Manuel Antonio Park has opened up a wastewater treatment plant to put an end to the bathroom problems. The new system measures the amount of water entering and exiting the bathrooms and issues alerts when nearing capacity.
The system cost $40,000 and was donated by the Costa Rica Forever Association, a non-governmental organization for the conservation of marine and terrestrial ecosystems. The donation includes maintenance of the plant for five years.
It replaces the old septic tank on beach 3, which was dysfunctional and led to sanitary orders in previous years. In August of last year, the park had to limit the entry of visitors to 1,300 per day because of oversaturating the septic tank. This March and April, the restriction was 1,700 per day.
The Costa Rican Tourism Institute is providing resources to rent additional bathrooms and improve current ones and buy new ones by 2020. The goal is to become a first-world national park with socioeconomic development that doesn’t jeopardize its ecological value.