How can we help kill a fire?

How can we help kill a fire?

As you may have heard, there is a moderate drought occurring in North Jersey. And as a result, we asked our local customers to voluntarily conserve water. But this drought is also a safety issue; firefighters need to have enough water and water pressure to fight a potential fire. Water is the best weapon to kill a fire. What steps do we take to prepare for a fire? We met with our New Jersey field operations, to learn more on the subject. United Water serves a population of 800,000 people in New Jersey and maintains 16,000 fire hydrants throughout the state. How do we prepare for a catastrophic event like a fire? Health and safety issues are our top priority. In case of a catastrophic event (storm, fire, accidents, etc.), it’s our duty to provide a constant supply of water to support officials on the ground. United Water follows the National Incident Command System (ICS), a protocol on how to handle and respond to an emergency. We also have a “Red Book”, which is our Bible for emergencies and contains all of our procedures, protocols, equipment and contact info. This way if an incident commander calls in from the field, asking for pumps or tankers, we can give them whatever they need quickly. To always be prepared, one of our most important tasks is fire hydrant maintenance: we repair and replace them when needed. Every year, our inspectors go out and test every single one of our 16,000 fire hydrants. We also run drills internally and externally: our Safety and Security Department presents a catastrophic scenario and we have to develop a plan to fix it. What do we...
SUEZ presents its expertise at the International Desalination Association Congress in San Diego this week

SUEZ presents its expertise at the International Desalination Association Congress in San Diego this week

Our mission as the second largest environmental services company in the world is to enable a resourceful future for all. As we said a few weeks ago, the lack of water is the main challenge of the 21st century. That is why SUEZ is making desalination and water reuse a priority. Through our treatment solutions subsidiary Degremont, we are showcasing our expertise this week in San Diego to talk about “Renewable water resources to meet global needs” (IDA 2015 Theme). The IDA Congress takes place every two years and attracts worldwide visitors from the water industry, the universities and the research community. Given the major drought California is facing, the place of the event is a strong symbol. With 40% of the world population living within 60 miles of the coastal area, desalination of seawater is proving to be an essential alternative method for sustainability in urban areas. In 2016, the desalination market is expected to supply 500 million people in drinking water (300 million today) and will also provide water agricultural needs.   With its 250 desalination plant throughout the world, SUEZ supplies 10 million of people with freshwater. Stop by booth #1019 and talk to our experts to discover the benefits of reverse osmosis seawater, demineralized process water for boilers and cooling circuits and so much more! You can also take a look at our conferences program:...
Water, the main challenge of the 21st century – Time to act!

Water, the main challenge of the 21st century – Time to act!

As a world citizen, you hear words like drought, global warming, planet expiration date, sustainable development often… You want to… Act but you don’t know where to start? Be involved without drastically change your lifestyle? Be a part of the Resource Revolution but not spend a month’s salary in water-saving devices? Good news: you can! And we are here to help you. For 10 years now, United Water has published Conservation Guides providing indoor and outdoor water saving tips, presenting what we do as a water services provider to protect one of the most precious resources on earth. Decreasing water availability is a global and serious issue that concerns every one of us, not only individuals but also industries, governments and companies. That’s why this summer, we launched a social media conservation campaign #TipsToSaveWater. Our goal is to provide easy, inexpensive and original water saving tips. Along the way, we discovered the website, “Water – Use it Wisely”. This website provides tips and devices to help you in your water saving quest. It also has an educational and creative section dedicated to children. What better way to raise your kids’ awareness than play a game? Feel free to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to discover our tips published every Thursday all summer long. And, if you have  your own ways to save water, please share them in the comment sections below. About Water – Use it Wisely This communication campaign was launched 15 years ago. Since then, it has become a major campaign with more than 250 public and private water companies nationwide. The goal is to help people learn how to save water.   Find below all the tips we’ve...
United Water recognized for innovation by the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships

United Water recognized for innovation by the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships

