JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Jersey City is saving $3.5 million per year on its water and anticipates savings totaling $17.5 million by the year 2001 says Jersey City Mayor Brett Schundle. In 1996, Jersey City entered into a public-private partnership with United Water Resources, based in Harrington Park, N.J., to operate its 80 million-gallon-per-day (MGD) water system. The five-year contract is the largest such agreement in the country.
"We're very pleased with the results we have achieved in Jersey City," said Schundler. "The operations and maintenance savings coupled with improvements to infrastructure made through our public-private partnership represents real relief for ratepayers and long-term improvements for the water system."
The Jersey City system serves 239,000 residents and consists of two reservoirs containing a total of 11.3 billion gallons of water. The raw water is treated at an 80-MGD conventional water treatment plant and is carried by a 23-mile aqueduct to Jersey City. The distribution system consists of approximately 275 miles of mains ranging in size from 6 to 60 inches. There are approximately 3,500 fire hydrants and 32,000 meters.
Savings in Jersey City result from selling unused water to neighboring utilities, enhancing bill collection, and downsizing the workforce by 40 percent while allowing workers to move to other city jobs, and from installing a computerized maintenance management system. As a result of this public- private partnership, broken pipes are fixed quickly, beneficial sludge reuse disposal and corrosion control programs have been implemented, and water system facilities have standby power for the first lime in years, according to city officials.
United Water currently operates more than 32 municipal water systems throughout the United States, including Indianapolis and Milwaukee.
United Water Resources (NYSE: UWR) is a holding company which through subsidiaries and affiliates provides water and wastewater services to about 6 million people in 19 states. In addition to owning and operating utilities, United Water operates municipal water and wastewater systems through public- private partnerships and contract agreements. The company is the nation's second largest investor-owned water services firm and has investments in water and wastewater services companies in Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.
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