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...
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...
Putting climate resilience front and center in water utility planning

Putting climate resilience front and center in water utility planning

As a company operating across the world, we encounter global challenges but solutions are always local. And no challenge, global or local, is greater today than climate change. Climate change has numerous implications many of which manifest in the water cycle; in water supply and water quality. To operate our own business sustainably and to enable a resourceful future for those that we serve we must anticipate the challenges brought about by a changing climate. We do this in part by collaborating with key stakeholders such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as we are doing in this particular case. United Water and SUEZ Environnement experts are piloting EPA’s Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool at the Haworth Treatment facility in Northern New Jersey which provides water service to nearly 1 million people in the region. The tool which is being implemented throughout the country in more than 20 utilities, establishes likely future scenarios for any given area, based upon scientific data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  According to IPCC’s last report, “In many regions, changing precipitation or melting snow and ice are altering hydrological systems, affecting water resources in terms of quantity and quality.” The process defined in collaboration with EPA will identify ways, for example, to better protect critical pump stations from precipitation events or means by which conservation measures can aid supply management. With responsibility for securing a resourceful future for 6.7 million people in communities across the United States, we will transfer the knowledge and findings from this project in New Jersey across our network and add to our expertise in delivering...