Gresham Smith Celebrates Completion of Wastewater Treatment Plant in Guam

Firm Provided Process Design Engineering for Guam Waterworks Authority’s Northern District Plant

Gresham Smith celebrates the completion of an expansion to Guam Waterworks Authority’s (GWA) Northern District Wastewater Treatment Plant located on the northwestern coast of Guam, the United States territory located in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. Working as the project design manager and liquid process design engineer, as a prime sub-consultant to local engineering firm Dueñas, Camacho and Associates (DCA), the firm designed upgrades that increase the plant’s capacity to 12 MGD and provide secondary biological treatment to reduce pollutants in the wastewater before it’s discharged into the Philippine Sea.

Funded by federal grants from the U.S. Department of Defense, the $122 million project provides improved wastewater infrastructure to protect marine and groundwater resources, as well as accommodates the relocation of 5,000 U.S. Marines and their families from Okinawa, Japan to Camp Blaz, a new base being constructed on Guam. With a current population of approximately 165,000, the island is home to Andersen Air Force base and U.S. Navy Guam, making Guam a strategic military asset for the United States and its allies.

The plant improvements also elevate treated water quality to comply with more stringent effluent standards mandated by Region 9 of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Prior to beginning design, Gresham Smith conducted a wastewater characterization study and developed a dynamic process model to evaluate alternatives and determine the most effective design solution. In addition to process design, the firm also provided process start up and optimization, including operator training.

“GWA Management is very pleased with Gresham Smith’s performance on the design and construction of this historic and important project. It is GWA’s largest capital project to date, bringing important benefits to both the civilian and military communities on Guam,” said Miguel C. Bordallo, P.E., General Manager at Guam Waterworks Authority.

“We understand how important wastewater treatment and disposal is to keeping communities healthy and resilient, which is why we’re proud to continue serving the people of Guam, including our servicemen and women and their families, in partnership with Guam Waterworks Authority,” added Gresham Smith Project Manager Ken Stewart, P.E. “The upgraded treatment plant will be a more operationally efficient facility that improves the level of service while also safeguarding the marine environment.”

This project is a continuation of Gresham Smith’s work in Guam. Previous projects include the new Agat-Santa Rita Wastewater Treatment Plant, which replaced an older facility to provide more capacity and improved treated water quality, as well as the Route 3 interceptor sewer, which restored integrity and added capacity for the northern part of Guam.