Tlajomulco to enlarge treatment plants as part of effort to clean up Cajititlán
After at least three years of political bickering, scientific studies and a lot of dead fish, there is a move toward cleaning up the Cajititlán lagoon near Guadalajara.
The municipality of Tlajomulco de Zúñiga has announced a “historical” investment of 180 million pesos (US $10.5 million) to increase the capacity of three wastewater treatment plants, construct wetlands, install aerators and build a floodgate to drain excess water. The lagoon has seen massive die-offs of fish in the past few years. The most recent was in August, when 40 tonnes of dead fish, a species known as popocha, were reported floating on the surface.
In 2014, it was estimated that dead fish totaled as much as 400 tonnes.
While a previous municipal administration had claimed the dead fish were a normal, cyclical event caused by insufficient oxygen in the water, the state took a different view: water pollution was seen as the problem.
Disagreement was fueled to some degree by the fact that the municipal government was elected under the banner of the Citizens’ Movement party. The state of Jalisco, meanwhile, was governed by the Institutional Revolutionary Party.
However, the feds got involved earlier this year when the environmental agency Profepa issued several recommendations to the municipality, warning it was urgent that the lake’s water quality be addressed.
Improving the functioning of the treatment plants, located in the communities of Cajititlán, San Miguel Cuyutlán and San Juan Evangelista, was one of the recommendations.
Also planned by the municipality is a composting system whose primary material will be the dead fish that pop up every year. It is anticipated that the system will produce 6,000 tonnes of organic compost annually.