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FEMA allocates $8.2M to rebuild sanitary pipelines between Carolina and Loíza

The sanitary 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 about $8.2 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

This system, essential for transporting wastewater, will be rebuilt with a system that will provide a useful life of at least 50 years to the pipes that carry wastewater to the treatment plants, the agency stated.

“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,” said Gov. Pedro Pierluisi.

“This is one of the most comprehensive projects that the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (Prasa); the Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency (COR3); and FEMA have jointly, which optimizes our sanitary sewer system while helping protect our natural resources and mitigating future damage,” he said.

The work will benefit an estimated 12,000 Prasa customers who will have a renovated system that will be able to withstand future weather events. The restoration will be done with a noninvasive method that will avoid excavations in the adjacent communities, the federal agency explained.

The Critical Infrastructure Protection Plan, which is being applied to the project, is one of the reconstruction practices already approved for these structures under FEMA’s Accelerated Award Strategy (FAASt). To date, the agency has obligated close to $1.2 billion for 44 aqueduct and sewer subprojects thanks to this 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 Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator José G. Baquero.

“The residents of the area will benefit from a robust system, even in the face of future events such as Hurricane María,” he said.

Meanwhile, Prasa Executive Director Doriel Pagán Crespo said the project is 20% complete and that work is expected to be finished by the third quarter of this year.

There are about 4 kilometers of pipeline that will be built according to the new construction codes and with future emergencies in mind, she said.

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

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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