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City of Taunton, Mass., and Veolia Water North America begin partnership for sanitary sewer system improvements

10/12/06  • Water
HOUSTON, Oct. 12, 2006 - The City of Taunton, Mass., and Veolia Water North America marked the beginning of a major capital upgrade program to the city's 96-mile sanitary sewer (collection) system with a celebratory ribbon- cutting today. The program is part of a recently city-awarded 12-year, $12 million contract with Veolia Water for the management and restoration of the city's aging collection system.

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) put Taunton on notice nearly two years ago, stating its sanitary system was inadequate and too old to handle its current wastewater and storm water flows. Facing severe DEP fines if it did not improve its system, the Taunton city leaders, after a competitive bid process, selected its current wastewater services provider, Veolia Water, to provide assistance.

"The city's system is over 100 years old and has been neglected for decades. We simply do not have the manpower nor the deep resources like those of Veolia Water that are needed to fix our problems, so we are happy to expand our partnership with Veolia Water to include the sanitary sewer system. Plus, we are expecting the public-private partnership approach to save more than $200,000 per year, compared to the city continuing to operate and maintain the system," said City of Taunton Mayor Robert Nunes.
The agreement that officially kicked off today calls for Veolia Water to be responsible for the collection system and to facilitate a rapid implementation of capital improvements, with the city's consent, to meet the terms of the client's consent decree. The first two-year stage of the program will include accelerated cleaning of the system.

Veolia Water has managed the city's 8.4-million-gallon-per-day wastewater treatment plant since 1998. "As the city's partner for wastewater treatment services, we understand the city's needs for the system as a whole. And with the two systems closely tied and now both managed by Veolia Water, the city will see significant benefits in terms of operations and overall cost savings. We are delighted with this continued opportunity to serve the city of Taunton and assist city leaders in meeting the requirements of the administrative consent order," said Philip Ashcroft, president, Veolia Water North America -Northeast.

Veolia Water plans to introduce major improvements to the Taunton system, including streamlining authority and responsibility, implementing an asset management plan and implementing a comprehensive program for capital upgrades, renewals and replacements.

Veolia Water North America is the leading provider of comprehensive water and wastewater services to municipal and industrial customers, providing services to approximately 14 million people in more than 600 communities. The company is part of Veolia Water, the No. 1 water company in the world, serving more than 108 million customers. Veolia Water is the water division of Veolia Environnement (NYSE:VE) and (Paris Bourse:VIE), the largest environmental services company in the world, with more than 270,000 employees in about 64 countries and annual revenues of $30 billion. Visit the company's Web site at www.veoliawaterna.com.

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