By Sarah de Sainte Croix, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Rio State government and the City Hall have announced that Ipanema will be the first beach to be cleaned-up as part of the new the Sena Limpa program. The principle water pollution along this part of the coast comes from sewage discharged into the Jardim de Allah canal which connects Lagoa (the lagoon) to the sea, and forms the border between Ipanema and Leblon.
The authorities report that most of this sewage comes from favela communities which aren’t connected to the official sewer network.
Clean-up plans include installing collection channels to intercept sewage before it reaches the canal and redirecting it 3 km out to sea, via a pump in Ipanema.
State Secretary for the Environment, Calos Minc, explained, “We have proven that none of [the material] which gets sent out to sea from the [Ipanema] pump returns to the beaches.”
The program aims to rid six of Rio’s city beaches of pollution by 2014, involving an investment of R$150 million.
According to the schedule set by the environmental authorities involved, Ipanema beach will be unpolluted by December 2012; Leme by June 2013; Urca by October 2013; Bica, on Ilha do Governador, by November 2013; São Conrado by December 2013, and Leblon by December 2014.
The President of the state Environmental Institute (INEA), Marilene Ramos, said that periodic monitoring conducted during 2011 showed that the Urca and Bica beaches were unfit for swimming for 95 percent of the year.
Pepino in São Conrado was unfit for ninety percent of last year, Leblon and Arpoador for fifty percent, and Ipanema forty percent.
The news follows revelations at the weekend that beach showers in the Zona Sul (South Zone) are contaminated with fecal matter.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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