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Abstract

Ninety-five percent of all toilets in Rapa Nui are pit latrines. That is to say, raw untreated sewerage is released straight into the ground without any form of treatment. Only a few hotels have septic tanks. Tourism grew by 900% over the past eleven years and it is projected to reach 100,000 shortly after 20IO. In addition, the current resident population of 3,765 is growing by 3.5% a year. This represents an ecological time-bomb. Chilean authorities have expressed great concern over the impeding contamination of Rapa Nui's drinking water supply as a result; the fresh water aquifer at the National Park of 'Anakena Beach has already been closed to human consumption for this reason.

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