Chuuk State officials recently inaugurated a newly-refurbished waste water treatment plant to include a conventional sewerage system and reliable pumping and treatment system to service the main island of Weno. The Chuuk Public Utilities Corporation managed and administered the project using Compact Infrastructure Sector grants totaling $3,845,000.
“This project is important for a clean and healthy environment for the people of Weno,” said Assistant Secretary Esther Kia’aina. “I am pleased that U.S. Compact funds have been used to fix this long-standing need.”
The previous plant, built in 1974, during the era of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, had been defunct since 1998. Originally intending to build a new facility, project engineers found the existing plant to be structurally sound. Thus to reduce costs and shorten the project completion timeframe, the original project was modified and refurbished. The new system serves about 500 houses on the island of Weno and is currently running at 50 percent capacity, treating 750,000 gallons of wastewater per day.
Project funds were also used to build a new office and garage, procure spare parts, tools, an emergency generator, mini-excavator, boom and vacuum trucks, and other heavy-duty equipment to support the wastewater treatment facility. The plant includes an on-site laboratory where basic testing for ammonia, salinity, and settlement, among other measures, can be conducted. The staff has been trained to operate the new system and will receive further training for the facility.
Design and construction was provided by CCB Envico, an Australian building contractor that designs, constructs and commissions facilities for government and private industry in Australia and the Asia Pacific region.
The Secretary of the Interior is responsible for coordinating federal policy with respect to the territories of the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and administering and overseeing U.S. federal assistance provided to the freely associated states of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau under the Compacts of Free Association. On behalf of the Secretary, the Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas executes these responsibilities through the Office of Insular Affairs whose mission is to foster economic opportunities, promote government efficiency, and improve the quality of life for the people of the insular areas.