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GWA releases annual report

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The Guam Waterworks Authority has released its Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2014 highlighting major improvements to the island's water system.

It was a year of progress for the utility agency, as their annual report reveals improvements. Spokesperson Heidi Ballendorf said, "I think the big highlights for us in 2014 is we are going to begin a major improvement to the southern waste water system so Agat and Santa Rita and Baza Gardens will get a $60 million state-of-the-art wastewater system."

In 2014 GWA began preparing for over $50 million in improvements to replace badly leaking lines, upgrading pump stations, retiring old wells and building new wells. Ballendorf said, "We are continuing line replacement which is more in 2015, but we are laying the ground work for that in 2014. I think some of the big highlights of course we consolidates activities at our new building so that really allows for more shared resources between the two utilities. We are continuing our meter project we have replaced all of our census meters which are the old flip meters that everyone has a personal relationship with on Guam now we have a new badger meter its copper colored its locked up."

All of which was done to bring about greater efficiency and improved system monitoring to allow GWA to respond faster to problems. And according to Ballendorf, their customer service department was inundated with calls, saying, "Last year we answered 31,000 telephone calls so that is quite significant so anything that you can do online to reduce the calls I know we do get issues and complaints and concerns and rightly so when people call but when you have 31,000 people calling that is pretty significant."

She says that about 500 of the customer service inquires within the past month have been regarding bill requests. Ballendorf adds there is a new feature on the GWA website which allows customers to enter their ten-digit account number to receive a copy of the billing statement. In regards to financials the report not only shows that GWA spent less money to operate but also that their cash, trade and receivables increased by about $5.5 million she attributes this to GWA's commitment to collecting outstanding bills and the economic growth in the business community.

According to Ballendorf the future looks bright for the utility agency as a recent bond rating determined that GWA is investment grade.

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