• The San Juan Daily Star

DNER: Pumping stations ready for this week’s rains

Natural and Environmental Resources Secretary Rafael Machargo Maldonado

By John McPhaul

Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) Secretary Rafael Machargo Maldonado said Monday that the pumping stations managed by the environmental agency around the island are operating normally and are prepared for the rain events forecast for this week by the National Weather Service.

“The water pumping system that controls flooding from Playita, Shanghai, Machuchal, to Ocean Park, across to the Luis Lloréns Torres residence, has been the object of my attention since my arrival at the DNER,” Machargo Maldonado said in a written statement. “This pump house now has the capacity to dispose of 776,000 gallons per minute, exceeding the original capacity by 152,000 gallons. Residents of these communities can rest assured that they will not suffer the mishaps of the past. Even if the electricity goes out, we have enough support from electricity generators.”

The pump house on Avenida Baldorioty de Castro, which for a number of reasons had been the one that faced the greatest problems until now, already has sufficient and excess capacity to dispose of the water, the official said.

Meanwhile, Machargo Maldonado urged citizens not to throw garbage or debris into the streets that could clog up the sewer drains. That garbage, he added, does not allow the water to go down the pipes and be finally pumped out. The excess water accumulated in the streets can cause flooding.

“As usual, our social platforms will continue to offer information,” he said.

The DNER operates 14 flood control facilities that serve more than 650,000 residents of low-lying and flood-prone areas on the island. They are located in the municipalities of Arecibo (1), Cataño (3), Guaynabo (2), Juana Díaz (1), Salinas (4) and San Juan (3).

The systems were built for flood control, so they are located in or near highly saturated or flood-prone areas. They have a pumping system that discharges runoff water into the lagoons or directly into the sea through channels or pipes. In addition, the pumping system prevents or controls the entry of seawater into pipes, which is vital to avoid flooding. In this way, the lives and property of the citizens of the sector they serve are protected.

Meanwhile, the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) reported through social media that electricity at its pumping station in St. Just was out, leaving customers in Montecarlos, Berwind Estates and neighboring areas without water service.

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