Guanacaste residents file Sala IV case over arsenic in water

Some residents of Guanacaste have filed a Sala IV constitutional appeal because their tap water is laced with arsenic.

The Sala IV has asked the government agencies involved to respond.

Arsenic in the water is nothing new because the chemical occurs naturally in the ground.

However, more than a year ago, President Laura Chinchilla declared an emergency based on the problems with the water, and the group of residents said nothing has been done since.

Among other requests they are asking the government to build whatever it takes to keep the arsenic out of the water.  This probably will mean bringing water in from elsewhere.

The original presidential decree cited problems in communities in Alajuela province and in the canton of Bagaces, Cañas and La Cruz in Guanacaste. The residents note that arsenic is listed as a cause of cancer.

The problem is well-known, and there have been cases of farm animals suffering due to the arsenic in the water.

Among other agencies, the residents name the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados, the national emergency commission, the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos, the Presidencia, the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energies and the Ministerio de Salud.

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