In March of 2021, the Rincon Chapter was alerted by a member of the public that the septic system at the municipally-owned Rincón Lighthouse complex (‘El Faro’, a historical landmark and passive park) had overloaded and was overflowing onto the public beach. The chapter collected water samples from the affected area, documented the problem, and shared their results, while the municipality paid to have the broken and leaking tank pumped as an emergency short term solution. Learn more about the initial pollution incident and response here.
The goal of this campaign is to stop a leaking septic tank from polluting the parking lot and public access to Domes Beach, and to convince the municipality to design and install a properly located and upgraded system that can handle the increasing volume of wastewater that is generated at the popular Rincón Lighthouse Complex.
The Chapter appealed to the municipality to develop a long-term solution and to replace this old and crumbling septic tank - that is located way too close to the beach and subject to hurricane storm surges and rising sea level effects - with an upgraded system that is situated further away from the beach and can handle the flow of wastewater generated at the popular Rincón Lighthouse, which contains the only public bathrooms at Domes Beach and a leased cooking facility with a small commercial kitchen. The Complex is also the site of highly attended public events like concerts, festivals and surf contests which create additional short-term but high volumes of wastewater.
Unfortunately, the municipality has thus far been unresponsive and the tank continues to occasionally overflow, creating a stream of septic effluent flowing down to the beach. The Chapter is working to build awareness of this problem and pull together community groups to help appeal to the municipality to permanently resolve this septic problem and in the meantime to prevent any additional large events from occurring on-site without providing adequate temporary replacement bathroom facilities to relieve the additional stresses on this failing infrastructure.