Due to the health alert in parts of Guanacaste related to the presence of arsenic in water, the private company Agua Solutions has decided to offer free tests to detect arsenic levels until December 15th.
The initiative began this July and so far they have received samples from about 50 private residences, farms and ASADAS. In addition, since 2011 they have performed tests in conjunction with the National Laboratory of Aqueducts and Sewers (AyA – Acueductos y Alcantarillados).
Azucena Urbina, the chemist responsible for analyses at the National Water Laboratory of AyA, said Agua Solutions is one of the companies that usually perform tests on water quality and is backed by the AyA.
Jim Ryan, owner of Agua Solutions, explained that the main problem in the field of water quality is the lack of information available to users. “Our first step is to create awareness among the population,” he said. The company provides information to people about arsenic and preventive and protective measures.
Ryan said his desire is to involve as many people as possible, especially those living in remote rural communities, schools or indigenous areas.
Water samples can be taken everywhere from the tap in a house to a spring or well. They should be taken in a clean plastic container or bottle of at least 600 milliliters and identified with some personal information.
Then the sample should be left in the Liberia office of Agua Solutions, located 400 meters south of the central park. The results are sent within a week by email.
“I hope we get a positive reaction from private well owners and those who want to know the quality of water they drink… analyzing the water is the only way to know,” concluded Ryan.
Last June, the Constitutional Court ordered that AyA should determine the causes of pollution within six months, though they’re still unknown, and provide drinking water in the affected areas.
Drinking water contaminated with arsenic has been linked to numerous cases of renal failure in the counties of Cañas and Bagaces; however Dr. Roy Wong, who is investigating these cases for the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS – Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social) assured the Voice of Guanacaste that this cannot be confirmed yet.
For more information on these tests, contact Water Solutions at 2665-6161 or visit www.aguasolutions.com.