Peru: Lima sewage crisis due to poor water company management

Living in Peru
Israel J. Ruiz

The sewage crisis Lima is undergoing is not due to a lack of funds or investment projects, but is a result of poor management, said a report published in El Comercio daily.

According to the daily, SEDAPAL, the state-run water company that has proposed to dump raw sewage from 24 of Lima’s districts in Callao’s ocean, has not managed their funds appropriately.

In the past decade, SEDAPAL has spent 580 million soles on two water treatment projects that have been left incomplete. The fist is known as Mesías while the other is called Interceptor Norte.

Despite the money spent, 88 percent of the capital’s wastewater is dumped into the ocean, reports El Comercio.

The Mesías project consists of one treatment plant that is working at 50 percent its capacity, while the Interceptor Norte project was begun without knowing if there would be enough money to complete the second stage: the treatment plant.

The Interceptor project had been designed to treat 60 percent of Lima’s wastewater. Unfortunately, it is not complete.

According to Javier Prado, a former member of the SUNASS board of directors, SEDAPAL spent money on the two projects and did not invest in improving the treatment plants that were already in operation.

It has been reported that in some parts of Callao, the level of lead, cadmium and iron is already registered over environmentally safe limits.

The National Fishing Society has revealed that the level of lead is 31 percent over its limit.