The Guam Waterworks Authority has awarded Black Construction a $122 million contract for major upgrades to the Northern Wastewater Treatment Plant.
GWA General Manager Miguel Bordallo announced the award on Tuesday saying the work will begin in early 2020 and take approximately 2-1/2 years to complete.
“This upgrade ... is the largest project to date under GWA’s system improvement plans,” Bordallo stated in a release.
He said it will provide "secondary treatment" that will meet the permit requirements set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency "and increase hydraulic capacity throughout the facility to accommodate future flows."
This is a Mamizu-funded project. Mamizu is a Japanese word which has come to refer to Japanese government funding for the Guam military buildup. Roughly translated it means “gift funds.”
Consolidated Commission on Utilities commissioner Simon Sanchez told The Guam Daily Post the money is part of $170 million in Mamizu funds included in the Defense Department budget.
The funds have been earmarked for the Guam Waterworks Authority to be used for system upgrades ahead of the relocation of up to 5,000 Marines and their families from Okinawa to Guam.
Sanchez said the bid award is the culmination of work that began more than three years ago.
“We agreed that GWA would do the bid, DOD would provide the funding and (the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) would help with the design and oversight,” he said.
“It’s a significant upgrade and expansion of capacity,” Sanchez said.
Currently, the Northern Wastewater Treatment Plant processes 6 million to 8 million gallons of raw sewage every day. The upgrade will double that capacity, more than enough to handle the Marine base and the projected population growth in northern Guam.
Sanchez said officials had expected bids as high as $140 million. The additional $30 million was then going to be used for sewer and wastewater line repair.
“So the good news,” he said, is that “the bid came in at $18 million less.” That means there are now additional funds available for repair work.
“There is a lot of work that needs to be done to upgrade the sewer lines from Andersen Air Force Base in Yigo all the way down to the treatment plant in Dededo,” Sanchez said.