Santo Domingo Sanitary Sewer Master Plan

Location: Santo Domingo, República Dominicana

The Santo Domingo Water and Sewer Authority, with funding from the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB), has selected Hazen and Sawyer to prepare The City of Santo Domingo’s Sanitary Sewer Master Plan. The project’s primary objective is to restore the intrinsic value of Santo Domingo’s coastline and rivers, and their potential for future tourism and fishing projects.

Project Outcomes and Benefits

  • Preparation of a wastewater management roadmap to address existing, medium, and long-term planning requirements (30 years).
  • Planning includes basic studies, field investigations, oceanographic studies, formulation of alternatives, master plan recommendation, and feasibility design of the first stage works.
  • Identification of wastewater collection, treatment, and disposal solutions compatible with sustainable urban growth, environmental, technical, and financial objectives.

Raw wastewater is discharged to the Santo Domingo coastline via channels. Through the proposed alternatives developed under the master plan, this wastewater will be treated prior to disposal.

The current condition of Santo Domingo's waterways illustrated the need for comprehensive wastewater infrastructure planning.

Hazen and Sawyer conducted a series of oceanographic field studies to assess the feasibility of ocean outfalls as a disposal method for the wastewater generated in Santo Domingo. The field studies will be followed by modeling, statistical analysis, and preliminary design.

The sanitary sewer master plan will address environmental issues and restore the intrinsic value of Santo Domingo's coastline and rivers.

The construction of the new collection, transmission, and treatment systems that have been proposed within the master plan will eliminate the improper discharge of wastewater and safeguard the nation's natural resources.

Historically, the City of Santo Domingo and its vicinity have discharged their municipal and industrial wastewater, as well as stormwater, into surrounding water bodies. The area’s natural north-south sloping topography, and the desire to avoid pumping-related costs, have promoted gravity wastewater disposal into the Haina, Isabela, and Ozama rivers, and to the Caribbean Sea.

The utilization of Santo Domingo’s Caribbean coast as a final receiving water body has also defrayed costs related to wastewater treatment and disposal. Garbage disposal has also largely taken place near these river banks and the neighboring coastline. The combined effect of these activities has resulted in the contamination of the local rivers and Santo Domingo’s Caribbean coast.

To address environmental concerns and restore the intrinsic value of Santo Domingo’s coastline and rivers, as well as their potential for future touristic and fishing projects, the government of the Dominican Republic, through the Santo Domingo Water and Sewer Authority (CAASD) and other government entities, is promoting the decontamination of the Haina, Isabela, and Ozama rivers and the Santo Domingo Coastline. CAASD, with funding from the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB), has selected Hazen and Sawyer to prepare The City of Santo Domingo’s Sanitary Sewer Master Plan. The project study area includes the following municipalities: Distrito Nacional, Santo Domingo Oeste, Santo Domingo Norte, Santo Domingo Este, and Boca Chica, with a total population of 3 million inhabitants.

The general objective of the Sanitary Sewer Master Plan is to prepare a wastewater management roadmap to address existing, medium and long term requirements (30 years), as well as propose wastewater collection, treatment, and disposal solutions which are compatible with sustainable urban growth, environmental, technical, and financial objectives. The study will not only update all previous studies, but it will also take into account the new socio-economic characteristics of the City of Santo Domingo. The study will place emphasis on the recovery and rehabilitation of the Haina, Isabela, and Ozama rivers as well as Santo Domingo’s coast.

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