Living in Arequipa

Answers to your qestions about moving to, and living in, Peru,
Alpineprince
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Living in Arequipa

Postby Alpineprince » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:04 pm

Recently, I was part of a (green infrastructure investment mission) to this great city. After meeting with public/private parties, I was awestruck with the state of sanitation in this region. If you plan to live here (long term) please consider taking special precautions with all locally grown "fresh" fruit and produce.

consider this:
The river Chilli is the main source of irrigation for the local farms.
Only 11 % of raw sewage is treated.
89% is dumped untreated into this river
30-50 industrial plants ( including leather tanning plants) dumping chemical waste into the river.
The average person consumes 1 kilogram of fecal matter annually.
no landfills exist so the potential contamination of the ground water also exists.

The city is aware but does not have the ability to offer "municipal bonds" to finance any treatment facilities.


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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby bmike1 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:14 pm

lovely country I'm moving too.
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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby anuta » Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:06 pm

Wastewater is not treated anywhere in Peru, there are no regulations about that.

But even in N.America, there are similar problems, although, I think we use drinking water for irrigation.
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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby Alpineprince » Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:48 pm

anuta wrote:Wastewater is not treated anywhere in Peru, there are no regulations about that.

Then I can only assume that since Arequipa is in the desert, the sewage treatment plant that is processing 11% of the sewage was only a mirage! :shock:
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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby anuta » Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:34 am

Alpineprince wrote:
anuta wrote:Wastewater is not treated anywhere in Peru, there are no regulations about that.

Then I can only assume that since Arequipa is in the desert, the sewage treatment plant that is processing 11% of the sewage was only a mirage! :shock:


Alright, let me correct myself. There's is MINIMAL (=insufficient) treatment. My point was that it's not a problem only in Arequipa. (Is it really in a desert ?)

I didn't verify the info myself, it's what a friend of mine told me. He worked as a sanitary engineer in Peru for about 10 years and holds a M.Eng in water treatment. But doing a quick search on the internet, I found the following info (I hope you understand Spanish) :

"La cobertura de tratamiento de aguas servidas se estimó en 27% a nivel nacional en el año 2007."
"La gran mayoría de las aguas residuales del área metropolitana de Lima-Callao se descargan sin tratamiento al mar, resultando en una fuerta contaminación de las playas. "

Ref: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agua_potab ... _Per%C3%BA

Here's another one:

"Según datos de DIGESA, en el Perú, unas 4,500 hectáreas de cultivo se riegan con aguas residuales, de ellas solo un 10 por ciento son tratadas, lo que representa un serio riesgo para los consumidores y para quienes riegan sus cultivos bajo esta modalidad."
"Las cifras oficiales nos dicen que en el Perú solo un 25% de las aguas residuales son tratadas, el resto se arroja a los mares, lagos y ríos provocando un impacto negativo en el medio ambiente y en la salud de las personas."

Ref: http://radio.rpp.com.pe/cuidaelagua/en- ... -tratadas/

Maybe you should change the title of your post, so that people living elsewhere read as well... :D
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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby Alpineprince » Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:03 am

Your figures (while correct) are out of date. Currently there are projects in Lima that by 2015 will be treating 100% of the sewage for Lima and Callao or roughly a third of the population. Arequipa (2nd largest city)unfortunately has one old plant that is only capable of treating 11%.
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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby anuta » Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:15 am

Alpineprince wrote:Your figures (while correct) are out of date. Currently there are projects in Lima that by 2015 will be treating 100% of the sewage for Lima and Callao or roughly a third of the population. Arequipa (2nd largest city)unfortunately has one old plant that is only capable of treating 11%.


