Why the reason for GWA's constant delays? - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Why the reason for GWA's constant delays?

by Michele Catahay

Guam - Just when they thought relief was in sight, instead it looks like residents from Chalan Pago all the way down south will have to deal with low-to-no water pressure a little while longer.  The Guam Waterworks Authority was hoping for water to be fully restored to affected areas by Tuesday.

But according to GWA spokesperson Heidi Ballendorf, more work needs to be done. Residents living along Route 4, near the Chalan Kakka area, the upper elevated areas of Chalan Pago, Yona, Pago Bay and Talofofo will not have full services until the end of the month. Ballendorf says the problem in these areas doesn't have anything to do with tank levels at the Ugum Water Treatment Plant.

Rather, it has everything to do with valves, as Ballendorf said, "Now we've got this - Engineering, Operations and we brought in DPW because of course we have to cut into the road and I know that nobody wants to do that. But we'll be doing a tie-in to an eight-inch line, which will allow us to feed water into these two inch lines."

Ballendorf says GWA is unable to service homes in those areas with two-inch lines. As for those living down south, she says the agency is in the final stages of the completion of the Ugum Water Treatment Plant restoration project. She says because the island isn't getting enough rainfall, they're not able to produce enough water to go around.

"It currently is supposed to produce 2.1 million gallons of water," said Ballendorf, "and right now it's producing less than a million. This weekend it went down again, which means we lost all water production. Why did we lose it? Mainly because of a lot of water usage in the villages and the tank levels still aren't high enough to meet the demand."

Areas affected include villages from Talofofo to Umatac, Route 17 and the higher elevated areas of Santa Rita. Ballendorf is asking the community to conserve water until they're able to produce enough water, adding, "I expect full restoration by Saturday and we're going to try to meet the weekend demands for Memorial Day.  Everyone wants to hang out and barbecue. I know there are graduation parties, so hopefully we can try not to do car washes in the south especially. No car washes until June."

Water tankers have been situated across from the St. Joseph Church in Inarajan, the Umatac Subdivision, the Merizo Mayor's Office, the upper Santa Ana area and also at Chalan Kakka. Ballendorf is urging residents to also report water leaks around the village, and if you have any questions or concerns, you can contact the 24-hour GWA Dispatch Center at 646-4211.

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