A large, 40-inch drainage pipe at Puerto Vallarta’s northern limits ruptured March 3, sending raw sewage into the El Salado estuary.
Four days later, the water began to enter Banderas Bay. Coprisjal, the Sanitary Risks Commission of the Jalisco Health Secretariat, closed all beaches near the estuary until March 14. Fortunately, the drain pipe has since been repaired.
Coprisjal continues to monitor the bacteria count in the bay at various beaches, including Gemales, Palmares, Conchas Chinas, Los Muertos, Rosita Camarones, Osiris, Hoyo 18, Marriott and Westin.
The quality of water at these beaches has been given the green light for recreation. Recent tests registered less than 200 enterococcis (intestinal bacteria) per 100 milliliters, which is considered satisfactory by the Comision Federal para la Proteccion Contra Riesgos Sanitarios (Federal Health Secretariat — Cofepris).
No cases of gastrointestinal or dermatologic illness were reported due to the spill.