Protecting Nosara’s water is an obligation that belongs to us all. From your regular neighbor, to the businessman, the hotelier, the community leader or the politician, everyone, with no exception, must come together to conserve the water resources that today allow us to open our pipes and drink water with ease.

The fact that we have potable water in Nosara not only provides us with a better quality of life, it also offers us the possibility of receiving tourists and visitors, who consequently generate sources of employment and development for our community.

That is why we must unite as a community and monitor the use and disposal of water. We must be alert every time we see a neighbor pouring sewage or gray water in a creek or on a property without permission. Also, it is important that we are vigilant for bad smells in our own homes. Could it be that we are not properly maintaining our septic tanks?

A few weeks ago, we launched this publication in which we detail what the real water situation in Nosara looks like. Today we want to give you tools on how you can report irregularities to the Ministry of Health, without having to travel to Nicoya, and how you can also implement good practices in your own homes.

How To Report Harmful Activity?

To make a report, you do not have  to travel to Nicoya. You can do so by downloading the complaint form on the website of the Ministry of Health, under the option “Health Report.” Once the form is filled out, you just have to send it to the following email address: ars.nicoya@misalud.go.cr.

In the form you will be able to report bad odors, incorrect handling of septic tanks, sewage or sewage discharges, water contamination and even garbage pollution.

The Nosara Civic Association asked the press department of the Ministry of Health if foreigners living in Nosara can file complaints and they assured us that “anyone who lives in Costa Rica can file a complaint.”

According to the press department, the Ministry must respond to the complaint in 10 business days, but the time to respond to the complaint on the site, varies and depends on the capacity of the human resource available.

In the event that the Ministry of Health corroborates the complaint, the accused individual or business may be exposed to fines or sanctions. For hotels, restaurants or any type of business, they could risk a business closure.  Fines vary and are established in the National Environmental legislation -MINAE, when there is an assessment of damages.

According to data from the Ministry of Health, in 2020 nine complaints were received from Nosara and so far in 2021 there are already 10.

How Can You Be a Responsible Neighbor?

If you live in Nosara and do not want to pollute our aquifers, we recommend that you follow these tips that you can do at home:

  • Always check your septic tank before the rainy season. In the event that when lifting the lid you find it full, we recommend doing a thorough cleaning of the tank.
  • Whenever you hire a company to clean your septic tank, make sure they give you proof that your sewage was received at a licensed treatment plant. Any serious company has the responsibility to provide you with this documentation, to ensure that your waste was placed where it belongs.
  • As part of your regular home maintenance, check your drains and grease traps every year before the start of the rainy season.
  • If you notice a bad smell in your house or notice that the water in the shower or toilet is difficult to drain, it means that you are having problems with the drainage. We recommend that you call an expert.
  • If it is within your economic reach, we recommend changing your traditional septic tank for treatment plants or improved septic tank systems, which are two-stage, one for solid waste and the other for water filtration.