The Water and sewage Authority (AAA) began its plan for the removal and composting of aquatic vegetation in the Carraízo reservoir, in Trujillo Alto, as part of the projects to improve the use and rendering of water for the 140,000 clients that use the dam.
The executive president of the AAA, Doriel Pagán, reported that Caribbean Composting, located in Arecibo, was selected through the auction process. This company competed with four other companies, he said. The contract, awarded in May 2020, runs through 2024, at a cost of $ 800,000, according to the contract registry of the Office of the Comptroller of Puerto Rico.
The weed and aquatic plants harvesting and cutting machine, imported from the Aquarius Systems factory in Wisconsin, is removing weekly about 4,000 cubic yards of this material, which is sent to compost at the Caribbean Composting facilities, in Arecibo, and Vivo. Recycling in Caguas. Compost is a sustainable alternative to avoid the accumulation of vegetative material in landfills, whose capacity is already compromised. “All the material that is handled in the basin is between 48 to 52 hours maximum, and then we put them in the composting facilities”, explained the executive advisor to the CEO, Damaris Santini.
Pagán reported that this cleaning of the vegetation “does not add capacity (in the reservoir) in the sense of (greater) depth; what does improve is the quality of the water. In a drought event like the one we are experiencing, it would give the operational area greater availability to be able to manage the waters much more effectively without having to use so much treatment ”.
This project is one of several that the AAA will be implementing to increase the capacity of the reservoirs and the public corporation’s response to drought events, which are expected to become more frequent. The public corporation, Pagán explained, is in the process of hiring a firm to carry out a technical study on the “most effective” mechanisms to remove sedimentation in the lake.
“This technical analysis is going to take us a few months. Instead of waiting for the (FEMA approval) process to finally wrap up in December. These are months of work that we are carrying out, which we hope will finally conclude with the approval (of the dredging), ”Pagán said to questions from the press.
The president of the executive corporation estimated that by the end of the year an agreement could be reached with the Federal Agency for Emergency Management (FEMA) for the execution of permanent works of the infrastructure destroyed and affected by the Hurricane Maria, including the reservoirs whose sedimentation increased after the atmospheric event.
The request to FEMA amounts to $ 300 million, according to previous statements by Pagán. “The reality is that the Authority does not have the funds for dredging and that is why we have to wait for the funds from FEMA, but we understand that it is important to add capacity to this reservoir that is so critical for the metropolitan area,” he said. to questions from El Nuevo Día.