The Los Tajos sewage plant is in operation with 36,000 connections in San José
The Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados said that the initial stage for the plant cost $48.2 million. Eventually more than a million persons in the metro area will be hooked up to the plant.
This means that less raw human waste will be flowing into the Río Grande de Tarcoles to be transported to the Gulf of Nicoya to end up on the country’s supposedly pristine beaches.
News reports have called the lack of treatment Costa Rica’s dirty little secret. Abel Pacheco, when he was president, joked that Río Tarcoles crocodiles are nourished by the Metro Area effluent, although he was more graphic.
The treatment plant is in La Carpio, a section of La Uruca west of the San José downtown. The facility was inaugurate nearly a year ago, but it was not operational at that time.
The initial step protects parts of the Ríos Rivera and Torres. Eventually all the metro area rivers will be protected for sewage drainage, according to the project plans. They include the rios Torres, María Aguilar and Tiribí.
The project also is designed to phase out individual septic tanks. Eventually the sewerage network will be expanded to Tibás, Moravia, Vásquez de Coronado, Goicoechea, Montes de Oca the remaining part of San José, according to Acueductos y Alcantarillados
The total investment is expected to be $361 million. The money is coming from the Japanese International development agency, the Interamerican Development Bank and Banco Nacional with the addition of the national water institute’s funds.