Home Sustainability Is It Safe to Drink the Water in Huatulco? Zoom on Huatulco’s World-Class Water Treatment Systems

Is It Safe to Drink the Water in Huatulco? Zoom on Huatulco’s World-Class Water Treatment Systems

by Brent May



“Is the water safe to drink?” 

This is one of the first questions we are asked by visitors.  

We are happy to say, “Yes, you can drink the water!


How Do the Huatulco Water Treatment Systems Work?

In 1984 Mexico’s government began to develop 52,000 acres of land along the Pacific coastline of Oaxaca. The land, ocean and all wildlife – including fish, coral, birds, animals, and plants – are a singularly precious part of this culture. They are carefully protected by an award-winning, ecologically centered infrastructure. 

Huatulco International Airport brings in more visitors each year. And to protect air quality, Huatulco’s communities encourage walking and bicycling. Most visitors rely on taxicabs and buses instead of adding more cars. 



Our water and sewerage systems are no exception to our environmentally conscious community.  These systems are serviced by highly modern treatment plants.  No waste goes into the bays.  They remain clear, clean and pristine to protect the environment and Huatulco’s health.

Our water is safe to drink and to use for cooking and personal hygiene from the faucet.  We are in an area that can get occasional large storm activity that might require a system shut down for safety reasons as with any comparable modern infrastructure in other countries. It is therefore common to keep five gallon “garrafones” of local purified processed water on hand in case of emergency. These bottles are are delivered to your house or available in the stores and recycled. The cost is usually $20 pesos each or $1 USD (with a returnable deposit required for each bottle). 



Water Treatment Systems

There are different types of water to be treated in a populated area: potable water or drinking water and wastewater (gray or black). Improperly treated or untreated water causes water pollution and damages the fragile environment. 


Potable Water Treatment

Potable water has been scientifically treated and purified. It is safe to drink and use for personal use. 

The drinking water treatment system in Huatulco includes extraction, conduction, storage and distribution. The costs for this system are passed on to the consumers in regular billings. 

Extraction includes deep wells located on the banks of the Copalita River. Rains from high in the Sierra Madre mountains feed this river. There are support structures (ademe) and they are connected to polyethylene pipes (Extrupak) that carry the water to a pumping station. 

Extrupak is a brand of pipe that meets American Standards and is flexible, impact resistant, durable, lightweight and resistant to weather. Since we are prone to occasional heavy tropical rains and small earthquakes, these qualities are important. 

Conduction takes place at the pumping station where the water is treated in a large oscillation tank and sent on its way in a system of pipes using gravity.  

Storage – tanks are located in the different sectors and are interconnected (see map). There are three pumping stations with 15 storage and distribution tanks in operation. The capacities vary according to the area’s needs. 

Distribution – From the storage tanks, clean water arrives at the hotels and residences. 


Sewage Water Treatment

Sewage is defined as domestic or municipal wastewater, it is a result of community living. 

The Sewage treatment system includes collection, treatment and safe reuse or disposal. 

Wastewater is of two basic types: 

  • Grey water– comes from sinks, bathtubs, showers, dishwashers, and clothes washers.  
  • Black water– is the water from toilets that contains human waste material, toilet paper and water that has soaps and detergents in it. 
  • Storm water– is also treated in this category. 

Sewage water is conveyed to the treatment centers and after treatment it is conveyed to its end source to be reused, reclaimed or released into the water system. 

In order to treat sewage so it is safe for the environment, the organic matter is separated out. This is accomplished according to Official Standards and removes as much polluting waste as possible. It can then be used for irrigation of plants in the green areas and private residential yards. That reduces the quantity of clean drinking water used for the same purpose. 

Before it is released into other water bodies it is absolutely clean and of no danger to wildlife. 

This is a map of the plants, tanks and pipe systems in Huatulco: 

* Caramos means a gully, ditch or hole. 

* Tanque means tank. 

There are 13 Wastewater Treatment Plants in six locations, located in five Federal Entities. As you can see, Huatulco has 5 to take good care of all our water needs. 

Integrally Planned Center  Residual water treatment plant 
Cancun  Pok Ta Pok 
El Rey 
Huatulco  Chahué 
La Entrega 
Ixtapa  Campo de Golf 
Punta Ixtapa 
Loreto  El Zacatal Loreto 
Los Cabos  San Jose 
Litibu  Litibu 


The water treatment systems, like the rest of our world-class Huatulco infrastructure is new and modern. It is safe for all the life we support. We are proud of our strong support systems! Enjoy your water and ice cubes! 

If you’re interested in information about the individual Huatulco Treatment Plants, you’ll find specific information below.



Name: PTAR Chahue 

Location in sector “k” lot 1 mza. two.  

Treatment based on activated sludge. 

Installation capacity: 170 lps. 

Average annual production: 1,384,582.84 m³ 

Name: PTAR Tangolunda.  

Location: blvd. Tangolunda golf course in front of the entrance to the golf course clubhouse in Tangolunda bay.  

Treatment based on activated sludge. 

Installation capacity: 60 lps. 

Annual production average: 620,630.23 m³. 

Name: PTAR Conejos. 

Location: blvd. Benito Juarez s / n in front of Punta Arena beach in Bahía Conejos. 

Treatment based on activated sludge. 

Installation capacity: 20 lps. 

Average annual production: 96,299.42 m³. 

Name: PTAR Copalita. 

Location: calle alcatraz block 9, lot 2, town of Copalita in Bahías de Huatulco. 

Treatment based on activated sludge. 

Installation capacity: 3 lps. 

Average annual production: 34,263.52 m³. 

Name: PTAR La Entrega. 

Location: lot s / n block 4 beach delivery behind the restaurant modules sector “B” 

Treatment based on activated sludge. 

Installation capacity: 7 lps. 

Average annual production: 22,551.23 m³. 








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