WASTEWATER TREATMENT: United Water and East Providence Break Ground for Wastewater System Improvements

United Water and the City of East Providence held a ground breaking ceremony on June 8 marking the start of a $52.5 million upgrade to the city?s wastewater collection and treatment facilities. The construction project includes state-of-the-art improvements that will protect the Narragansett Bay and help ensure regulatory compliance.

?The health of our city and its people depends upon the health of our environment, and the improvements under way at the treatment plant will go a long way to accomplishing this goal,? said East Providence Mayor Bruce Rogers.

Upgrades for the wastewater plant, which serves about two-thirds of East Providence?s 50,000 residents, include a new odor control system, replacement of the Watchemocket Pumping Station and the addition of a biological nutrient removal (BNR) process. This additional level of treatment will improve water quality in the Providence River and Narragansett Bay by using naturally occurring micro-organisms that use oxygen, rather than chemicals, to remove nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen during the wastewater treatment process.

United Water will oversee the project through a design-build-operate (DBO) contract with the city which was awarded last year. This agreement is expected to save the city an estimated $13 million over what was budgeted to be spent under a traditional project delivery approach while providing East Providence with professional water services management. Under the terms of the contract, the company currently operates the facilities while East Providence retains the authority to set rates and maintain jobs for local workers.
?We are proud to partner with East Providence on this very important project,? said Bertrand Camus, CEO of United Water. ?Together we developed an innovative, sustainable solution that promotes public, economic and environmental health. In addition, this infrastructure improvement project creates jobs right here in the community we serve.?

The design and construction project is expected to take approximately three years to complete. The new plant design includes scalable technologies which will allow for future modifications to meet increasingly stringent regulations.

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