Veolia, Palm Springs win national mayors award for wastewater partnership

Partnership with Veolia Water N.A. for wastewater services that achieved 70% savings during energy crisis earns U.S. Conference of Mayors award for Palm Springs, Calif. In response to California's electric energy crisis and soaring power costs, Veolia Water acquired two microturbine generators for installation at Palm Springs' wastewater treatment plant...

HOUSTON, Jan. 31, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The city of Palm Springs, Calif., in partnership with Veolia Water North America Operating Services LLC (Veolia Water) has received the Outstanding Achievement Award in Public-Private Partnerships from the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM).

In response to California's electric energy crisis and soaring power costs, Veolia Water acquired two microturbine generators through a grant program from the Southern California Air Quality Management District (www.aqmd.gov) and funded their installation at Palm Springs' wastewater treatment plant, which Veolia Water has been operating for the city since 1999. The microturbines efficiently generate electricity on site from natural gas, reducing demand from the local power grid.

"Our public-private partnership with Veolia Water serves as a model for other communities," said Palm Springs Mayor Ron Oden. "Palm Springs' operating expenses at the plant have remained stable at a time when the price of electricity has risen over 70 percent. The microturbines reduce the plant's electric bill by nearly $80,000 per year. We look forward to implementing other cost saving ideas Veolia Water already has in the planning stages."

Veolia Water has plans to further reduce outside power demand at Palm Springs' wastewater treatment plant by converting the microturbines to be powered by methane gas -- an abundant and free source of fuel created by the natural biological processes used in treating wastewater.

The award was presented by Elizabeth G. Flores, mayor of Laredo, Texas, and chair of USCM's Mayors and the Business Community Task Force, at the Conference's 73rd Winter Meeting at the Capital Hilton Hotel. More than 250 of the nation's mayors were in attendance.

The Mayors Business Council established the awards 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 their 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.

Veolia Water and Palm Springs entered into a public-private partnership for the operation and management of wastewater services in 1999. Veolia Water manages the system that includes an 11 million gallon per day wastewater treatment plant, more than 225 miles of collection system lines and five lift stations. Additionally, the company oversees the distribution of Class A biosolids that are produced at the plant as well as the delivery of effluent that is reclaimed by another agency for irrigation.

About Veolia Water
Veolia Water North America (www.veoliawaterna.com) is the leading provider of comprehensive water and wastewater services to municipal and industrial customers, providing services to approximately 14 million people in more than 600 communities. The company is part of Veolia Water, the No. 1 water company in the world serving more than 110 million customers. Veolia Water is the Water Division of Veolia Environment, the largest environmental services company in the world with more than 310,000 employees in about 80 countries and annual revenues of more than $36 billion.

* Photos courtesy of Capstone MicroTurbine: www.microturbine.com. Beginning this year, the state-mandated 2005 Self-Generation Incentive Program now funds the entire cost of each renewable energy C30 microturbine power and heat system purchased and operated in California.

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