Water and waste giant Veolia has saved the city of Poughkeepsie, New York, millions while improving efficiencies throughout the city’s wastewater system and facilities over the course of a 35-year environmental contract.
Poughkeepsie has renewed an agreement with Veolia to continue managing and operating its wastewater system under a 10-year contract.
Since 1980, Veolia North America has managed the wastewater system and facilities for Poughkeepsie, which serves a population of about 45,000.
Under this renewed public-private partnership, Veolia will operate, maintain and manage the city’s 10-million-gallons-per-day activated sludge wastewater treatment plant, 10 pump stations, biosolids management, Industrial Pretreatment Program, sludge disposal and stormwater management. Veolia will also provide capital support for upgrades to the city’s wastewater treatment plant and pump stations to improve efficiencies and yield additional savings.
Since entering the environmental partnership Poughkeepsie has won safety awards from the New York State Water Pollution Control Association, met strict environmental requirements and achieved improvements to odor control. Joseph Chenier, assistant civil engineer for the city, says Veolia has helped it reduce odor complaints by 85 percent.
The company has also helped the city achieve millions in savings by improving operational efficiencies and introducing new technology that has generated revenue for the city, Chenier says.
Veolia has reduced operating expenses for the city by $170,000 annually. In addition, the revenue-generating septage receiving program introduced by Veolia has yielded about $800,000 annually and $6.6 million total in revenues for the city over the last 10 years — a key factor in offsetting water and sewer rate increases for residents.
As part of the renewed agreement, Veolia will also help lower long-term operating costs through a $600,000 capital investment. By improving the sludge dewatering and odor control systems, the company estimates the hauling costs for sludge disposal will be reduced by 40 percent to 50 percent.
The partnership with Poughkeepsie is Veolia’s longest-running partnership in New York State and one of the oldest public-private partnerships in North America, says William J. DiCroce, president and CEO of Veolia North America.
A similar public-private partnership in Washington, DC expects to save between $8 million and $12 million, Paul Whitmore, manager of communications for municipal and commercial business at Veolia North America, told Environmental Leader in an earlier interview.
Through its partnership with Veolia, water supply agency Washington Aqueduct has increased worker productivity, cut costs and improved maintenance and management, realizing a 43 percent improvement in overall field maintenance staff productivity.