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Award recognizes innovative public-private environmental services partnerships
United Water and the city of Holyoke, Mass., are the recipients of the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships’ (NCPPP) Distinguished Infrastructure Award for the Berkshire Street Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Treatment Facility. The CSO facility was built through a joint effort between the Holyoke and United Water, which operates the city’s wastewater system. The award was one of six presented by the NCPPP to recognize the country’s most innovative and effective public-private partnerships in the field of environmental services.
“This national award is further validation of the benefits that can result when the public and private sectors work together to pursue a common goal,” said William D. Fuqua, department of public works general superintendent for Holyoke. He attended the NCPPP conference in Washington, D.C., where he was a speaker and accepted the award on behalf of Holyoke and United Water.
According to United Water, the CSO facility has received international recognition in recent years as both an environmental and public-private partnership success story. Since its completion in 2007, the plant has treated more than 800 million gal of water. In so doing, it has helped restore the environmental integrity of the Connecticut River and has resulted in increased recreational activities on the river.
“United Water is extremely honored to be a part of this award-winning team and is strongly committed to this project and this city,” said Tom Brown, president of United Water Environmental Services. “We are active corporate citizens, participating in countless community events and investing over $1 million in infrastructure improvements that would otherwise have been paid by the taxpayers of Holyoke.”
In addition to the environmental benefits of this partnership, the CSO facility was completed a year ahead of schedule, saving the city $10 million in capital, operations and management costs. The project was funded by the city of Holyoke along with a low-interest loan from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts revolving loan fund.