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CNA collects eggshell to clean the Lerma River

By 22.03.2024Featured

Beginnings of H2O Lerma con Encanto: A fight for the Lerma River

The Lerma River is the longest internal river in Mexico, flowing from Almoloya del Río in the State of Mexico to Lake Chapala between Jalisco and Michoacán. However, this iconic river has been a victim of industrial pollution, exceeding 150 pollution points according to the Mexican Institute of Water Technology.

The story of H2O Lerma con Encanto originates in the concern and determination of a woman: Elvia Arias, who, impacted by the pollution of the Lerma River, founded the organization in 2017 with a clear objective: to restore the health of the river. Elvia partnered with doctors Verónica Martínez and Ivonne Linares from the Inter-American Institute of Technology and Water Sciences to develop an innovative filtration project using eggshells.

Various studies by the Autonomous University of the State of Morelos (UAEM) and the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACyT) showed that the main cause of pollution in the river is due to the more than 500 multi-sector industries (chemical , metal-mechanical, tanning, textile, pharmaceutical, plastics, food and automotive) that are in the surrounding areas, in the Toluca-Lerma corridor, the second most important industrial zone in the country.

All of these industries produce wastewater that contains toxic heavy metals and chemicals harmful to health and the environment, such as mercury, lead, cadmium, toluene and benzene.

H2O Lerma con Encanto has made significant progress since its inception in 2017. Although it has not received government support, the organization has been supported by Mexicans, where hundreds of citizens around the country have come together to collect shells and contribute to the cause, demonstrating the power of collective work in preserving the environment.

How does the filter work?

The Lerma H2O filter uses a mixture of crushed egg shells, lime and magnesium oxide (generating biocalcium), which alkalizes water and soil, trapping heavy metals and other contaminants. This process is implemented through horizontal and vertical filter barriers around the river, guaranteeing the retention of contaminants.

  • Benefits of Eggshell: It is rich in minerals and has bacteria retention properties, it is essential in the filtration process, since due to its molecular composition it attracts and eliminates contaminants from the water, improving its quality. Additionally, it helps replenish minerals in the soil, strengthening its natural filtration capacity.
  • Impact on Public Health: H2O Lerma not only seeks to protect the environment, but also public health. The contamination of the Lerma River water has generated serious health problems in nearby communities; skin and eye discomfort, kidney diseases and even cancer. Improving the quality of the river’s water seeks to recover the well-being of the people who live near the river.
  • Project Feasibility: It is important to understand that H2O Lerma’s main objective is to clean wastewater through wells with eggshell filters, complementing the wastewater treatment that nearby industries are obliged to. While not a complete solution to river restoration, it represents an important step toward its recovery.

Collection Campaign in Controlar North America

Controlar North America collaborators decided to join this project, actively collecting the egg shell that each one generates with their family and depositing it in a designated container. Which, after almost two years, was completely filled, collecting almost 60 kilos of eggshell that will be used for this great cause; the cleaning of a resource as important as our beloved Lerma River.