We were talking about this new partnership we’ve made a few months ago with Nassau County. The goal was to improve the environmental health of waterways and return clean, treated water to surrounding bays and estuaries. Since we care about the protection of our shared natural resources, this is not the first time we took action to improve the wastewater quality. In 2013, the Massachusetts Water Pollution Control Association recognized the Town of Cohasset—whose operations are managed by United Water—as the best small wastewater treatment facility in the state. Our partnership with West Basin Municipal Water District in California is also an excellent example of our commitment to water quality: in partnership, we have been able to recycle and reuse wastewater to create five different streams of water. The partnership between United Water and Nassau County, called a “reason for hope” by County officials, was awarded yesterday by the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships (NCPPP) through its awards program at the annual P3 Connect 2015 Conference in Boston. The NCPPP is a non-profit organization which has been encouraging public-private partnership for over 20 years now. According to its president Art Smith, “NCPPP recognizes those organizations and individuals going above and beyond to advance the concept and implementation of public-private partnerships across the country.” Our partnership with the County was recognized because it illustrates a commitment to improving the quality of life of every Nassau County resident and a way of saving $230 million for the County and its taxpayers over the term of the agreement. Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said “This contract is a milestone for Nassau County...
A Celebration of Nautical History: General Lafayette’s ship is on its way to New York City for July 4th!

A Celebration of Nautical History: General Lafayette’s ship is on its way to New York City for July 4th!

20 years ago, a small group of people had a dream: build the exact replica of Hermione, the majestic vessel that allowed General Lafayette to join American revolutionaries in their struggle for independence in 1780. As a French-American company, we have a particular fondness for this project. This 185 ft tall boat is full of history and is an important symbol for us: it demonstrates the strong collaboration that has existed between USA and France for centuries. Our company is a great example of the existing bond between the 2 countries. The ship’s construction took several years because they wanted to build it as it would have been done in the 18th century. In April 2015, the boat set sail for the USA. Hermione arrives this week (7/1) in New York City and will stay until July 5th. What better way to celebrate Independence Day than to watch Hermione pass in front of the Statue of Liberty and welcome the boat that helped us fight for our independence more than 200 years ago? If you want to register for Hermione’s Nautical parade, please click here. If you want to know more about the ship or General Lafayette’s history and his contribution to the American Revolution, please visit Hermione’s...
SUEZ Environnement debuts new North American brand at American Water Works Association trade show

SUEZ Environnement debuts new North American brand at American Water Works Association trade show

As a resource crisis gathers on a global scale, our mission at SUEZ Environnement is to enable a secure, resourceful future for all. In this context, SUEZ Environnement North America, the US and Canadian subsidiary of the second largest environmental services company in the world, is showcasing its North American water, technology and advanced network offerings under the SUEZ Environnement brand at the American Water Works Association (AWWA) Trade Conference this week in Anaheim, CA.  The AWWA Annual Conference is the largest trade show for water industry professionals in the country.   As the water industry well knows, the SUEZ Environnement group has traditionally been organized globally around two major activities: water and waste.  But to rise to global resource challenges, the group’s positioning now focuses on providing solutions, technology and services for municipalities and industries in the entire water cycle and the circular economy and supporting a North American strategy based on four essential pillars: smart water and new services; industry; recycling and waste-to-energy; and investing in infrastructure.   The new position unifies offerings by United Water’s utility and environmental services Degremont’s technology solutions for municipalities and industries and SENA Waste Service’s solid waste recycling and recovery operations in Canada.  All offerings are showcased in one booth #1715 on the AWWA Exhibition floor. Social media followers are invited to engage with @unitedwater which now bears the SUEZ Environnement banner.   Our group vision is to move cities, businesses and industries from an economy that over-consumes natural resources to one that optimizes management and use of resources.  We want to lead the way from resource crisis to resource revolution using technology...
Tackling coastal and ocean pollution on Long Island #WorldOceansDay

Tackling coastal and ocean pollution on Long Island #WorldOceansDay

As managers of coastal wastewater treatment systems, ways to reduce pollution and improve marine habitats are top of mind. On Long Island in Nassau County, NY we are improving the process used to treat wastewater and return clean, non-polluted water to clean water.  But our commitment to Long Island’s waterways doesn’t stop there.  We are working with elected officials and environmental leaders to advocate for an ocean outfall pipe, which would dramatically improve the health of Reynolds Channel and the Western...
SUEZ Environnement Issues Report on North American Sustainable Development Program

SUEZ Environnement Issues Report on North American Sustainable Development Program

