Sep 10, 2009

Rhode Island Community to Expand Veolia Public-Private Partnership

Partnership builds on initiative to reduce sanitary sewer overflows

The City of Woonsocket, R.I., and Veolia Water North America–Northeast, LLC are expanding their public-private partnership for wastewater services.

In a competitive procurement, Veolia Water was selected to operate, maintain and manage the city’s wastewater collection system. For more than a decade, Veolia Water has provided operations, maintenance and management services for the city’s 16-million gal-per-day (mgd) wastewater treatment facility. The collection system has been operated and managed by the city.

The wastewater collection system includes 108 miles of collection lines that deliver wastewater flows from Woonsocket and North Smithfield, R.I.; and Blackstone and Bellingham, Mass.; to the city’s wastewater treatment plant. City and Veolia Water officials state that unifying the management approach between system and facility operations and implementing new asset management practices will yield greater benefits.
Valued at approximately $10 million, the 10-year contract includes a $1-million concession payment by Veolia Water to the city, as well as $230,000 for the purchase of city-owned vehicles for collections system work.

“Building on an already successful partnership for facility operations and management, we are looking forward to Veolia Water’s added value in the management of our collection system. This agreement includes a $1-million concession which is an additional benefit to the city beyond the environmental and economic benefits we expect to receive,” said Woonsocket Mayor Susan Menard.

Veolia Water’s Underground Asset Management program will focus on servicing and maintaining the system’s underground assets to extend asset life, lower operating costs and increase capacity.

Veolia Water–Northeast, LLC President Keavin Nelson stated, “We are very pleased to expand the scope of our partnership into the collections system. The City of Woonsocket and Veolia Water have a true partnership and we are grateful for this additional opportunity to continue to improve the community’s quality of life.”

The partnership builds on a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management initiative to reduce the potential for sanitary sewer overflows in numerous Rhode Island communities.

“The city’s team of Eisenhardt Group and Burns & Levenson were hired to advise us during the bid process and they deserve a lot of credit for getting this contract completed in a manner that provides maximum benefits for the city, both immediately and in the long-term planning for our infrastructure needs,” said Mike Annarummo, Woonsocket director of Public Works. “This first step is critical for determining the future capital upgrades that will be required at the wastewater facility and will save the city money as we move forward.”