City Improves Failing Water Infrastructure via Outsourced O&M

One coastal city that experienced serious water infrastructure problems -- complete with boil orders -- has turned things around by outsourcing O&M.


GLOUCESTER, MASS. -- The city of Gloucester awarded Veolia Water North America - Northeast LLC (Veolia) an eight-year water and wastewater operations and maintenance (O&M) contract after completing $35 million in water infrastructure improvements since 2009, according to an announcement by the company.

As the city’s O&M partner since 2009, the firm manages the potable water and wastewater treatment facilities serving this widespread, coastal community.

“We’re fortunate to have a like-minded partner in Veolia that prioritizes the health and safety of our community and the environment above all else. Through this collaboration over the past seven years, Veolia has helped to deliver superb water quality and treatment services, while supporting the city in advancing millions of dollars in infrastructure improvements,” said Michael Hale, the city’s director of public works.

Veolia operates a 5.15 million gallons per day (MGD) primary wastewater treatment plant, two 5 MGD water filtration plants, a seasonal satellite water filtration plant, three water storage tanks with one booster pump station and two raw water transfer stations, while also managing the programs for residuals, industrial pretreatment and fats oil and greases (FOG).

The city also awarded a separate eight-year contract to operate the community’s sewage pump stations and residential sewer systems.

“One of our most basic and essential needs as human beings is access to safe, clean drinking water,” said John Gibson, president and chief operating officer of Veolia’s municipal and commercial business.

Prior to 2009, Gloucester’s water infrastructure experienced a bacteria crisis with boil orders that went on for weeks, according to the Boston Globe.