Celebrating 145 Years of Resource Innovation

Celebrating 145 Years of Resource Innovation

As we are at the dawn of the Resource Revolution, we are humbled to look back at the contributions that we have collectively made to society over the past 145 years; as United Water, Degrémont, SENA Waste Services and Utility Service Group. We also know that this historic moment is the latest step in our long journey to protect public resources through collaboration and business innovation. In that journey, we were the first to use chlorine as a disinfectant (1908) and charcoal for drinking water filtration (1930). We pioneered cutting edge technologies like the Accelator® clarifier (1932) and the first reciprocating rake bar screen for sewage plant intakes, the Climber Screen®, and have continued to build an extensive portfolio of over 50 patented technologies to solve the water challenges of municipalities and industry. We brought automatic meter reading technology to the market (1986), built the nation’s largest ozone filtration facility (1989), began operations in solid waste in Canada (2011) and introduced the SOLUTION business model to the United States (2012). There have been many other accomplishments as well. And we will achieve many others as we face the challenges that accompany growing resource scarcity, increased urbanization and climate change. As we look to the next 145 years, we are as enthusiastic as ever to support towns and industries in the circular economy to maintain, optimize and secure the resources essential for our...
SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT Supports Declaration on Carbon Pricing, Participates in UN Climate Summit

SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT Supports Declaration on Carbon Pricing, Participates in UN Climate Summit

This week Jean-Louis Chaussade, CEO of SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT participated in the UN Climate Summit and New York City’s Climate Week reaffirming our commitment to take action in favor of mitigation and adaptation to climate change and announcing support for carbon pricing and a “climate-responsible” economic model. In signing the World Bank Declaration on “Putting a Price on Carbon” Chaussade  joined 73 countries, and over 1,000 companies, which have agreed to work together to share their experience, their expertise, and their insights, in order to redirect investment towards low-carbon technologies, and encourage the use of renewable energy. The United Water Blog is pleased to offer these excerpts from Mr. Chaussade’s remarks: “It is necessary to tackle climate change in order to avoid disastrous implications for the natural environment, which could jeopardize our current lifestyles. This call for action is addressed to all of us: citizens, non-governmental organizations and, of course, companies. Companies are rising to this huge challenge by implementing solutions. These solutions aim at mitigating the effects of climate imbalances by driving down greenhouse gases emissions, but they are also intended to adapt to climate change impacts. The technological revolution is underway: I see it every day within the water and waste industries. We are making every effort in terms of research and innovation: to strengthen our circular economy model, which is based on energy and material recovery from waste, and to come up with new technologies that will ensure the availability of water resources, in abundance and health. These solutions are designed for the city of tomorrow: a smart city, a sustainable city, a resilient city, a low...
Taking the plunge:  the largest public-private partnership for sewage in the U.S.

Taking the plunge: the largest public-private partnership for sewage in the U.S.

With a nationwide infrastructure investment gap of more than $500 billion for drinking water and wastewater treatment over the next twenty years, and a landscape of essential infrastructure systems across the U.S. that have fallen into disrepair, there has long been speculation on how the private sector can fill the gap or find an even greater niche in what has traditionally been a publicly dominated sector. Last week, Nassau County, NY and United Water brought an end to that speculation and made history by announcing the largest public-private partnership for sewage to-date in the U.S.  The County on Long Island awarded a 20-year contract with a value of over $1.2 billion to United Water to professionally operate, manage and maintain the county’s sewage treatment plants, pumping stations and sewers. The system handles the sewage from 1.2 million people and treats it for disposal into environmentally sensitive estuaries. A coalition of citizen activists, environmental leaders and elected officials decided that an overhaul of the Nassau County sewer system was needed after Hurricane Sandy hit Long Island and the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant failed to treat hundreds of millions of gallons of sewage before dumping it into the Western Bays on Nassau County’s South Shore.  They identified the need for a professional operator with global expertise – such United Water – and worked with County Executive Ed Mangano to bring the solution to bear. By providing industry-leading technology and management expertise to solve a major environmental challenge in one of New York’s most prominent suburban areas, we will: Improve performance on environmental standards; clean discharges to meet New York State...
Tackling water pollution in Nassau County, New York

