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AFI To Solve Condado’s Water Woes

Residents promised their wastewater and drinking water problems will be fixed; Government to iron out Condado Trio project’s most sensitive environmental issues


February 13, 2003
Copyright © 2003 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Ramon Amador, executive director of the Infrastructure Financing Authority (AFI by its Spanish acronym, guaranteed wastewater and potable water problems in Condado would be resolved with two new projects, one to be completed this year and the other in the next 18 months.

That means if all goes well, the government should soon resolve International Hospitality Enterprises’ (IHE) most sensitive environmental concerns regarding the refurbishment of the former Vanderbilt Condado Beach and La Concha hotels. The regional office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asked IHE to include in its environmental impact statement how the hotels’ reopening would affect the wastewater capabilities of the Solid Waste Management Authority (SWMA).

According to AFI, the wastewater problem will be fixed once a new $10.8 million pump replaces the one installed in 1954 at Colomer Street and Baldority de Castro Avenue. Construction of the new pump was originally scheduled to begin in January 2003 and to be completed by July 2004.

"The project went out to bid or will go out to bid in the next few days and should be completed within 18 months," Amador said. "Wastewater will be driven much more forcefully from the pump to the filtration plant."

The water and sewage lines through most of Santurce to Puerta de Tierra and Old San Juan were laid between 1977and 1980. The EPA has been monitoring SWMA’s wastewater treatment problems for several years and has convinced the agency to improve its pumping capacity.

Amador said the drinking water problem should be resolved in all of Condado, Santurce, and Old San Juan in October, when a $15 million, 10-million-gallon tank and pump are erected near the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s facilities on the eastern shore of Condado Lagoon.

"This project is under construction," Amador said. "It was halted and investigated by the Environmental Quality Board for four weeks because of a gas leak in one of the tanks."

Public hearings on IHE’s environmental impact statement are scheduled for Feb. 25, with another hearing on the project’s planning set for Feb. 27.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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