HARRINGTON PARK, N.J. -- United Water Resources (NYSE: UWR) announced that its affiliate, United Water Services, has signed the nation's largest public- private partnership contract with Atlanta for water operations -- a 20-year agreement that will save the city over $400 million. The agreement calls for United Water, which will receive an annual operations fee of approximately $21.4 million from Atlanta, to begin managing the water system in January 1999.
United Water will convert one of the nation's largest water systems to private management and operation. "This contract clearly establishes United Water as the leader in the contract-operations market," said Donald L. Correll, chairman and CEO of United Water. "We've signed long-term management agreements over the past 12 months with the cities of Indianapolis, Milwaukee, San Antonio, Gary, Indiana, and now Atlanta."
"Today marks the end of a process we began in January 1997 when I announced our plans to pursue private management of our water system," said Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell. "Although the process has concluded, this day really marks the beginning of a partnership which will result in tremendous savings that will reduce the amount our water customers will have to pay in the future. Our citizens and ratepayers will benefit by improved technology and more efficient and innovative approaches to management. This contract will be a win-win situation for all involved."
Correll pointed out that the addition of Atlanta strengthens United Water's position as the nation's fastest-growing contract operator of water and wastewater services. "Since we restructured our United Water Services affiliate with our strategic ally Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux about one year ago, our success in the water and wastewater industry has been unmatched," said Correll.
United Water's affiliate, officially known as United Water Services Atlanta, brings together United Water Services and its local partner Williams-Russell and Johnson, Inc. (WRJ), an Atlanta-based engineering and design firm that has worked with the company for the past six years on wastewater plant operations in northern Fulton County. WRJ is one of the preeminent, minority-owned engineering firms in the country and was instrumental in the design of the Georgia Dome.
Beginning January 1999, United Water Services Atlanta will operate and maintain the city's two water treatment plants--Hemphill & Chattahoochee; 12 water system storage tanks; seven zone-transfer pumping stations; 25,000 fire hydrants; and a 2,400-mile network of water distribution mains. United Water will install a premier computerized maintenance management system to track and record all maintenance and repairs preformed for the city, which will have on- line access to the system at all times. The company will also manage billing, collections, and customer service functions as well.
The Hemphill and Chattahoochee facilities are currently producing an average of 105 million gallons per day (MGD) and have capacities of 136 MGD and 56 MGD respectively. The two facilities serve 1.5 million people and cover an area over 650 square miles both inside and outside Atlanta. The city will provide compliance oversight and monitor United Water's performance of the operation during the contract period.
Return to the U.S. Water News Archives page
Return to the U.S. Water News Homepage