates in the water. A sign of hard water is that soap solutions form a white precipitate- soap scum- instead of lather. Calcium and magnesium carbonates tend to be deposited as off-white solids on the inside surfaces of pipes and pumps reduces efficient performance and eventually causes plumbing break down.
Unless you elect to go to the considerable expense of installing a whole house reverse osmosis (RO) unit to completely filter out all natural and synthetic toxins, microbes, debris, and minerals, help your community by paying your water bill. SIAPA wants safe, better quality water for the area but needs revenue to make it happen in a timely manner. I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but let’s all get the word out.
I am neither an alarmist nor a grouchy gringa- I simply want a safe, healthy community. It’s good news that government and residents are working together to fix the problem! Many thanks go to all those who continue to work through channels to accomplish improvements.
Thanks also goes to Rick Helberg for data.