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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Construction underway on sewer line between Carolina and Loíza

By The Star Staff

The sewer trunk main that serves the communities of Vistamar, Los Angeles and Loíza Pueblo, in Carolina and Loíza, respectively, is already in the construction stages following an allocation of some $8.2 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the agency reported Wednesday.

The trunk line, essential for transporting wastewater, will be rebuilt with an innovative system that will provide a useful life of at least 50 years to the pipes that carry wastewater to the treatment plants.

“The reconstruction of this sanitary system will have a positive impact on the quality of life of the thousands of residents and business owners in the area, who will be able to count on the potable water they need and deserve,” Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia. “This is one of the most comprehensive projects that PRASA [Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority], COR3 [Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency] and FEMA have together, which optimizes our sanitary sewer system while helping protect our natural resources and mitigating future damage.”

The work will benefit an estimated 12,000 PRASA customers, who will have a renovated system capable of withstanding future storm events. The restoration will be done with a non-invasive method that will avoid excavations in the adjacent communities. Cured-in-place pipe, or CIPP, is one of the reconstruction practices already approved for such structures under FEMA’s Accelerated Award Strategy. To date, the agency has obligated close to $1.2 billion for 44 aqueduct and sewer subprojects thanks to the methodology.

“Within the framework of International Water Day, where the importance of this vital resource is recognized, we see how these works contribute to an adequate and efficient use of water, with optimal materials that guarantee long-lasting productivity,” said José G. Baquero, FEMA federal disaster recovery coordinator. “The residents of the area will benefit from a robust system, even in the face of future events such as Hurricane Maria.”

PRASA Executive President Doriel Pagán Crespo noted that the project is 20 percent complete and that work is expected to be finished by the third quarter of this year. About 2.49 miles (4 kilometers) of pipeline will be built according to the new construction codes and with future emergencies in mind, she said.

“There has been a synchronization, a teamwork, that at the end of the day helps to accelerate projects like these that are for the benefit of our infrastructure and all our customers,” Pagán Crespo said. “To the extent that we have a much more resilient sanitary infrastructure, we greatly reduce the possibility of sanitary overflows.”

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