SAN JUAN – The dredging of the Carraízo reservoir, the improvements to the Enrique Ortega Filtration Plant of the La Plata reservoir and the Central Laboratory of the Aqueducts and Sewers Authority (AAA) were the first three projects for which the public agency requested federal assistance in the 2021, said its executive president of the AAA, engineer Doriel Pagán Crespo, on Monday.
The funds — which cover each estimate of the total investment costs and include both construction and all the services necessary to carry out the work — were requested from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“The projects that we have requested from FEMA are of great relevance to optimize the AAA’s infrastructure. We thank both FEMA and the Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience (COR3) for their support in the process of applying for these federal grants, as well as for remaining at the disposal of the agency and, therefore, of our clients ”, said the executive president.
Also, Pagán explained that “it is time to execute and the maximization of these funds is certainly our priority. The AAA has the need to invest in its infrastructure and that moment has arrived ”. For these purposes, the executive president also reported that she holds weekly meetings with FEMA and COR3 personnel to streamline processes and begin the work that the Puerto Rican people so badly need.
Two of the three projects were applied for through the Federal Expedited Grant Strategy (FAAST) of Section 428 of the federal Robert T. Stafford Act.
Meanwhile, the improvements to the Enrique Ortega Filtration Plant of the La Plata Reservoir will cost approximately 51.3 million dollars. The Authority is in the process of contracting a design proposal through the Capital Improvements Management Program.
Finally, the AAA Central Laboratory in Caguas — which was completely destroyed after Hurricane Maria — will cost approximately $ 34 million.
The design and construction work of the 42 thousand square feet of its facilities began in September 2020. It is estimated that the restoration will take until December of this year.
The Central Laboratory takes, receives and analyzes 200 thousand samples from all over the Island annually to guarantee the water quality of the 192 systems operated by AAA.