Fix a leak week reminds us of the nexus between infrastructure and securing a resourceful future

Fix a leak week reminds us of the nexus between infrastructure and securing a resourceful future

The rate of treated water that is wasted around the U.S. and the world provides for a shocking statistic: up to half of treated water supplied to urban areas around the world is lost during distribution.   And, closer to home, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reminds us that U.S. households leak 1 trillion gallons nationwide every year.  That’s enough water to supply 11 million homes.   Consider this: every day, approximately 6 billion gallons of water are lost to avoidable leaks––enough water to supply the entire state of drought-stricken California.   During #FixaLeak week, utilities and individuals across the country are encouraging their customers and decision-makers makers alike to think globally and act locally.   As individuals we can all take action to fix that dripping faucet or replace our appliances and showerheads with WaterSense products.   As communities, we need to raise our expectations for infrastructure maintenance and replacement. So frequently, water leaks are out-of-sight and out-of-mind until they spring to life and disrupt order in the form of a costly and wasteful water main break.   So chime in on Twitter at #FixaLeak and add your voice to raise awareness!   As we face a future with increasingly scarce resources, we have to consider the state of our public infrastructure and that which supplies our homes. Our infrastructure is the key to using the resources that we depend upon but it can also be a culprit for unnecessary...
United Water Begins Water & Sewer Operations in Borough of Middletown, PA

United Water Begins Water & Sewer Operations in Borough of Middletown, PA

On December 31, 2014, United Water joined the Borough of Middletown, PA community and commenced operations of the water and sewer system. On “Day 1,″  Nadine Leslie, President of United Water Environmental Services welcomed six employees to the United Water Family who had previously worked for the Middletown Borough Authority.  Leslie challenged the employees to “set an example” for environmental compliance and safety for the company which, she emphasized, has deeply rooted values and high standards in these areas. Employees then appropriately underwent health and safety training before ceremoniously accepting their new personal protective equipment (PPE). Shortly thereafter, employees began their hard-hat-clad routine of delivering safe drinking water to Borough residents, and returning cleaned and treated wastewater to surrounding water bodies.                 This team of employees is now part of a larger family with regional, national and global resources.  They’re also part of a landmark deal to make the Borough debt free and set this small college town onto a path of revitalization and prosperity. As part of the concession agreement, a joint venture of KKR and United Water made an initial $43 million payment to the Middletown Borough Authority to retire outstanding debt including an unfunded pension liability for Borough employees.  According to a Borough Official, this will be the first time the Borough is debt free in over 50 years. United Water and KKR have also committed to financing another $83 million in infrastructure improvements throughout the life of the 50-year contract. Indeed 6 underground infrastructure projects are already underway, including ones that will support transportation access to the Penn...
Public investment – minus the politics

Public investment – minus the politics

By Bertrand Camus, United Water CEO  Forty years ago this month, Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act to protect public health by regulating the nation’s public drinking water supply. This milestone, which helps ensure that clean, fresh water flows from every tap in America, was created by a shared sense of political vision. Today, that progress is at risk from lack of political ambition to finance infrastructure projects. Ever since November’s mid-term elections, President Obama has worked to put investment in America’s roads, bridges and water systems back on the agenda as a priority that elected officials of all stripes can naturally get behind, saying: “Both parties have been for creating jobs rebuilding our infrastructure.” Visiting China, early December, he marveled at how major construction projects happen. “One thing is that if they need to build some stuff, they can build it,” he said. America can build it, too… Read the complete article on how we can accelerate investment in water infrastructure by tapping untapped funding resources on The Hill Congress Blog:...
Smarter Water Meter Data Helps to Detect More than 800 Leaks in Bayonne, NJ

Smarter Water Meter Data Helps to Detect More than 800 Leaks in Bayonne, NJ

Water is relatively inexpensive in the context of your overall household budget. On average, the cost of water is less than a penny a gallon. That makes it all too easy to waste. Right now, in your basement or in your backyard, there’s that one spigot that won’t completely shut off. And you’re paying more for water service than you have to as a result. If that sounds familiar, you don’t live in Bayonne, NJ where United Water, has installed over 10,500 new and smarter meters for 90 percent of the city’s residents and businesses. The data from the new meters enables our dedicated customer service team to show and tell homeowners and the Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority (BMUA) how much water they’re using each day. With real-time data from the new advanced meters, United Water can detect water leaks and quickly inform the customer of the need to take action to prevent a bill spike or worse – property damage that may result from a broken pipe. Meter readers no longer have to walk from door to door resulting in an increased sense of security for homeowners – and we, as a company, no longer have to inconvenience homeowners who would otherwise have to wait at home for a meter-reading appointment. Indeed Bayonne residents have already benefited from the increased information about their water consumption and underground piping that the new meters provide. “We receive regular compliments from customers about the professionalism and follow-through of our employees,” said Chris Riat, United Water senior director of contract operations. “In one instance our customer service supervisor had contacted a resident...
Environmental groups hail Nassau County sewer project as a “Reason for Hope”

Environmental groups hail Nassau County sewer project as a “Reason for Hope”

Check out the latest video from the United Water Blog to learn why leading environmental groups are hailing our partnership with Nassau County as a “Reason for Hope.”  Hint: this $1.2 Billion project will deliver benefits to residents, marine life and the environment. United Water In Nassau County from United Water on Vimeo. OUR COMMITMENT TO NASSAU COUNTY: We pledge to sustainably operate and manage the Nassau County Sewage Treatment System in partnership with the County to top environmental and compliance standards and regulations. It will take some time to make all the improvements we’re planning, but in the end, we will create a state-of-the-art, resilient public service which Nassau County can rely...
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...