By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Guam Waterworks Authority announced the completion of its $122 million Northern District Wastewater Treatment Plant Secondary Treatment upgrades.
“The Consolidated Commission on Utilities, U.S. EPA and the Department of Defense have been working together on these upgrades since the initial planning in 2015," said Miguel C. Bordallo, GWA general manager.
GWA will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Aug. 2 to mark the project's completion.
"The completion of the upgrades is a significant accomplishment for GWA and underscores the confidence our leadership and our federal partners had in GWA’s ability to plan and execute this capital improvement project," Bordallo said.
"I am pleased that we have honored our commitment to have this plant ready ahead of the Camp Blaz construction completion, in spite of Covid-19 impacts,” he added.
The project was funded through a portion of $173 million in federal grants from the Department of Defense, Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation.
GWA said the upgrades allow Guam’s largest wastewater treatment plant to be in compliance with EPA regulations without burdening ratepayers.
Designed by Duenas Camacho & Associates, Gresham Smith Partners, and Jacobs, the plant was built by Black Construction Corp. with Brown &Caldwell and GHD serving as program/construction managers.
“We are sincerely grateful to our engineering, construction, design and program management teams for their dedication to the project for the benefit of the people of Guam,” Bordallo said.
While originally constructed in 1979, the plant’s upgrades ensure the plant is fully compliant with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit requirements by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and expands capacity for the Northern District service basin, including Tumon and the new Marine Corps Base.
The upgrade project, which started in early 2020, marks the largest capital improvement project in GWA history.
The UV treatment technology and the installation of a new outfall diffuser will also improve the quality of the treated effluent to the Philippine Sea, reducing the impacts to coral reefs and protecting natural resources vital to Guam’s economy.
“This wastewater treatment plant belongs to the people of Guam, and the completion of these upgrades is just one of the many investments GWA is making to ensure Guam residents will have quality wastewater services both now and in the future,” said CCU Chairman Joey Dueñas.
GWA said during normal operation, the plant treats approximately 4 million gallons a day, but has the capacity to treat average daily flows of up to 9 MGD and up to 30 MGD of peak hourly flow during wet weather conditions.
GWA said additional improvements include improved septage receiving from private haulers, improved and more efficient solids processing capabilities for reduced sludge disposal, and improved on-site administrative and laboratory facilities for GWA operators.