On the occasion of World Environment Day, we are pleased to share our 2014 North American Sustainable Development Report which documents progress toward social, environmental and other non-financial goals. Through the SUEZ Environnement sustainability program and this report, we are demonstrating, with actions, that sustainable and socially responsible business is good business – and that good business is better business. Annually, we set goals to make measurable progress towards our vision of moving cities, businesses and industries from an economy that over-consumes natural resources to one that optimizes management and use of resources. And we develop social alliances to help construct and participate in our vision for the future. With each milestone, achieved in collaboration with clients and partners, we are better positioned to lead the way from resource crisis to resource revolution. An ambition to re-imagine our relationship with resources is central to this report which gives an honest assessment of where the company has succeeded and where we fell short of our goals in 2014. We’re pleased to report progress in water recycling and reuse; reducing greenhouse gas emissions; reducing wasted water within our distribution system, among other areas. The company has continually improved upon energy goals, including a 5% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and is on track to achieve a 5% improvement in energy efficiency by 2016. A 1.8% decline in non-revenue water, or water lost within the distribution system, equivalent to saving 1.4 billion gallons for the year was achieved; Amidst record drought across the U.S. the company has a leading edge in reusing 12% of water that would otherwise have been discharged as...
Dam Safety Week Raises Awareness of Infrastructure Upgrade Needs

Dam Safety Week Raises Awareness of Infrastructure Upgrade Needs

    With more than 80,000 dams in the United States – a third of these classified as either “high” or “significant” hazards to both life and property upon failure – Dam Safety Week reminds us all of the importance of infrastructure upgrades and routine maintenance.   While dams are beneficial to many communities in their ability to store drinking water and improve wildlife habitats, they can also act as a dangerous flood risk if failure is reached.  Many dams in the US are approaching their life span of up to 100 years, which makes maintenance a crucial aspect of any dam community, and lack-there-of a major risk to public safety.  Additionally, failures can cost our economy millions of dollars in damages.   For example, from January 2005 to June 2013, state dam safety programs reported 173 dam failures and 587 “incidents.”  Specifically, during the 2013 Colorado floods, after 20 inches of rainfall, six dams failed in one day alone and at least a dozen dams overflowed.  This resulted in an estimated 19,000 damaged homes, a loss of $2 billion in property damage, and ten deaths. Even the recent events of the Texas flooding show how imperative dam safety is. The Padera Lake dam fractured as a result of groundbreaking flooding.  Luckily, despite being on the brink of failure, the dam held.   United Water recognizes the critical nature of dam structures and the imperative need to ensure their integrity. In that light, the company is in the midst of a major safety upgrade at Woodcliff Lake Dam in Bergen County, New Jersey.  The company is raising two reservoir...
A renewed commitment to restoring and protecting biodiversity

A renewed commitment to restoring and protecting biodiversity

In honor of World Biodiversity Day, we are pleased to announce that our commitment to protecting and restoring biodiversity is stronger than ever.  Over the past year, we developed a number of action plans to restore ecosystems and protect threatened and endangered species in and around our water treatment sites.  We operate in over 200 biologically diverse locations where, as leaders in the resource revolution, we take the lead in the environmental health of our surroundings. So what is biodiversity and why is it important to the health of ecosystems? Biodiversity is an important part of making life livable on Earth. It provides us with an array of foods and materials and it contributes to the economy.  Biodiversity also allows for ecosystems to adjust to ever-increasing natural disturbances like extreme fires and floods. So what, then, is a biodiversity action plan and how can an environmental services provider contribute to the improved health of an ecosystem?  An example of one of the action plans we developed this year can be found in Springfield, MA where the Connecticut River runs alongside a wastewater treatment operation that we manage. The Connecticut River watershed encompasses 11,260 square miles, connecting 148 tributaries, including 38 major rivers and numerous lakes and ponds. It is home to many wildlife species, including bear, moose, bobcat, wild turkey, bald eagle, trout, shad, and 10 federally threatened or endangered species. It is also home to New England’s most productive farmlands and to 2 million human residents, about 84% of whom live in or near urban areas including Holyoke, Chicopee, and Springfield, Massachusetts and Hartford, Connecticut. However, many urbanized...