San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

97% of Wastewater Flows Untreated

Nearly all blackwater in Costa Rica – water that has been mixed with waste from the toilet – is dumped back into the environment without treatment, according to a report in the daily La Nación.

Only 3% of blackwater receives treatment, while 97% goes into rivers and streams without being disinfected or treated in any way, the daily reported.

While Costa Rica touts itself as a haven for environmental conservation and public health care, it is among the five worst countries in Latin America for its treatment of sewage and well below the continent’s average of treating 14% of wastewater, the daily said.

In the Central Valley, wastewater is channeled untreated through smaller rivers and streams into the Grande de Tárcoles River at a rate of 3,200 liters per second


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