Through a brief email, Zinnia Cordero, director of the Nicoya Health Department, confirmed that the Ministry found no evidence that there was a sewage pipe discharging dirty water at Sámara Beach.
“Two inspections were carried out on different days and nothing was detected to prove the allegations,” wrote Cordero.
The complaint presented to the Ministry of Health had been lodged by the community representative of Sámara, Karla Jirón, who stated that there was a sewage pipe in front of Hotel Locanda that spewed dirty water eight meters from the ocean.
On February 15, Jirón again visited the sewer pipe and took photographs that show the end of the pipe covered with sand.
“The smell is still there. You can still see the dirty water at the bottom of the culvert. You can even see a toad,” the representative said.
At the end of January, La Voz de Guanacaste confirmed that Josue Ruiz, an engineer with the Municipality of Nicoya, confirmed that the storm sewer had been built a few years ago to move rainwater towards the beach in order to avoid flooding downtown.
The engineer stated that during the dry season there should not be any water running through the pipe, which could mean that a local business has connected to the sewer.
An Old Problem
The sewage pipe is located right on front of Hotel Locanda. Domenica Falessi, owner of the hotel, told La Voz de Guanacaste that the restaurant and rooms that comprise part of the property are not connected to the storm sewer.
“Unfortunately, we are suffering from the bad actions of others, and it seems like they are trying to blame us when we are not at fault,” said Falessi in a document.
The businessman said that he invested ¢1.5 million colones to improve the storm sewer, compelled by the strong smell.
Greivin Hernández, resident of Matapalo de Sámara, worked at the old Vela Latina restaurant (which was located where Locanda currently stands) and he said that dirty water has affected the beach for years.
“Often, when I worked at Vela Latina, I poured sand on it so that it wasn’t visible and that the stench would be covered up. That was super dirty water. It wasn’t rainwater. Black and gray waters come out of there,” the resident said.
For now, the Jirón is waiting to take the case to the Municipal Council to ask for help from the city in investigating who is depositing the water that comes out of the sewer.