Panama Bay Sanitation Project

Location: Panama City, Panama

To improve sanitation in the Panama City area, Hazen and Sawyer conducted wastewater flow monitoring and sampling, identified and analyzed potential sites for wastewater treatment plants, and identified sludge management alternatives - producing conceptual designs and implementation plans for new sanitation infrastructure.

Project Outcomes and Benefits

  • Confirmed wastewater flows and characteristics to inform the design of wastewater collection, pumping, and treatment facilities, and associated cost assessments.
  • Selected and confirmed potential sites for wastewater treatment plants through a complex and detailed process influenced by technical, regulatory, financial, and political factors.
  • Established potential sludge management alternatives in order to select a cost-effective sludge disposal plan that best suits the specific conditions in Panama City.
  • Developed conceptual design of the pump stations, force mains, and wastewater treatment plants.

Our work included a hydraulic model of the sanitation infrastructure.

The sanitation improvements will generate a wide variety of benefits to residents and visitors, including improved recreational water quality, improved bay ecology, and tourism and economic benefits.

The sanitation improvements will generate a wide variety of benefits to residents and visitors of the area and to the people of the Republic of Panama, including:

• Increased Recreation Opportunities
• Increased Tourism
• Reduced Incidence of Disease and Elimination of Foul Odor
• Increased Business Development
• Improved Bay Ecology
• Increased Profits to Commercial Fishing Businesses

An important section of the study dealt with the recommended phasing and implementation plan for the proposed projects. The recommended plan established investment schedules and the logical sequencing of activities which were all supported by economic models of net present values by sub-basins.

In the complementary studies completed by Hazen and Sawyer for USTDA, two different wastewater pumping solutions were considered: locate the WWTP high enough on the ground so the plant’s effluent could be discharged by gravity into the ocean, in which case only influent pumping would be necessary, or the provision of effluent pumping if locating the WWTP at a lower ground elevation would prove to be more cost effective.

For more information on this project, or to discuss a similar project in your area, contact

Fernando Chiriboga, Latin America Operations Manager at fchiriboga@hazenandsawyer.com