Safe Drinking Water


About the Program

Responsibilities established by law

Federal law The United States Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act in 1974 to protect public health in regards to the drinking water supply. The law was updated in 1986 and then again in 1996. This Act authorizes multiple types of regulation to protect rivers, lakes, reservoirs, springs, and ground water wells as they are the source of drinking water.
Local mandates Guam EPA was given the authority by Guam law to enforce the local Safe Drinking Water Act and supporting regulations. Out of this mandate, the Safe Drinking Water Program was born. The program’s main goals are to undertake planning activities, develop, implement and enforce Guam’s Primary and Secondary Safe Drinking Water Regulations. This program is the primary enforcement for these regulations.

In the field

The Safe Drinking Water Program works closely with various public and private organizations to enusure all drinking water is safe for consumer use. This includes making sure water is treated properly, facilities that treat water are maintained properly and wastewater is handled within the guildelines of the law. As an example, engineers in this program work closely with Guam Waterworks Authority to ensure drinking water meets federally-set safety requirements.


Elements of the Program

Water Operator’s Certification Examination

Any indvidual who works in a water treatment or production for potable systems must take, and pass the Water Operator’s Exam. This test is coordainted through the Safe Drinking Water Program. This test is required to make sure those working on public, and privately-owned water systems have the minimum qualifications necessary to operate a clean water system free of disease and chemical pollution.

Wastewater Operator’s Certification Examination

Any person that works in a wastewater treatement facility must pass the Wastewater Operators Esam. This exam ensures employees at public and private sewage treatment plants know how to proerly operate plan equiopment. One of the main focus points of this exam is to ensure employees can identify problems and fix them quickly. This helps reduce the amount of pollution that may affect the environment when systems break. This certification is critical to ensuring discharges from wastewater treatment plants meet federal and local permit requirements.

Lead

The Guam Lead Ban Act is implemented and enforced to minimize the public’s exposure to lead contamination attributed to plumbing materials, fittings and fixtures. This Act prohibits the use of lead in plumbing fixtures and is enforced by the Safe Drinking Water Program.

Public Water Supply Systems

Public Water Supply Systems (PWSS) on Guam are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Program through an Operating Permit. These permits are issued by the Program. There are currently eleven (11) permited Public Water Supply Systems on Guam. Three of these systems are operated by the Guam Waterworks Authority, two by the Department of Defense (Air Force and Navy systems), two by Ultimate Beach, Inc., and one each by Foremost Foods, Cocos Island Resort, and Earth Tech, Inc. For more information about these Water Supply Systems contact Angel Marquez.


Program Staff and Contact Information

Angel B. Marquez Program Manager 671.300.4796 Angel.Marquez@epa.guam.gov
Jerry Aquino Engineer II 671.300.4783 Jerry.Aquino@epa.guam.gov
Carmencita Cortez Engineer II 671.300.4776 Carmencita.Cortez@epa.guam.gov
Julie Mendoza Special Projects Coordinator 671.300.4782 Julie.Mendoza@epa.guam.gov
Abdur Rahim Special Projects Coordinator 671.300.4775 Abdur.Rahim@epa.guam.gov
Edgardo Ibay Engineer I 671.300.4774 Edgardo.Ibay@epa.guam.gov
Helen Gumataotao Special Projects Coordinator 671.300.4787 Helen.Gumataotao@epa.guam.gov

External Links about Safe Drinking Water