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Water: Nonpoint Source Success Stories

Guam: Guam Environmental Protection Agency Shifts Course - Nonpoint Source Management Reduces discharges to Tumon Bay

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Guam Environmental Protection Agency Shifts Course -
Nonpoint Source Management Reduces discharges to Tumon Bay

Presently in Guam, great strides are being made to implement the nonpoint source management program through the Guam Environmental Protection Agency permitting program. A capacity for on-site handling of stormwater runoff on commercial properties is now being implemented, especially on properties near the shorelines. An erosion control plan is likewise required before any properties can be cleared and graded. Guam is fortunate because it does not have to control many point sources found in other areas; mining activities, street salting, and combined sewer overflows are all essentially absent. The nonpoint sources considered to have the greatest impact on Guam are

  • construction,
  • agriculture,
  • urban runoff,
  • solid waste disposal, and
  • sewage disposal.

Discharges to Tumon Bay, which fronts major hotels and other tourist facilities and attractions, have been eliminated, primarily by removing all existing storm drains along Tumon Bay. Overflowing sewage from residential and other on-site disposal systems has also yielded to control, following a house-to-house survey of these systems and a requirement that homeowners connect their houses into the nearest available public sewer system.

These measures are impressive if only because Guam has been so focused on preventing point sources of water pollution that little specific data are available from Guam at this time concerning the effects of nonpoint sources of pollution. Control of nonpoint sources is more difficult than point sources because of the difficulty in identifying and characterizing these diffuse sources. The importance of nonpoint sources is now recognized, however, and their impact becomes relatively greater as point sources are brought under control.

CONTACT: Narsiso Custodia
Guam Environmental Protection Agency
(671) 646-8863

 


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