On January 22, it was reported that the water was polluted in certain cantons of San José. What have the authorities done? What has been said about this?

Last January 22, a bad taste and smell in the water was reported in certain sectors of northeastern San José. In fact, in the cantons of Tibás, Moravia and Goicoechea, the water had begun to smell and taste like gasoline.

After the first reports to the AyA (Acueductos y Alcantarillados), complaints continued on social networks during the following days. It was not until Thursday, January 25 that authorities including the Ministry of Health confirmed that the water was contaminated with a hydrocarbon.

To this day, the Ministry of Health and Aya’s personnel do not know the chemical contaminating the water and the reason why this has occurred. This polluted water is reaching more than 100,000 people in San José and it is recommended not to consume it or use it to prepare food or for personal hygiene. Boiling it is also not recommended as it does not change the situation.

What has been done about it?

While investigations continue, the government’s solution is the distribution of water in tanker trucks that deliver water to the main streets of the affected cantons.

Experts from AyA and the Ministry of Health are conducting intensive sampling, subway contamination studies, and inspection and analysis of water sources. In addition, they are trying to identify alternative water sources and infrastructure improvements in the area.

For Miguel Guillén, secretary of the National Liberation Party, President Rodrigo Chaves must take responsibility and make decisions about the officials who failed.

Es fundamental que el presidente Rodrigo Chaves dé la cara, se ponga al frente de la crisis sanitaria y de abastecimiento de agua que ha estado afectando a miles de familias costarricenses en San José. Ni la ministra ni el presidente ejecutivo del AYA han sido capaces de asegurar a tiempo la salud de los costarricenses. Desde el PLN, le solicitamos al presidente responsabilidad, actitud de miras, que se concentre en los problemas nacionales que afectan a los costarricenses y que lidere las crisis y, por supuesto, que establezca las responsabilidades de los funcionarios irresponsables que no han sabido cumplir con su deber. El acceso al agua potable es un derecho fundamental.

Miguel Guillén

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