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PRASA To Spend Over $200,000 To Improve Sanitary Sewer Systems; Pay $65,000 Penalty

Release Date: 08/31/1998
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(#98116) San Juan, Puerto Rico -- The Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) will spend over $200,000 to make improvements to its sanitary sewer systems and will pay a $65,000 penalty for violations of the Clean Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today. According to a settlement with the EPA, PRASA will spend $150,000 to replace the Vista Mar Marina Ejector Station, which directs wastewater to the Carolina Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant, with a new submersible pump station that will contain telemetry to give PRASA operators continuous information about the pump station's operations. PRASA has also agreed to spend $35,000 and $25,000 respectively to install telemetry at its Cabo Rojo and Concordia pump stations, which direct wastewater to the Mayaguez Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant. The installation of telemetry systems at these stations will reduce the potential for raw sewage discharges into nearby waters. In addition, PRASA will pay a $65,000 penalty for violations of the pretreatment requirements of the Clean Water Act. PRASA failed to set technically-based local limits for discharges to twelve treatment plants in the time frame set forth in a 1994 agreement with EPA.

Pretreatment limits help ensure that sewage treatment plants work properly, and that the waters that they discharge into are protected," said Jeanne M. Fox, EPA Region 2 Administrator. "EPA is working closely with PRASA to get these limits set for all of its plants, and we are making good progress toward this goal."

Under the Clean Water Act pretreatment program, PRASA is required to establish limits on toxic pollutants discharged by industries to its various sewage treatment plants across the Island. The limits must be set for industrial and commercial businesses that discharge wastewater to sewage treatment plants. Because industrial wastewater discharges contain toxic chemicals, each discharge must be regulated to ensure that the discharges, when added to other industries' discharges, do not cause the receiving sewage treatment plant to operate improperly. Today's agreement settles seven separate complaints issued to PRASA for pretreatment violations at its Carolina, Aguadilla, Arecibo, Ponce, Humacao, Aibonito and Cayey wastewater treatment plants.

For more information contact:
Mary Mears, Press Office
EPA Region 2
290 Broadway
NY, NY 10007-1866
Voice: 212-637-3669 FAX: 212-637-5046 E-Mail: