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Anorak | At work with the sewer divers of Mexico City (photos)

At work with the sewer divers of Mexico City (photos)

by | 6th, September 2013

In this photo taken Tuesday, July 20, 2010, Mexican sewer diver Julio Camara goes down on a cage for a dive at the city's drainage system plant, on the outskirts of Mexico City. Camara, who makes less than US $ 500 a month diving in the city's sewage system clearing blockages and repairing infrastructure, says he is the only sewage diver in the Mexican capital, from where at least 1000 tons of rubbish are extracted per month, according to Alejandro Martinez, Mexico City's water system operator. (AP Photo/Carlos Jasso)

JULIO Cou Cámara (see above and below) is the Mexico City sewer swimmer. He is one of a handful of divers whose job it is to free the sewers of any blockages. They earn about $500 a month.

Edible Geography  reports:

“We work blindly in the black water. It contains animal poo, human poo, hospital waste… any kind of pollution you can think of…

“People often ask me what I see down there. Do I find money or jewellery?  No, you can’t really see any of those things. Montezuma’s treasure may be down there, but I will most likely never find it, because you can’t see anything—all you can do is feel blockages.

“In terms of things we come across: we find lots of cigarette butts. I’ve had blockages caused by pieces of carpets, pieces of cars, or even body parts. Removing these kinds of things from the sewage is part of our work. People who work nearby or are walking past think, ‘Look at that crazy guy, he’s getting into the sewage.’ But yeah, of course—that’s just what we do.

“A normal day for me… well, what can I tell you? I go into the office, and if there are no emergencies then we work on maintaining the equipment. This equipment has to be in one hundred percent perfect condition—it mustn’t fail. My other colleague and I have our gear ready at all times. We work during the night as well as during the day. It’s not as though day or night makes a difference for us, because we can’t see anything down there anyway….

 

In this photo taken Tuesday, July 20, 2010, Mexican sewer diver Julio Camara adjusts his diving suit before going for a dive at the drainage system plant on the outskirts of Mexico City. Camara, who makes less than US $ 500 a month diving in the city's sewage system clearing blockages and repairing infrastructure, says he is the only sewage diver in the Mexican capital, from where at least 1000 tons of rubbish are extracted per month, according to Alejandro Martinez, Mexico City's water system operator. (AP Photo/Carlos Jasso)

 

Cu has never suffered an accident, but he is haunted by the memory of a colleague who died after being swept

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Posted: 6th, September 2013 | In: Money, News Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink