PPP in building CA water recycling plant lowers costs, improves water quality

Santa Paula Water and PERC Water joined to replace a WWTP with a new recycling facility, reducing costs and improving water quality.

SANTA PAULA, CA, Sept. 12, 2013-- In 2007, the city of Santa Paula, Calif., replaced its noncompliant wastewater treatment plant with a new water recycling facility after voting to proceed under a public-private partnership (PPP). The city entered an agreement with Santa Paula Water, LLC, who also entered an agreement with PERC Water Corporation to design, build and operate the new facility.

The PPP option cost 15 percent less than the design-bid-build option the city initially considered. As a result of changing from the design-bid-build option to the PPP delivery method, the city was able to:

· Avoid $18 million of construction costs

· Avoid $1.8 million per year of current operating costs

· Increase design capacity by 25 percent

· Reduce facility footprint by 70 percent

· Reduce energy consumption by 30 percent

Santa Paula's Councilmember Bob Gonzales was mayor at the time the PPP contract was signed. "The cost of doing business was significant for us," he said. "We had to build a new wastewater treatment facility, and we did not have the necessary funds. The DBOF delivery method gave the city a lot more latitude, and the risk was transferred to the company who was doing the work."

The facility was completed seven months ahead of schedule and began operating in May 2010, less than three years after the city's decision to proceed with the PPP. Since it began operations three years ago, the Santa Paula Water Recycling Facility has consistently performed under the expected operating budget and produces water quality significantly better than guaranteed.

Accordingly, the facility is operating at 50 percent of its design capacity, which means it can meet the future demand created by new homes and businesses within the city. The plant's treated water is also consistently better quality than required by PERC Water's performance guarantee. It is currently producing approximately 2,200 acre-feet (over 700 million gallons) per year of recycled water, which could be utilized as reuse water.

PERC Water uses the most advanced treatment process technologies available, ensuring that the Facility operates at peak efficiency while meeting the high standards of recycled water. Their proprietary design accomplishes these results on a one-acre footprint with the majority of the treatment processes taking place underground and beneath the operations buildings.

Santa Paula reduced its ecological footprint by investing in innovative technology while simultaneously creating consistent and sustainable financial savings. The Santa Paula Water Facility project is an ideal example of a city choosing to not compromise its environmental responsibility while still exercising fiscal certainty.

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