I just got a whiff of sewer gas, it came in the windows. Normally I don’t smell sewer from my home. But for some reason a few minutes ago I smelled sewer. Thankfully that’s over now. I hope it doesn’t come back. But the stink inspired me to finally write a post I’ve been thinking about for a long time.
Mexico often smells like shit. In Cancun I sometimes smell shit when I’m in the hotel zone, near the posh houses and big hotels. And sometimes you smell it when you are in the nice parts of downtown. And it goes without saying that you smell it when you go to the poorest neighborhoods.
It makes sense that in a 3rd world country there will be problems with the public sewer system. They don’t have the money here to keep the roads properly repaired and they don’t have the money to pick up the garbage that’s strewn around the city, so why should the sewer system work perfectly? It shouldn’t. But actually that’s not why I’m writing this post.
I’m writing because in Mexico it’s common for the inside of people’s houses to smell like shit. This is because it’s very common here for drains to be put in without water traps. A water trap is a device that works by keeping an amount of water between the room and the sewer, so the sewer gas can’t escape. A water trap for a floor drain or a sink costs less than $50 MXP (under $5 USD). There is no reason on earth not to put one in every drain in the house.
And yet I have wealthy friends in Cancun whose answer to having a stinky sewer gas filled bathroom is to keep the door shut. Instead of solving the shit smell problem with a $5 USD part they opt to keep the door shut? Does this make sense? Not to me it doesn’t. I don’t know how people can justify not fixing this, unless they secretly LIKE the smell. Ick!