Tackling water pollution in Nassau County, New York

  In the U.S. there are nearly 16,000 wastewater systems that prevent water pollution by taking in municipal sewage, treating it, and returning it to its natural state. A marvel of the Clean Water Act of 1972, our nation committed to cleaning, preserving and safeguarding its waterways and the aquatic life that depends on them while maintaining an advanced public health system that is of envy to many parts of the world – where 2.4 billion people lack access to sanitation. Indeed during this summer’s World Cup in Brazil, tourists were warned of polluted beaches as only 40% of Rio de Janero’s sewage is treated; the rest is dumped and left to decompose in oceans and lagoons. Aside from the “yuck” factor – anyone who lives near a beach town knows that beach closures can send beach-goers running and long-term pollution can destroy local economies. It’s no wonder that after Hurricane Sandy hit Long Island and the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant failed to treat tens of millions of gallons of sewage before dumping it into the Western Bays on Nassau County’s South Shore – a coalition of citizen activists, environmental leaders and elected officials decided that it was time to tackle this environmental problem in a serious way. First, Federal, State, County and local elected leaders from New York and Nassau County worked to secure over $800 million in funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to upgrade the plant which is part of a system that treats the sewage of 1.2 million residents of densely populated Nassau County. Then, County Executive Ed Mangano selected United Water...
Working towards achieving excellence in the environmental industry

Working towards achieving excellence in the environmental industry

We are proud to announce that SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT NORTH AMERICA rose sharply up the ranks of the largest environmental services companies operating in North America in the annual industry listing complied by Engineering News Record. Our rise in the rankings, which are based on revenues, is due in part to United Water, SENA Waste Services, Degremont Technologies and Utility Service Group reporting jointly. What make this news even more exciting for us is that is clear that our ambition to excel all industries in which we operate achievable. Currently we rank: Second in serving municipal clients in the country Third for water treatment and supply services Third in companies specializing in only environmental services (versus heavy construction) We could not have achieved this significant business growth within our companies without the dedication of our employees. It takes innovation and dedication to achieve this success. Here are some of the amazing projects that have recently contributed to our growth within the environmental services industry: SENA Waste Services won two operation and maintenance contracts with a total value of $120 million, with the City of Edmonton, Alberta. Operating in tandem, the Edmonton Composting Facility and the Materials Recovery Facility at the Edmonton Waste Management Center enable the city to divert 60% of household waste from landfill through recycling and composting. United Water, in February, announced the signing of a new five-year agreement worth approximately $50 million with the West Basin Municipal Water District to operate and maintain the District’s Edward C. Little Water Recycling Plant and four satellite plants. Together the facilities comprise one of the most unique water recycling operations...
United Water continues to work towards ambitious energy reduction goals

United Water continues to work towards ambitious energy reduction goals

The United Water blog sat down with our company’s Energy Manager Elizabeth Watson to learn more about the goal to reduce energy usage by an additional five percent by the end of 2016. This goal is particularly ambitious since the company has already marked significant progress in this area:  since 2009, we have reduced greenhouse gas emissions in our operations by 16.5 % and shown a 28.5% improvement in energy efficiency. Elizabeth Watson, United Water’s first Energy Manager, has a dirty, little secret: Most clean water in this country is delivered with the help of dirty, coal-burning power plants. That’s because water requires pumping, and pumps require electricity, and almost half of U.S. electricity is produced by burning coal. Watson readily shares the secret in the hopes of pulling the plug on as much energy usage as possible. Right now, United Water uses 520 million kilowatt hours per year—enough to power 48,000 homes—to process and distribute water and wastewater. The company’s goal is to reduce energy usage five percent by the end of 2016. That’s enough energy to power 2,400 of those homes for a year. Why is United Water so invested in reducing energy? United Water cares a great deal about energy and sustainability, and we’ve done a lot over the years. We’re just stepping it up a notch. We already cut the company’s annual energy bill by $1.3 million and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 5,500 metric tons. But we still need to do more, and we are committed to make it happen to reduce energy usage by an additional five percent by the end of 2016! That is a...