GWA breaks ground on $60m wastewater treatment plant in Guam


Guam Waterworks Authority (GWA) has commenced work on the new $60m Agat-Santa Rita wastewater treatment plant in its southern region.

The new plant is expected to address the long-standing issues related to overflowing wastewater that pollute the rivers and streams of the US island territory in Micronesia.

The plant, which would cover ten acres of land, will be able to process wastewater received from Agat, Santa Rita collection basin sewer connections, Baza Gardens and the Cross Island Road.

GWA was ordered by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through the country's court system, to construct the new Southern wastewater treatment plant.

In December 2015, GWA received approval from Consolidated Commission on Utilities (CCU) to construct the new facility, reported The Guam Daily Post.

CCU Chairman Joey Duenas was quoted by Pacific News Center as saying: "There is an old wastewater treatment plant in Agat that is failing. It's not doing its job properly so that will correct that situation.

"It will also allow us to take the Baza gardens wastewater treatment plant and convert that to a pump station; we will be pumping all the sewage over to the new Agat/Santa Rita wastewater plant. And that means we will no longer be putting effluent into the Togcha River."

The existing Agat plant, which can handle 700,000 gallons of sewage every day, receives nearly a million gallons each day, thereby handling 40% over its capacity.

The new Agat-Santa Rita plant has the minimum capacity to handle 1.6 million gallons, with a maximum capacity of 9 million gallons each day.

GWA general manager Miguel Bordallo was quoted by Pacific News Center as saying: "This will provide an enhanced level of treatment and allow the decommissioning of two older treatment plants and it will also provide service expansion along those areas, in the future the plant can be expanded to accommodate up to 13 millions of gallons a day if there is a need to take flows from our navy counterparts."

The current project includes 10% of GWA's $600m plan to improve Guam's poor water infrastructure.

Image: The new plant has the minimum capacity to handle 1.6 million gallons each day. Photo: courtesy of Toa55/Freedigitalphotos.