Julie Turgeon

Water problem

12 posts in this topic

I have been staying in Sayulita early January 2016 and noticed a lot of people being sick. It has been many years I am travelling this time of the year and never been so sick or seen that much people sick. Does the city investigate what is going on?  Water, ocean, food?

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We have been coming here since 2005 and have never seen so many sick people, in our group and just randoms on the beach and on the street EVER.  It seems the town in just over loaded and that the water treatment plant can't handle all the tourists.  Apparently there were an extra 10,000 people on New Year's Eve for 2015 going into 2016.  That's a lot of extra poop and pee going into the sewage/water plant!  Local surfers seem to know about the problem.

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I've seen the rumour of 10,000 extra people in town over New Year's so many times it looks like it's becoming fact.  There is no possible, physical way that 10,000 extra people could fit into Sayulita.  I think what someone may have heard a week or so ago was that there were about 10,000 people in Sayulita, which has a base population of around 4,000.  So yes, that's a lot more people but it's a totally different story.  I own a rental property here and I live here.  Some swim in the ocean, some surf, some don't.  In the last 2 weeks, we had one couple get sick for one day.  I had "the runs" for a morning, my partner for a couple of days.  Haven't been in the ocean for over a year, because we prefer our pool.  

You say the "local surfers seem to know about the problem" but it sure hasn't stopped them surfing every single day, all day.  Why would that be?

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I was here with 9 others from December 26 to January 9. Spent lots of time in and out of the water, and I did not get sick. People get sick in Mexico (or anywhere they travel) for many different reasons. Sometimes it is getting used to a different diet, greasier foods, beer and too much tequila, etc. Sometimes it is just a flu, or stomach bug that goes around. I am always amazed that people will look for a supernatural or phantom cause that has no scientific proof, such as an overworked sewage plant, or thousands of extra people visiting that are polluting the entire ocean. I was in the plaza at midnight on New Years Eve, and there were no more people there than one would expect at midnight. To me it seemed to be quieter than I thought it would be, based on the number of people at the beach a couple of days before. As for our group, 3 got sick out of 9, and for them it was just a 24 hour thing, could have been caused by dehydration, or a stomach or flu bug. Who knows? It is not like I've never had these things at home. I don't think it was food related, as they got sick about a day to 2 days apart. (even though we all pretty much did all eat together mostly, and hung out doing the same things together during the day). 

Like at home, wash your hands often, stay hydrated, and try to enjoy your holiday. Most of our group had no issues, and we were there 2 weeks, and spent a ton of time surfing, at the beach, eating local foods, etc. At home in Canada, many of my coworkers were home sick with the flu... strangely none of us thought to post about it on a Calgary forum asking for an explanation of why people were home sick. To paraphrase Freud, "sometimes a flu is just a flu" 

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It seems the water issue (good or bad) has yet to be solved on this or other forums. However there are some similarities regarding the posts. Many that have been coming to Sayulita for years, and many of them are posting that they are getting sick. Many of those that have gotten sick have one thing in common, they swam in the ocean. I have also noticed that those that dispute the sickness could be caused by the water, have either not been in the ocean like Always David or do not give any credence to the possibility that the water may have caused it, like Sayulita J, when he says the sickness in his party and others could have been "greasier foods, dehydration, or a stomach or flu bug" not even mentioning that it could have been the water. I do not mean to be throwing shade at those two, as on the Tripadvisor forum, many respond in the same manner.One thing is for sure the ocean at Sayulita beach has a river that runs into the ocean (and the area near the ocean) and there is a water treatment plant that dumps nasty water into that river. I think that dismissing the opinions of  seasoned travelers to Mexico as a "different diet or some bug" is condescending.  I think we can all agree that the water treatment plant does not work as well as it should and that the water quality in Sayulita could be improved if it did. Just Sayin

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This water debate has been going on for a decade and I'm pretty sure it will go on forever. Water test results have been posted (and disputed). So apparently, no, we cannot agree, lol.

So, I HAVE been sick a lot in the past few months and I RARELY swim in the ocean. So if getting sick is ocean specific how would one account for that? I recently had a group of 7 friends visit here...only one of them got sick and they were all in the ocean daily. She's pretty sure it was from ceviche. 

This is still small town Mexico and people who visit mexico have suffered from "turista" forever. 

tu·ris·ta
to͝oˈristə/
noun
USinformal
 
  1. diarrhea as suffered by travelers when visiting certain foreign countries.

Not saying Sayulita is the poster child of hygiene, but tourists would be better off putting their focus on watching the foods they eat. Food handling here isn't great, so whenever I eat something raw, even salsa, I feel like I'm playing Russian Roulette. Eat cooked food my friends or cook at home or you will at some point get sick. 

There's a lot of traffic and dust and dog poop floating around too. So much dust from too many cars driving in circles around your dinner table. I'd like to start a dusty dog poop campaign, can we talk about that for a while because I feel like the water issue has been exhausted. And for god's sake wear shoes when you are walking around town. Dogs, lots of dogs pooping, lol. 

