The waters of the Bay of Panama would be clean by 2050. Although, the administration of the Sanitation of Panama explained that there have been significant improvements in the quality of the bodies of water (streams, rivers and the Bay of Panama) in those sectors Having been intervened by the program, the project would not be completed until three decades from now.
According to the latest update of the master plan, carried out in 2015, the sanitation system will be consolidated in Panama City and a gradual improvement in water quality, including Panama Bay, will be noticed. This analysis was done through a monitoring program, by the Panama Sanitation Project (PSP).
“It is expected that once the works scheduled for each basin are consolidated, the quality of the bodies of water will be gradually improved,” added a source of the project administration, which is attached to the Ministry of the Presidency.
The costs of the sanitation project have been increasing as the works have progressed. Initially it was estimated that reducing pollution in Panama Bay would cost $ 500 million. The works were extended to streams and rivers in the districts of Panama, San Miguelito, Arraiján and La Chorrera for an amount of $ 2,500 million, of which $ 1,200 million have been paid.
This project has an advance carried out in its first stage of 99%, which includes works from the Juan Díaz treatment plant, west interceptors (tunnel) and networks and collectors of San Miguelito and Tocumen. In a second stage the progress made is 38% and includes the works of the Juan Díaz treatment plant, the third stage of San Miguelito networks, collectors and complementary works, thus generating a total advance of the PSP of 67%.
The source of the institution stressed that the success of sanitation depends both on the works that are carried out, as well as on the conscience of the people (citizens, industrialists, merchants, public servants, among others) regarding the proper use of water and disposal end of the trash
“Let us be aware that what each one does or does not do affects their community, reflecting on the environment that surrounds them, which results in contamination of the receiving water bodies,” he insisted.
There have been factors that have affected the execution of some projects of the work, such as changes in the alignment of pipes due to alterations in land use, contractors that have not fulfilled their responsibilities and budgetary issues.
Of the total project budget, $ 1 billion has been allocated to clean up the channels and rivers of Panama Oeste.
In the first phase of the work, 300 kilometers of sanitary sewer networks, 60 kilometers of sanitary sewers, six kilometers of an interceptor tunnel, four pumping stations and a wastewater treatment plant would be built.
These components combine with each other to collect, transport and treat the wastewater that is currently discharged without prior treatment to rivers and streams that finally discharge into Panama Bay.
In addition, the construction of 238 km of collectors and two wastewater treatment plants is planned. These works and their complementary works will be executed in phases, with the aim of ensuring the consolidation of the system.
The sector of the province of Panama Oeste has become an area of expansion where 340 thousand people live. But it is estimated that the figure will double by 2050.
With this work, eight districts of Arraiján and eighteen of La Chorrera will benefit, for a total area of 3,935 hectares. The project has the potential to improve the sanitary conditions of approximately 210,000 families in both districts.
Arraiján and La Chorrera have experienced significant economic growth accompanied by great demographic growth, in addition to serving as a dormitory city for the population that daily moves to work in the capital city. Both districts have become rapidly developing urban areas, making it necessary to adapt and build a sanitary sewer system that covers current and future needs and demands, through the execution of a sanitation project.
State of the rivers and streams
The sanitation project of the city and of the bay of Panama began in 2001. Eighteen years later, 40% of the monitoring stations described the water in rivers and streams as “bad and bad.”
60% of the stations showed water in a moderate range, according to a report from the sanitation program. The monitoring was carried out between 2014 and 2018, after the Juan Díaz treatment plant began operating. Among the monitored rivers in the city were the Matasnillo and Matías Hernández, among others. In total there were about 50 monitored points. The rivers and streams must be sanitized to prevent their contamination from reaching Panama Bay. The bay was also monitored and it was determined that in 13% the water was bad, 60% moderate and 27% was good.Related topics: