Aquatic waste is the waste, both solid and liquid, that runs through the storm sewer system (includes sewers and ditches). Many of these wastes arrive directly without receiving any treatment. Example of liquid waste are the detergents used to clean garages, gutters, mechanic shops, etc. Unfortunately, the one responsible for generating these wastes — excessively and without proper management — is the human being.

80% of the most common sources of pollution are the product of activities on land. The remaining 20% are due to activities generated in water by cruise ships and other vessels.

The sewage system

The sewage system is a structure created to collect rain water and prevent flooding. Unlike what happens with the sanitary system, the water that passes through the sewage system is not treated. The sewage system is connected to a body of water so that everything that reaches a sewer reaches a body of water.

The sewer system is under municipal jurisdiction if it is located in the streets and avenues belonging to the municipality.

Management strategies to minimize and/or eliminate these sources of contamination

The following are some of the strategies for the management, minimization and elimination of aquatic waste:

• education,
• elimination at its source,
• disposal facilities,
• maintenance of the storm sewer system,
• control and regulations, and
• clean-up protocols.

As responsible citizens, aware and committed to the environment, we can do what we recommend below:

• avoid excessive generation of waste;
• handle waste management correctly;
• recycle the greatest amount of materials;
• avoid contamination and obstruction of storm sewer systems;
• maintain adequate sewer systems;
• empower communities;
• adopt sewer systems and bodies of water;
• join community projects and initiatives;
• Participate in community cleanings.

The PEBSJ strategies to manage waste and pollutants that affect the Estuary’s waters.

The proper disposal of solid waste remains one of the main pollution problems in the SJBE basin. For this reason, the San Juan Bay Estuary Project seeks to reduce the number of sanitary contaminants that reach estuarine waters, to improve the quality of their environment.

The Pollution Prevention and Reduction Project is aimed at the general public. However, it places special emphasis on marinas, fishing villages and yacht clubs, since they generate the most pollution. For example:

• In marinas, each vessel generates liquid waste (wastewater) and solids.
• In fishing villages, apart from ordinary rubbish, fishing lines are part of the waste.
• In the nautical clubs, the garbage is generated by employees, visitors and boat operators.

It is urgent, then, that all waste is properly handled in all of them.

It is important to point out that sanitary discharges from ships are a violation of the water quality standards established by the Environmental Quality Board for surface waters and aquatic systems in Puerto Rico..

The PEBSJ will focus on the following actions:

Clean-ups on Land and in water — These allow the relation, understanding, commitment and awareness of the garbage problem through the activities and sewage systems.

Oil recycling campaign — Will emphasize on the reduction, proper management and recycling of used oils in the Condado community. The goal is to eliminate and avoid the improper handling of oils through the pluvial and sanitary sewer system.

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