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Icon Water Testing Discounts

Water testing discounts

Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper has an agreement with a laboratory in San José which will provide customers with a 5% discount from their bill if they do it through our office.

Hotels, cabins and businesses that have to test their water (drinking, residual and pool water) periodically for the operational reports required by the Ministry of Health or anyone is interested in testing their well for potability can contact us and we will arrange with the lab so clients benefit from the discount. We can schedule testings in a way that several customers split the transport fee to lower the cost.

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Water filtration systems

Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper has negotiated discounts with several water filtration system providers so we can facilitate that you have better water quality in your home and/or business. Let us know what you’re interested in filtering and we can recommend the system that best suits your interest and budget.

Our interest is to provide you with the possibility of accessing efficient water filtration systems at better prices. The providers offer all sorts of products ranging from water dispensers, shower filters, tab water filters, portable water bottle with filters. Let us know if you have any questions and we’ll try our best to help you out and get good quality water.

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Free residual water advice

It is important to know the quality of the water you are consuming but it is also important to know how to dispose of the water you have consumed in a sustainable way which does not pollute the natural resources around you and your family.

Greywater is water from the bathroom and kitchen sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines. It is not water that has come into contact with feces. Greywater may contain traces of dirt, food, grease, hair, and certain cleaning products. There are many simple, economical ways to reuse greywater. Aside from the obvious benefits of saving water (and money), reusing greywater reduces pressure on the septic system, thereby reducing the chance that it will pollute local water bodies.

Biogardens (known also as biofilters or wetlands) are ways of "ecologically disposing" of greywater. Wetlands absorb nutrients and filter particles from greywater, enabling it to be stored or sent through a properly designed system. The water passes through an excavation, with an impervious cover, filled with stones and plants that will filter the waters. Once the water meets the quality standards, it can be used for purposes which do not require potable water, irrigation for example.

We provide free advice regarding residual water management. We can design a biogarden for your house or business.

Most of the population in the area relies on septic systems to dispose of their black water. A septic system consists of two main parts-a septic tank and a drainfield. The septic tank is a watertight box, made usually out of concrete, fiber glass or plastic, with an inlet and outlet pipe. Wastewater flows to the septic tank through the sewer pipe. The septic tank treats the wastewater naturally by holding it in the tank long enough for solids and liquids to separate. The wastewater forms three layers inside the tank. Solids lighter than water (such as greases and oils) float to the top forming a layer of scum. Solids heavier than water settle at the bottom of the tank forming a layer of sludge. This leaves a middle layer of partially clarified wastewater.

The layers of sludge and scum remain in the septic tank where bacteria found naturally in the wastewater work to break the solids down. The sludge and scum that cannot be broken down are retained in the tank until the tank is pumped. The layer of clarified liquid flows from the septic tank to the drainfield or to a distribution device, which helps to uniformly distribute the wastewater in the drainfield. A standard drainfield is a bed lined with gravel or course sand and buried one to three feet below the ground surface. Perforated pipes or drain tiles run through the trenches to distribute the wastewater. The drainfield treats the wastewater by allowing it to slowly trickle from the pipes out into the gravel and down through the soil. The gravel and soil act as biological filters.

Problems with septic systems in the area are caused by people not fully understanding how the system works and lack of proper maintenance. This leads to a lot of septic tanks built without paying attention to important waste processing requirements and using unsuitable materials. Lack of efficient regulations and inspections allow for this to happen. Sewage overflows contaminate the environment and spread illnesses. Lack of proper sanitation systems is the source of illness and death for millions of people (6,000 children worldwide die each day as a result of inadequate sanitation).

We can provide free advice regarding your black water treatment system.

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Pollution reports / environmental harm reports

If you see or know of any pollution or environmental harming practice going around in town, please let us know! We file claims before the relevant institution to stop polluters from destroying our environment.

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Sustainable Waste Management

The coastal towns of Mal País, Santa Teresa, Hermosa, and Manzanillo are a beautiful highly rated touristic destination for their stunning beaches, sights, surfing, yoga, relax and fun. Pollution in our coastal towns is due, to a great extent, to inappropriate solid and liquid waste management: lack-of or inappropriate water treatment systems, draining of black and grey waters directly into the ground and/or nearby streams, rapid, uncontrolled and under-regulated urbanization which has generated pressure over the area’s natural resources, and lack of community education regarding waste management.

Some businesses have deficient water treatment systems: many of them do not have grease traps; others have grease traps but designed incorrectly; many others do have grease traps and well-designed systems but don’t know where to dispose of the waste coming out of their grease traps when they clean them as there is no facility in the area that treats this type of waste.

All this grease is ending up in the water polluting it or in the communitarian dump generating greenhouse effect gases. A big part of the population is not aware of the damage this is causing, to the environment, to our health and to the communities’ income generation capacities of these tourism-dependent towns. Lack of education and awareness of how human activities are harming the environment and causing climate change closes this pollution cycle.

Nicoya peninsula Waterkeeper took action to promote changes to correct existing pollution practices! We want to show the community that environmentally respectful practices exist and are available for everyone to implement. We promote behavior changes that benefit present and future generations and all the beautiful invaluable natural resources that surround us. The way in which we dispose of our waste is our responsibility.

The Project “Promoting waste management best practices in the coastal communities of Mal País, Playa Carmen, Santa Teresa, and Hermosa” aims at improving solid and liquid waste management in these coastal communities. We will achieve this by:

  • Promoting sustainable waste water management in the Salón Comunal through the creation of a biogarden (to treat greywater) and an efficient septic tank (to treat blackwater) as educational hands-on models
  • Building a community-managed biodigestor which will create biogas out of the grease coming from the local restaurants grease traps which will feed the Salón Comunal’s cafeteria
  • Promoting sustainable solid waste management through recycling and composting of organic waste
  • Carrying out intensive community education and awareness raising regarding waste management best practices through the creation of an Environmental Educational Space next to the Community Center in Santa Teresa and through an Environmental Fair

We want this to be a fair in which we can show the community that environmentally friendly alternatives exist and that they are available for everyone to implement in their houses and businesses. We want everybody to be educated and aware of the current best practices regarding sustainable waste management. We want this fair to help change people’s mentality and open up to new ways of doing things, new ways which respect and protect our natural resources.

Please contact us at if you want to be part of this Project or have any questions, ideas or suggestions!

This Project is carried out thanks to the financial contribution of the Organization of American States – OAS.