Feb 03, 2010

Puerto Rico Communities Receive New Sewer Line

Project funded in part by Recovery Act money

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is dedicating more than $8 million of its American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to upgrade a sewer line that stretches from Loiza to Carolina. EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck and Puerto Rico Governor Luis G. Fortuno visited the Loiza portion of the project to check on its progress.

Using the Recovery Act money, the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) is replacing a badly-degraded, 3-mile-long sewer line that connects a pumping station in Torrecillas Alta Ward in Loiza with the Carolina Wastewater Treatment Plant. The Carolina plant serves the municipalities of Carolina, Canovanas, Loiza, Trujillo Alto and Rio Grande, and treats nearly 30 million gal of sewage every day. The new sewer line will eliminate potential sewage leaks from the sewer line into the Rio Grande de Loiza, which is used for fishing and recreational purposes.

“Upgrading of the sewer lines at the Carolina wastewater treatment facility is a great example of how we can combine job creation with environmental preservation and human health protection,” Enck said. “Ensuring the proper and efficient treatment of wastewater in Puerto Rico is vital to the health of the Commonwealth’s nearly 4 million residents and invaluable aquatic ecosystems.”

The project will cost $14.9 million, with $8.5 million coming from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds awarded to Puerto Rico last year. The project is creating more than 90 new jobs in Puerto Rico and is expected to be completed by June. The Carolina Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant started operations in 1985, and is owned and operated by PRASA.