Veolia Awarded 18-year, $70 million Contract Amendment

To stabilize its costs and ensure environmental compliance, the City of Richmond, Calif., has voted to expand its wastewater services contract with ...

To stabilize its costs and ensure environmental compliance, the City of Richmond, Calif., has voted to expand its wastewater services contract with Veolia Water North America Operating Services, LLC (Veolia Water) to include collection system services.

The 18-year agreement, valued at approximately $70 million, calls for Veolia Water to manage the city-owned collection and stormwater systems, which includes approximately 285 miles of lines, 14 lift stations, 5,200 manholes and 3,300 catch basins. Additionally, the company will manage a $17 million city bond-funded capital improvements program. As part of its service, Veolia Water will inspect and clean main lines and manholes, repair and maintain lift stations, and provide customer service. Veolia Water will also tie the collection system into its automated controls at the wastewater plant.

The city's decision amends its two-year-old, 20-year wastewater treatment services partnership with Veolia Water for the operation of and critical upgrades to the city's wastewater treatment facility. In 2002, Veolia Water was charged with improving environmental compliance and odor control at the wastewater treatment facility - a task the company successfully completed ahead of schedule and on budget.

"When the city entered into a contract with Veolia Water to operate our wastewater treatment plant, many were skeptical that they would perform to the level they promised," said Richmond Mayor Irma Anderson. "I'm pleased to say that they have performed so well that the City Council had the confidence to award them a contract to operate the collection system. Under this contract, Veolia Water will work with Richmond to start us down the road toward an improved collection system, just like they did with the treatment plant."

Like the city's wastewater treatment facility in 2002, the collection system needs improved operations, maintenance and a significant capital investment to bring it to industry standards and into regulatory compliance. Currently, it suffers from significant inflow and infiltration problems that contribute to overloading of the wastewater plant, particularly during winter storms.

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