Wastewater partnership recognized for biosolids program, operational improvements

Jan. 24, 2011
CHICAGO, IL, Jan. 24, 2011 -- The City of Schenectady, New York, and Veolia Water North America received the 2011 Excellence in Public/Private Partnerships Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors...

• U.S. Conference of Mayors selects Schenectady Partnership to receive the 2011 Excellence in Public/Private Partnerships Award

CHICAGO, IL, Jan. 24, 2011 -- The City of Schenectady, New York, and Veolia Water North America (Veolia Water) received the 2011 Excellence in Public/Private Partnerships Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCOM), the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. USCOM awarded Schenectady and Veolia Water this honor in recognition of the partnership's successful biosolids program and significant operational improvements at the City's wastewater treatment plant.

Operating under a long-term partnership contract with the City of Schenectady, Veolia Water has management and operational responsibility for the City's 15 dry-tons-per-day in-vessel compost facilities and product marketing, as well as its 18.5-MGD (million gallons per day) rotating biological contactor wastewater treatment plant, eight pump stations, and septage receiving and industrial pretreatment program.

"Since entering into our partnership with Veolia Water North America in 1991, the relationship has been nothing but positive," said Mayor Brian Stratton, City of Schenectady. "Veolia's global expertise helps identify capital needs within the City's system and helps us address the things that are most vital to the operation and safety of the facilities."

Working together, Veolia Water and the City of Schenectady have achieved notable successes, including reductions in odor complaints about the city's wastewater plant. Further, as the City squares off against harsh budgetary realities, its pre-existing partnership with Veolia Water has given it financial flexibility that other cities lack, rooted in the benefits the company provides. As a result, the City is able to meet its environmental standards while not only staying within its budget -- the partnership actually saves money.

As the City continues to expand, Veolia Water North America is working on additional projects, such as the implementation of an Underground Asset Management (UGAM) program to reduce the City's costs by extending the life of its assets. In addition, they are working on additional items like a co-generation program and drying system which leverages the company's Capital Program Management (CPM) and Technical Groups. The co-generation project is expected to reduce the plant's electrical consumption and the drying system will reduce the composting facility's carbon footprint, both beneficial environmental upgrades.

Outside the scope of the wastewater contract, the partnership has helped extend community involvement beyond the plant. Working together, Veolia Water and Schenectady have helped to beautify the city by cleaning up parks, landscaping various neighborhoods and preserving a nationally recognized historic pump station.

"This is a great example of how a partnership between the public and private sectors can work together to improve a community's quality of life," said Laurent Auguste, president and CEO of Veolia Water Americas. "We are very honored to be a partner to Schenectady and receive this recognition."

USCOM's Public-Private Partnership awards were established to encourage businesses and cities to work together to improve local communities. An independent panel of judges reviews the submissions and the criteria upon which its selections are made, including improved delivery of services; replicability; sustainability; cost savings; creativity of approach; benefits to both public and private partners; economic and business benefits and measurable results.

Based in Chicago, Veolia Water North America is the leading provider of comprehensive water and wastewater partnership services to municipal and industrial customers, providing services to more than 14 million people in approximately 650 North American communities. The company is part of the Veolia Environnement companies in North America, with 30,000 North American employees providing sustainable environmental solutions in water management, waste services, energy management, and passenger transportation.

Veolia Water, the water division of Veolia Environnement, is the world leader in water and wastewater services and technological solutions. Its parent company, Veolia Environnement (NYSE: VE and Paris Euronext: VIE), is the worldwide reference in environmental services. With more than 312,000 employees, Veolia Environnement recorded annual revenues of $50 billion in 2009. Visit the company's Web sites at www.veolianorthamerica.com and www.veoliawaterna.com .