Local April 7, 2015 | 9:24 am

The Capital, ‘sewage time bomb’ despite cleanup attempts: Listin

Santo Domingo.- Various pollutants have tainted Greater Santo Domingo’s water sources during several years, and despite the government’s recent attempts of cleanup, as experts have called the city a “sewage and bacteriological time bomb.”

Listin.com.do reports that the lack of an adequate sanitary sewer system, treatment plants and makeshift landfills are the main causes of pollution not only of surface water but also aquifers, which account for 34 percent of the daily supply.

Geologist Osiris de León said the fact that 90% of wastewater from Santo Domingo, mostly from bathrooms, go directly and untreated to the ground poses a risk to the population’s health, and warns it has become “bacteriological bomb” that could explode in the form of an epidemic resulting from consumption of highly contaminated water.

In his recently released book ‘Challenges of Urban Water in the Americas’ De Leon says discharges of sewage from the nearly 3.5 million inhabitants send 7,000 tons of excrement to the groundwater daily.

Adequate systems

However Santo Domingo Water and Sewers Utility (CAASD) deputy director Luis Salcedo said if environmental conditions are right, groundwater is safer than those on the surface.

"Why? Because groundwater isn’t exposed to bathing by humans or animals which defecate on them…, as long as the environmental conditions favor. What does that mean? Not building a well next to a landfill, where there are latrines, or no proper wastewater disposal systems."

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