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EPA fines Guam Waterworks Authority $19,000 for failing to complete water tank assessment

Release Date: 08/17/2009
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

Assessment part of federal court order to improve its drinking water system

(08/17/09) HONOLULU -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today fined the Guam Waterworks Authority $19,000 for failing to fully comply with a 2003 court order to make improvements to its drinking water system.

GWA was penalized for failing to meet a December 2008 deadline for completing a condition assessment to determine the structural stability and soundness of the highest priority steel tank water reservoirs.

“Water storage tanks are a critical component of the GWA water system, as they help ensure water pressure and adequate flow throughout the system. Many of the over 30 tanks located around the island are in poor condition which underscores the need to complete the assessments and address the deficiencies as required by the court order,” said Alexis Strauss, Water Division director for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “The fines are a consequence of GWA’s failure to meet the court order requirements and complete the necessary improvements to provide reliable drinking water service to residents.”

The condition assessment of GWA water reservoirs was to be performed in two phases. The highest priority tanks were to be assessed by December 2008, and all other tanks by December 2009. Although GWA did an initial, visual inspection of all tanks in 2008, it has not completed the required, full structural assessments of any tanks to date.

The order provides for penalties if established deadlines are missed, and for additional penalties until the work is complete.

Guam’s water system is being upgraded and improved to ensure the proper management, treatment and delivery of safe drinking water.

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