Guam EPA adds Toguan River to weekly beach advisory due to use of sewage bypass

27 January 2014

The Guam Environmental Protection Agency (Guam EPA) today added the Toguan River in Umatac to the weekly list of beaches under advisory. Toguan Bay was already on the list of advisories.

According to reports from the Guam Waterworks Authority (GWA), the sewage lagoon at the Umatac/Merizo Wastewater Treatment Plant began to overflow and the facility began using the bypass into the Toguan River on Tuesday, January 28. The report noted the bypass was being used due to the large amount of stormwater created by the current weather conditions.

Guam EPA has added the Toguan River to the weekly beach advisory list. The complete listing of beaches under advisory can be found at epa.guam.gov.

“We thank GWA for letting us know what was happening at the Umatac treatment plant,” said Eric M. Palacios, administrator of Guam EPA. “ We are adding the river and bay to our weekly advisory to ensure the public is aware of the potential risk. Our Monitoring Program will take samples in the area on Thursday and the information will be contained in the regular, weekly beach report issued Friday. We will continue to work with GWA to monitor the situation and will post any additional updates on our Facebook account and Twitter feed.”

Swimming, fishing or playing in unsafe waters may result in minor illnesses such as sore throats or diarrhea. It might also result in more serious illnesses such as meningitis, encephalitis, or severe gastroenteritis. Children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems have a greater chance of getting sick when they come in contact with contaminated water.

For more information about the advisory or to arrange an interview contact Guam EPA’s Public Information Officer Tammy Jo Anderson Taft at 300-4761, 988-7582 or email at TammyJoAnderson.Taft@epa.guam.gov.