Beware the waters in Toguan Bay - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Beware the waters in Toguan Bay

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by Heather Hauswirth

Guam - The Guam Waterworks Authority is warning southern residents to beware of the waters in Toguan Bay, as repairs are being made to the nearby Umatac-Merizo Waste Water Treatment Plant.  GWA Spokesperson Heidi Ballendorf says the utility agency is trying to cleanup its act in Toguan Bay and spending $535,000 to do it at the plant.

Upgrades are designed to improve the reliability of the pumping station and reduce power consumption, and Ballendorf said, "We have to bypass our normal treatment. It's standard operating procedure rather and we will be discharging rather than through the outfalls, which pushes it further out to sea, we are discharging it a little closer to home."

But that's too close for comfort for some - GWA warns residents in the Umatac-Merizo area not to swim or fish in the area until June 30.  

Meanwhile, the Guam Environmental Protection Agency will be keeping a close eye on the situation. Spokesperson Gerry Cruz says his agency is monitoring GWA's maintenance activities and keeping an eye on the level of contaminants to ensure harmful bacteria in the water does not lead to infections like sore throats or diarrhea.  "If levels keep rising," ha warned, "it'll be a concern for beaches so we might have to step in and possibly close the beach if those levels go up now we are working hand in hand in communication GWA."

If you plan to visit the Toguan Bay area before the end of June, contact GWA or the Guam EPA for up-to-date information on water quality.

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