Mexico City Aims to Restore a Polluted LagoonBy Fernando Mares | Wed, 04/20/2022 - 11:03
Mexico City's water system manager SACMEX launched a tender to restore the Cuautepec lagoon in the Gustavo A. Madero municipality. The tender would further develop structures to prevent harmful floods and improve the quality of the water that flows to the lagoon.
According to SACMEX, the project will also include a wetland and artificial island including public access, part of the city government’s goal to recover a space considered to be fraught with crime.
SACMEX emphasized the need for new infrastructure to treat the water of Cuautepec lagoon, which comes from the Maximacalco river, where a hydraulic system was built to prevent overflowing in 2017.
The government office furthermore said that the project will also have a section with a hydro-botanic water treatment system, which uses aquatic plants to purify the water. This water will then be transported to the wetland. A similar system has already been implemented in Iztapalapa’s Cuitlahuac park.
"We propose a water treatment system that incorporates natural processes, in order to demonstrate the importance of the Valley of Mexico's ecosystem, which consists of wetlands. This system is based on floating and submerged plants and their features, which absorb nutrients and other polluting elements while coexisting with other microorganisms that are beneficial to the soil," reads the tender.
The total area of the project is 88km², of which around 74km² will become part of the canals and wetland. The project is expected to start construction on May 9 and is to be completed within 180 days. Its tender proposals must include an analysis toward integrating the project into the master plan to recover the Rio de los Remedios as well. The authorities specified that the company in charge of the project is not allowed to cut down, trim or relocate the area's plants without the explicit approval of the Ministry of Environment.
According to SACMEX, the Cuautepec lagoon lies adjacent to the the Arbolillo I, II, III, Zona Escolar, Castillo Grande, Jorge Negrete and Benito Juarez communities. The lagoon already received maintenance in 2019 to recover its capacity to mitigate flooding. The lagoon has a capacity of over 175km² and helps regulate the flow of water.