Thursday, 1st October 2020

Effective management of uncontrolled discharges in Atoyac River (Mexico)

Secretaría de Desarrollo Rural, Sustentabilidad y Ordenamiento Territorial (Gobierno de Puebla)

Areas of Activity: Environmental Quality

Sectors of Operation: Freshwaters, Drainage Networks, WWTP



“The automatic water quality monitoring stations in Atoyac River represent a unique and ground-breaking project in LATIN AMERICA."
Rafael Moreno Valle Rosas. Governor of Puebla State. Mexico

Currently, Atoyac River suffers from an excess of pollutant discharges which surpass its natural self-purification capacity. Moreover, it is impossible to identify separate episodes of contamination due to uncontrolled industrial and urban waste spills, so there is no knowledge of the overall evolution of water quality in the river basin.

Traditional networks do not detect or act on clandestine episodes of contamination, as these take place during non-working times, when manual monitoring campaigns are not operational. Therefore, there is a clear need for a real time monitoring system which can effectively record uncontrolled discharges and generate history logs, as this will enable adequate discharge management and mitigation planning and actions.

“The implementation and operation of the automatic network has allowed us to gather information on discharges just as they take place and respond in real time. This unique tool will enable us to design a public policy for the sanitation of the high Atoyac river basin.”
Rodrigo Riestra Piña. Secretary for Rural Development, Sustainability and Land Management, Puebla State. Mexico


· Detect episodes of anomalous discharges in real time, reporting their exact start time, intensity and profile, locating their source, its nature and, consequently, providing alerts.
· Guarantee a rapid response to possible episodes of pollution, generating a deterrent effect against intentional spills.


· Protect the ecosystem, reducing the environmental impact and ensuring health conditions for the local population, flora and fauna.
· Guarantee public health through a comprehensive control of the scope of contamination in freshwater and groundwater, for subsequent use in crop irrigation and human consumption.
· Ensure quality of life for residents, mitigating bad smells and possible sources of disease derived from contact with the medium.

Download Full Case Study here