They are not out of date until these treatment plants are in service (in 4 years or more). But ... great to know. It`s very very new. At some point, the rest of Peru might catch up.
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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby bmike1 » Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:20 pm

Alpineprince wrote:Your figures (while correct) are out of date. Currently there are projects in Lima that by 2015 will be treating 100% of the sewage for Lima and Callao or roughly a third of the population. Arequipa (2nd largest city)unfortunately has one old plant that is only capable of treating 11%.
//////////////////////////

wILL THE PLANTS ALSO TAKE CARE OF THE HEAVY METALS AND ALL THE OTHER GARBAGE IN THE WATER?
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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby Alpineprince » Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:52 pm

bmike1 wrote:Alpineprince wrote:Your figures (while correct) are out of date. Currently there are projects in Lima that by 2015 will be treating 100% of the sewage for Lima and Callao or roughly a third of the population. Arequipa (2nd largest city)unfortunately has one old plant that is only capable of treating 11%.
//////////////////////////

wILL THE PLANTS ALSO TAKE CARE OF THE HEAVY METALS AND ALL THE OTHER GARBAGE IN THE WATER?

There really is no need to remove to remove the "heavy metals" in Lima as the treated water is dumped into the ocean (as it always was) but now will have less impact on the marine life and the surfing beaches.

Arequipa is different as the city is inland and the rio chilli is the major source of water for agriculture!
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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby Kelly » Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:54 pm

I think Mike may be under the misunderstanding that this is treatment for drinking water.

They're talking about treating raw sewage, before it gets dumped into the environment. This would be after post-consumption. :wink:
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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby bmike1 » Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:42 pm

but there was a whole thread about the need for bottled water and how the drinking water in lima is con taminated with arsenic and all sorts of wonderful things
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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby Kelly » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:06 pm

Yes, but this thread isn't talking about drinking water - it's talking about treatment of waste water. Sewage.
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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby Alpineprince » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:12 pm

bmike1 wrote:but there was a whole thread about the need for bottled water and how the drinking water in lima is con taminated with arsenic and all sorts of wonderful things

There is "tremendous money to be made" converting raw sewage to electricity or simply "flaring off" the methane for Carbon Credits! Making "pure" drinking water.... eh, not so much.
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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby tomsax » Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:38 am

Alpineprince wrote:Your figures (while correct) are out of date. Currently there are projects in Lima that by 2015 will be treating 100% of the sewage for Lima and Callao or roughly a third of the population. Arequipa (2nd largest city)unfortunately has one old plant that is only capable of treating 11%.


That's news to me as well though very good news, if true. I'll believe it when I see it as I remember hearing the same sort of thing over 10 years ago!

I think the message is remember to thoroughly wash your vegetables.
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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby Pollo mani » Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:02 am

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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby anuta » Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:47 pm

Alpineprince wrote:There really is no need to remove to remove the "heavy metals" in Lima as the treated water is dumped into the ocean (as it always was) but now will have less impact on the marine life and the surfing beaches.

Arequipa is different as the city is inland and the rio chilli is the major source of water for agriculture!


I'm not sure why you're saying that there's no need to remove the metals (arsenic is considered a heavy metal) from the water before dumping it in the ocean. Because it was "always" dumped, practically all the fish is polluted (fish accumulate the metals in their tissues) and that's what you're eating as ceviche.

If they just treat the wastewater (i.e. just remove the sludge), but don't desinfect it, the surfing beaches will continue to be polluted.

Unfortunately Arequipa is not different: after a short search on the internet, I saw that the water used for agriculture around Lima is pretty polluted as well with industrial wastewater and garbage (search Rio Chillon, Lurin, Rimac).
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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby Alpineprince » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:20 am

anuta wrote:I'm not sure why you're saying that there's no need to remove the metals (arsenic is considered a heavy metal) from the water before dumping it in the ocean. Because it was "always" dumped, practically all the fish is polluted (fish accumulate the metals in their tissues) and that's what you're eating as ceviche.


