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EPA assigns $22.7M for Bayamón wastewater treatment plant upgrades

The upgrades will reduce pollution, improve residents’ quality of life and create jobs.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with local authorities, has announced $22.7 million in funding to begin a “major upgrade” project at the Bayamón Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The upgrade, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will modernize the facility with advanced technology to ensure the effective treatment of wastewater for the communities served by the second-largest wastewater treatment plant in Puerto Rico, EPA officials stated during a news conference.

“The modernization of the Bayamón Wastewater Treatment Plant, made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is not just an upgrade of facilities; it’s an investment in the health and future of [more than] 260,000 residents,” said EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe.

McCabe, along with EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia, announced the funding at a ceremony with Doriel Pagán, president of the Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer Authority, and Anaís Rodríguez, secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources.

The officials gathered at the project site, which promises to significantly improve the plant’s operations.

“EPA’s commitment to safeguarding environmental health spans across the nation, including the vital ecosystems of Puerto Rico,” said Garcia. “The funding for these enhancements to the Bayamón plant is a testament to our dedication to partnering with local governments to provide communities with reliable and clean water services.”

The project will include the replacement of catwalks, gratings and six inflowing pumps, which provide access for maintenance and inspections. Additionally, the screening building, mechanical screens, belt conveyor system and other key parts of the facility will be upgraded. 

These improvements are expected to benefit approximately 260,000 residents in the Municipality of Bayamon.

The plant, which has been operational since 1983, is designed to treat an average of 40 million gallons per day (MGD), with a peak capacity of 68 MGD. It also serves Guaynabo, Cataño, Toa Baja and Toa Alta. 

The treated waste merges with outputs from other regional plants before being released into the Atlantic Ocean, underscoring “the importance of the plant and this upgrade project,” federal agency officials emphasized.

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