From Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas Public Affairs Office
TUMON, Guam (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas utility professionals shared ideas and learned best practices during the American Water Works Association Hawaii Section 5th Annual Water and Wastewater Conference, April 25-26.
“The theme this year was resiliency,” said NAVFAC Marianas One-Guam Water Coordinator Maria Lewis. “We learned not just from our colleagues here in Guam, but also those from the other islands that came in.”
About 120 professionals from Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Pohnpei, Palau and Hawaii took part in the conference. Participants included 17 NAVFAC Marianas employees and nine employees of contractor DZSP 21.
“They have different perspectives, but they have the same struggles we have with typhoons and earthquakes. Sometimes they have come up with different solutions that we can now put into our packet of ideas,” Lewis added.
NAVFAC Marianas Water and Wastewater Supervisor Dan Dungca gave a presentation entitled “DOD Water Utilities Resilience”. He outlined the redundancy and backup features of the Navy’s water transmission and treatment systems. He also described the procedures the Navy has in place to mitigate the effects of drought or typhoons. “We wanted to show our efforts at being able to sustain the utility through an event and/or to pick it up after an event and get it back on line,” Lewis said.
The conference included a tour of the Navy Fena Water Treatment Plant in Santa Rita. The plant processes water from the Fena Reservoir and distributes it to Navy customers.
Lewis led the tour. “We were hoping this would help show that the military in Guam has the same concerns that the civilian population has,” she said. “And that we’re working to ensure that we can provide the necessary water, in this case, not just to DoD but also to the civilian community when needed, where needed.”
The Navy participation in the annual conference is in keeping with the DoD commitment to the “One Guam” pillar to improve the quality of life for the people of Guam by upgrading the island’s infrastructure as it prepares for the relocation of 5,000 U.S. Marines to the island.
The conference is also an opportunity for the Navy to demonstrate its desire to be a good neighbor with the civilian community.
“When we share ideas, everybody understands the other party’s perspective,” Lewis said. “We understand a little better why they do the things they do and they understand why we do what we do. It gives everybody a better perspective on the systems as a whole and how we can all work together.”