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Facility Renovation and Operational Enhancement of Puerto Rico's Largest Wastewater Treatment Plant - A Jewel in the Making

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The Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) has undertaken an ambitious capital improvement program across the island, investing $2.4 billion in water and wastewater infrastructure funded through revenue from rates and bonding. In late 2005 the Metro Region (San Juan metropolitan area) of PRASA recognized the need to invest in both new infrastructure and a new management culture at its largest wastewater treatment facility. The Puerto Nuevo Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (PNRWWTP) is a 72 million gallons/day (mgd) primary treatment facility. The plant was seen by PRASA management to be a 'problem facility' and a location of last choice for the utility's staff. The vision established by PRASA was to convert the PNRWWTP to a "jewel in the crown of PRASA".

More aggressive performance expectations were established:

• Meet the terms of a Consent Decree.

• Invest in the PNRWWTP to achieve the PRASA vision.

• Aesthetically improve the PNRWWTP to make it a good neighbor to a proposed municipal golf course on adjacent land.

• Consistently meet the established effluent quality requirements stated in the NPDES Permit.

• Change the management and staff culture to become a model for PRASA to follow in becoming a modern and efficient utility that uses best business practices.

• Reduce operations and maintenance costs.
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Keywords: EPA CONSENT DECREE; O AND M COST SAVINGS; PUERTO NUEVO WWTP; PUERTO RICO; REHABILITATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-10-01

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