Guam – A chlorine leak at the Northern Wastewater Treatment Plant prompted the evacuation of that plant Monday, as well as the Two Lovers Point area, the Ukudu Village and the Tanguiessen Beach area.
A statement from Guam Homeland Security states that the quantity of the leakage is “minimal.” The statement says the leakage is high enough to cause discomfort, but not a serious health threat.
However, GWA’s Safety Manager Paul Kemp issued a statement saying “we are not taking any chances of exposing anyone.”
The area around Two Lovers Point will remain for 24 to 26 hour.
The leak was first reported around 10 am Monday. Guam Fire and Police Departments responded to the scene and evacuated the area. Police set up road blocks along all the roads leading into the area and they have been turning away all vehicles that approach.
However, a bus was let through the road block to take away all remaining employees and tourists from the point.
Chlorine is a deadly gas that is sightless and odorless.
At the scene Monday, GFD Fire Capt. Andy Arceo said the leak was detected by instruments at the sewer plant.
A team of off-island specialists hired by GWA’s contractor Violia Water, has been working to drain 11 old chlorine tanks discovered by Violia behind the Treatment Plant.
There are no residential homes in the immediate area.
It is believed that the old tanks had been sitting behind the wastewater plant for about 10 years.
GWA Spokesperson Heidi Ballendrof told PNC News last week that they were not sure if there was any chlorine in any of the old tanks. Apparently there was.
The work, to secure and dispose of the tanks, she said, was being done at night, by workers in haz-mat suits. It’s not yet clear why the leak was only just reported in the morning, nor is it clear yet when the all clear will be given to open the area up again.