In almost 10 years in Peru I have not tried seviche or eaten fish for that matter as it is loaded with mercury!

anuta wrote:If they just treat the wastewater (i.e. just remove the sludge), but don't desinfect it, the surfing beaches will continue to be polluted.
This was reason various groups went to court to stop the Tamboada project (Construction started last July) and it was found that the ocean actually completes the disinfection process. BTW Tamboada when completed (in two years) will treat 60% of Lima and Callaos waste.

anuta wrote:Unfortunately Arequipa is not different: after a short search on the internet, I saw that the water used for agriculture around Lima is pretty polluted as well with industrial wastewater and garbage (search Rio Chillon, Lurin, Rimac).

Industrial pollution is a separate issue and as "my interest" is only in Sewage treatment/landfill/hydroelectric projects in and around Arequipa, you may wish to start a separate thread.
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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby tomsax » Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:04 pm

Alpineprince wrote:
BTW Tamboada when completed (in two years) will treat 60% of Lima and Callaos waste.



Alpineprince, do you happen to know the company installing the treatment works and what sort of technology is to be used?
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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby Alpineprince » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:30 pm

tomsax wrote:
Alpineprince wrote:
BTW Tamboada when completed (in two years) will treat 60% of Lima and Callaos waste.



Alpineprince, do you happen to know the company installing the treatment works and what sort of technology is to be used?

Grupo ACS, They are a Spanish construction company and they have built 300 projects worldwide. Do not know what tech they are using.
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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby anuta » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:46 pm

tomsax wrote:
Alpineprince wrote:
BTW Tamboada when completed (in two years) will treat 60% of Lima and Callaos waste.



Alpineprince, do you happen to know the company installing the treatment works and what sort of technology is to be used?


Hi Tomsax,
The plant is called Taboada (in case you feel like researching). I was also trying to find what kind of treatment will be done. In one article, the journalist mentions what sounds like primary physical treatment (screening, sedimentation) and organic matter removal which could be due to sedimentation or done with aerobic processes, it's not clear.

Apparently, ACS won because it offered the cheapest price, and was brought to court by the competitors who stated that their proposal included disinfection. For now, there will be no disinfection, but it might be considered in the future for water reuse (for irrigation).

While researching for it, I found out that the sewage is not only being dumped into the ocean but also to Rimac.

The other plant is La Chira. I think bidding is still up for this one.
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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby Alpineprince » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:42 am

And also San Bartolo (operational) for the Lurin valley.
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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby tomsax » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:53 pm

Thanks for the info.

I can't say I know much about wastewater treatment but I would try and convince my company I did if it meant I could work in Peru! Not much chance we could compete with the Spanish on wages though.
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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby anuta » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:44 pm

tomsax wrote:Thanks for the info.

I can't say I know much about wastewater treatment but I would try and convince my company I did if it meant I could work in Peru! Not much chance we could compete with the Spanish on wages though.


I also got interested because of that and it looks like a Canadian Co is applying for La Chira, we'll see, first I have to finish my endless M.Eng.
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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby windsportinperu » Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:31 pm

anuta wrote: I saw that the water used for agriculture around Lima is pretty polluted as well with industrial wastewater and garbage (search Rio Chillon, Lurin, Rimac)


Sorry to say, but it' s not true. I know well all those 3 rivers and the information you got on internet is not correct. I know very well Chillon River and it has clear waters all the way from the Cordillera de La Viuda to Lima. Once it is going near Lima city it became polluted, but Lima city have no agriculture areas, and the waters of this river is uses for drinking previously treated at a water plant.

The same for the Lurin what has cero contamination all the way from the Cordillera , it is polluted once get near the city (Cieneguilla area in LIma).

Rimac is the most polluted of all, but is not extensively used for agriculture, just some few area.. All the afluents of the Rimac river are uses for agriculture, but not the river itself..
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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby anuta » Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:48 pm

windsportinperu wrote:
Sorry to say, but it' s not true. I know well all those 3 rivers and the information you got on internet is not correct. I know very well Chillon River and it has clear waters all the way from the Cordillera de La Viuda to Lima. Once it is going near Lima city it became polluted, but Lima city have no agriculture areas, and the waters of this river is uses for drinking previously treated at a water plant.

