• The San Juan Daily Star

Investigation into Lake Carraízo watershed conditions sought

Lake Carraízo

By John McPhaul

Nellie Zambrana Ortiz, a Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) municipal legislator in Trujillo Alto, filed a resolution over the weekend to investigate the risks, dangers and threats around Lake Carraízo and in the entire reservoir basin.

According to municipal legislation, the investigation should focus on evaluating and collecting data on the possible impact of all the specific sources of contamination, including the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority wastewater plants that operate in the basin.

“What this investigation is going to achieve, if approved by the legislature, is to collect clear and updated data, which does not exist right now, on what the threats and risks around the Lake Carraizo basin are,” Zambrana Ortiz said. “We know that there is an increase in various human activities, for example, the use of chemicals that reach the water; the development of construction and earthworks; and the bad administrative practices of our natural assets, and we want to know how this affects the ecosystem of the reservoir.”

The PIP leader commented that, for years, rains and runoff, along with deforestation and erosion, “have transported large amounts of soil to the lake basin, affecting it at a greater speed than nature does.”

“We need an interdisciplinary research approach that involves the scientific community, citizens, environmental organizations, interest groups, [central] government and municipal agencies,” she said.

Zambrana Ortiz’s resolution, which was endorsed by municipal legislators from the Popular Democratic and New Progressive parties, notes the complaints made by the communities of Ciudad Universitaria, Las Cuevas and Caney, among others, about the objectionable odors from the Sergio Cuevas treatment plant that affect their homes and school.

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