Glen Cove, N.Y., wastewater treatment plant benefits from public-private partnership

A public-private partnership for the operation of a wastewater treatment plant has generated savings and improved performance to such an extent that the City of Glen Cove, N.Y., decided to extend the contract for an additional eight years.


Jan. 20, 2003 -- A public-private partnership for the operation of a wastewater treatment plant has generated savings and improved performance to such an extent that the City of Glen Cove, N.Y., decided to extend the contract for an additional eight years.

Glen Cove considered entering into a public-private partnership in 1992 to reduce operating costs and to limit their liability in relation to the operation of the wastewater treatment facility.

The partnership has resulted in savings of $200,000 per year and improved environmental compliance.

FACTS
• Operation of one 8.0 MGD wastewater treatment plant
• Population of 29,000 served, including both industrial and residential customers.

HIGHLIGHTS
• Operating costs reduced by 10 percent
• Annual savings to the city of $200,000 per year
• Loss-time accidents have been reduced by 100 percent
• The 20-year contract was renewed in 1999 for an additional eight years.

RESULTS
COST SAVINGS - Annual savings to the city of $200,000 per year.

OPERATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS - Since Severn Trent has taken over the operation of the facility, the facility is now manned 16 hours per day, as opposed to 24 hours. The hour reduction has been accomplished through the use of an AutoDial monitoring system. Severn Trent also has encouraged the operational staff to obtain the highest level of certification in New York State, and all the operation staff is currently licensed at a NYS 4A level of certification. Severn Trent also has increased the laboratory testing since the inception of the contract, which allows for more complete data and better process control decisions.

ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE - Environmental compliance has improved within the last five years as indicated by the table below.

LABOR MANAGEMENT - Severn Trent has been able to improve upon the operation of the facility, thus reducing the need for junior operators and additional staffing. The Glen Cove Facility is non-union, and all of the employees work directly for Severn Trent.

COMMUNITY RELATIONS - Severn Trent works with Glen Cove and local businesses to maintain positive relationships. One example is the SteamBoat Landing Restaurant, located adjacent to the facility. The plant staff maintains contact with the restaurant owner and alerts him of any process changes that may result in malodors, which could hinder his business. The owner will also alert the staff if odors are noticed, and the staff will locate and correct the problem, either by process changes or odor masking agents. In addition, Severn Trent has worked with the owner of the restaurant to allow him to install a floating dock adjacent to the facilities outfall.

This case study was provided by the Water Partnership Council. To learn more, visit : http://www.waterpartnership.org/.

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