The same for the Lurin what has cero contamination all the way from the Cordillera , it is polluted once get near the city (Cieneguilla area in LIma).


You don't have to be sorry, I wish I was wrong, but...it's hard to believe that. For the river not to be polluted, there should be no human activity in it's proximity (industry, agriculture, municipalities which at the minimum generate sewage and garbage), because they always pollute. Where do you think contaminated water from these activities goes ? Even if they are not directly thrown into the river, the contaminants may percolate into the groundwater and then find their way into the river.

Rivers are polluted in North America as well and our regulations are stricter and there's more enforcement.
When you say that you know them well, it means you tested the water samples or it's just visual impression ?

About the drinking water: the more polluted the source, the harder it is to purify the water and if the plant is not design to remove certain contaminants, they will be found in the tap water.

windsportinperu wrote:Rimac is the most polluted of all, but is not extensively used for agriculture, just some few area.. All the afluents of the Rimac river are uses for agriculture, but not the river itself..


Extensively or not, it is used for agriculture (14.7% according to this study: http://www.uharvest.org/img_upload_aa_u ... juarez.pdf ). And because the water is contaminated with metals (especially As and Pb), they may (and do for some plants) accumulate in the plant tissue.

FYI:

http://radio.rpp.com.pe/cuidaelagua/el- ... aminacion/

http://www.scribd.com/doc/15860881/RIO-CHILLON-informe

http://contactoambiental.blogspot.com/2 ... illon.html

http://www.agraria.pe/noticias/contamin ... -artesanal
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Re: Living in Arequipa

Postby windsportinperu » Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:28 pm

If you observe well the links above, they all refer to areas of the rivers Chillon and Lurin NEAR Lima (cuenca baja). They all refer to contamination in the region near Lima city and outskirts... Not really used for extensive agriculture, indeed.

There is no heavy industries that can contaminate the waters for both the CHillon and Lurin for agriculture (in the cuenca media and alta), where is located the gross of agriculture in Lima region. But yes both rivers could receive contamination from Lima City. But again that water goes to the Ocean and it not used extensively for agriculture, Fortunately there is a project Taboada that will help a lot...

Rimac is another story. It do have a source of contamination in "La Oroya"... I suggest to read the conclusions of the study from Henry Juarez that you by yourself found in internet (for the Rimac):

"""Al presente, ninguna muestra de agua sobrepasa el LMP de As, Cd, Cr y Pb sugeridos para el regadío de hortalizas""
"""Ninguna muestra de Cd, Cr y Pb bio-disponible superan el LMP definido como valor de contaminación"""
"""No hay riesgos a la salud por consumo de hortalizas con respecto a Cr y Pb"""

I am not a good translator, but will try to traslate:

"""At the present, no water sample exceed the LMP for As, Cd, Cr and Pb suggested for irrigation of vegetables"""
"""no samples of Cd, Cr and Pb exceed the LMP defined as contamination value"""
""There is no risk for health for consuming vegetables respect to Cr and Pb"""

Also invite to visit the region and enjoy the beauty of the scenery of both Chillon and Lurin:

http://www.google.com/images?hl=es&q=cordillera+de+la+viuda&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&biw=1024&bih=508

http://www.google.com/images?um=1&hl=es&biw=1024&bih=508&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=1&q=canta&aq=f&aqi=g10&aql=&oq=

http://www.google.com/images?um=1&hl=es&biw=1024&bih=508&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=1&q=santa+rosa+de+quives&aq=f&aqi=g6&aql=&oq=

http://www.google.com/images?um=1&hl=es&biw=1024&bih=508&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=1&q=antioquia+huarochiri&aq=f&aqi=g1&aql=&oq=

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