Printable Version

USTDA Supports Launch of New Wastewater Treatment System for Cartagena

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

(USTDA)  CARTAGENA DE INDIAS, COLOMBIA – Today, USTDA awarded a grant to the Cartagena Water and Sewerage Company (known as ACUACAR) for technical assistance on the start-up of the new, comprehensive wastewater treatment system for the city of Cartagena. The grant was signed on behalf of USTDA by Senior Commercial Officer Cameron Werker, and on behalf of ACUACAR by General Manager Francisco Pérez Tena.

USTDA Director Leocadia I. Zak stated, "USTDA is proud to partner with ACUACAR on this project, which will leverage U.S. expertise to have a tangible impact on public health and the environment in this key tourism destination and port city."

ACUACAR is a public-private enterprise, which provides potable water and sewerage services in Cartagena. The $513,000 grant will support the integration of existing wastewater subsystems; the startup of a new wastewater system; the creation of an environmental water quality baseline assessment; and the design of an ongoing water quality monitoring program, including recommendations for environmental remediation in an adjacent sea inlet. Additionally, it will also assist with designs for the expansion of the water and wastewater treatment system in the city, especially as it relates to automation and control, monitoring and equipment necessary for operations.

ACUACAR plans to contract for the design and subsequently the construction of a new potable water plant immediately south of Cartagena, which would have a capacity of 160,000 cubic meters per day, thus increasing the system's capacity by more than a third.

This technical assistance activity will provide significant opportunities for the involvement of U.S. firms in the expansion of the water and wastewater treatment system in the city of Cartagena. The selected contractor will organize a workshop in Cartagena to disseminate best practices in water and wastewater treatment in Colombia, with an emphasis on modern treatment technologies, automation, control, monitoring, and engineering and environmental services. Further information about submitting a bid for the opportunity to conduct this technical assistance will be posted on USTDA's website ( and on the Federal Business Opportunities website (