I'm just saying there are plenty of ways to get sick other than the water plant dumping toxic water into the ocean. Sure, lets lobby for the best water possible, hopefully Pueblo Magico committee will address it and put us all at ease. but we might also want to lobby for health inspectors at restaurants and less traffic in the plaza, and street cleaning, etc. It's a tiny town with more people than the infrastructure can handle. 

As I said I have basically dipped my feet in the ocean one or two times in the past few months, and I was not spared getting sick. Just my 2 cents for what it's worth.  

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I just got back and stayed at the Junto al Rio. My husband and I both have been sick now for five days. First day I vomited for about 15 straight hours. Couldn't hold down even water. Now it's persistent diarrhea. The whole town smells of poop and that river that flows in the ocean is full of that smell. My husband said he felt like there was a film in the water that covered him. The shower water at the hotel smelled like feces. People may want to protect their profit but what about people. I myself will never go back unless they do something about their sewer. If you love your city so much invest in it. I have never been so sick in my life and have been to many parts of Mexico.

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I've lived in Sayulita for 2 years and I've found myself getting a "flu-like" bug during the winter months, just as I occasionally would when I lived in California. Flu season is flu season, and when hundreds of tourists over populate a town and are in total "vacation-mode", people tend to forget to constantly wash their hands, be cautious of food preparations, take vitamins, hydrate, and probiotics (instead of drinking tons of beer and tequila). All this lowers ones immune system. When our immune system is lowered, natural bacterias that are airborne that our systems aren't used to can give us a nasty attack. I never swim in the Sayulita ocean and I still found myself sick at some point during this past winter. However I found myself sick for maybe 24 hours, drank a lot of tea, natural broth, and coconut water and I was better. 

For those who would like to inform themselves on the "water issue" - here is a recent article stating a 5 phase plan for a solution of cleaning the water, and working on a pipe/drainage system that can withhold the capacity of the amount of tourists Sayulita receives every year. 

https://www.sayulitalife.com/news/detail/612

Everyone has valid points in this forum, however unless you find yourself getting sick and decide not to go to a doctor or specialist and get lab tests taken and contact your local health department, everything will be just assumptions of what the cause of the illness was and how "contagious" it is, and what necessary precautions must be done to help fix this issue. 

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Just left hospital and after throwing up and diarrhea from being in Sayulita. I know people want to protect the tourism because it equals money. What about protecting tourists? I barely drank tequila there because after going in the water and showering I was puking my guts out. They are running tests on my stool so I will reply when I get the results in 3 to 4 days but doctor says looks like standard ecoli symptoms not a quick flu bug. I have been sick since Thursday and still can't keep anything in. 2 iv drops later I'm home. 

 

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The shower water probably did not smell like sewage- that smell was coming from the drain in the shower. Many bathrooms here smell like that here because they are not properly plumbed- no trap in the shower drain, and/or plumbing the shower drain directly into the toilet outlet pipe.

I think if people could see how dishes are washed in many restaurants here, they would not eat there. A little tub of tepid soapy water with bits of food floating around in it, in which all of the dishes are washed, a little swish under the running tap. No commercial dishwashers, no boiling hot water, no bleach dip. So of course infections get passed around.

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I do swim in the ocean & the only time Ive been sick anywhere en Mexico was either from black mold or  sitting next to a person on a plane who didnt have the common decency to cover her mouth & nose or stay home, instead of spreading her germs. Now if i know I have to get on a flight & during tourist season, I double up on my vitamins. Yes there is a sewage problem. Try not to step in it, & thank you, for the link on the plans. I hate to hear anyone getting sick. Keep in mind, its just like when, I go north, I get sick. There are different bacterias. When you are educated about a problem, you can prepare yourself..preventative medicine is always the best route. 

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I've been coming to Sayulita for a while now and have only been sick once. And I attribute that to the FLU that I might have picked up stateside before I flew down. However, we did bring down a group of 8 friends for New Years 2016 and just about all of them spent the better part of their vacation in the house sick. I think that its probably a combination of everything that everyone here has been talking about:

- The "polluted" river flowing into the ocean that everyone is surfing in

- Overpopulation in a very small place

- Poor food preparation and disposal

- Animals defecating in the streets

- People's immune systems failing due to excess booze, lack of hydration, sleep, etc. 

So all that being said, its nice to see that the town locals are working on resolving the water treatment issues and have already tackled the river crossing concern. But in the end, this is a small village in Mexico and will never be a suburban town in Orange County where everything is sterile and clean. That would take away from the place itself. 

Like SayuSoul said, if you want to stay healthy when down here, take care of yourself and don't do anything stupid. The longer you stay, the better you will be because your body will acclimate to the bacteria, etc. And like I always tell my daughter: hydration and sleep are your friends. The more you get, the healthier you will be.

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