Sewer Line Repair May Cause Another Spill & Interrupt Water Service to Northern Guam


Guam – The Guam Waterworks Authority is advising that next Monday, November 15th, the Southern Link Lift Station in Dos Amantes Dededo will be shut down to make  repairs to the 36” force main that broke in September and the replacement project may cause an interruption in water service to much of northern Guam.

A new replacement “elbow-pipe” had to be special ordered from off island and has just arrived. GWA has held a number of meetings to plan how to replace the broke portion of the line.

GWA says that in order to get the new “elbow-pipe” installed they will have to divert waste water flows away from the Southern Link Lift Station by sending it towards the Hagatna Waste Water Treatment Plant and holding wastewater in the feeder lift station wet wells as much as possible.

[Containmnet pond holds sewage from broken 36″ force main sewer line in Dos Amantes Dededo. U.S. EPA required GWA to maintain this pond treat the sewage it has been accumulating until the force main is fixed.]

In a release, GWA’s Assistant General Manager for Compliance and Safety Paul Kemp is quoted as saying that: “because EPA is adamant that no waste water be spilled during this repair process, it may even become necessary to shut off the water supply to Yigo, Dededo and Harmon in order to halt the flow of waste water toward the Southern Link site.”

However, GWA Spokeswoman Heidi Ballendorf told PNC News today [Monday] that in all likelihood there will be a sewage overflow as a result of the repair work, despite U.S. EPA’s insistence that that be avoided.

Ballendorf adds that the repair work may be delayed if the weather is bad or if DPW Operations Department rejects the proposed repair plan.

Ballendorf is asking all customers in Yigo, Dededo, and the Harmon villages to use water for only the MOST essential functions beginning from 10 pm on Monday November 15th until 10 am on Tuesday, November 16th.

The sewer line broke September 21st. The break occurred in a jungle area, away from commercial and residential areas, across the road from the Southern Link Sewage Lift Station in Dededo, not far from the Northern Wastewater Treatment plant and about a quarter mile north of the Ukudu Workforce Village.

A force main is a pressurized pipe  which carries sewage from residences, as well as commercial and industrial sources, to a wastewater treatment plant.  Because force mains operate under pressure, even a small break can result in a large spill and a lengthy repair job.