Fall River, Mass.

Fall River

Long-term relationship provides cost-effective and reliable wastewater treatment services for this city of 95,000.


In the early 1990s Fall River contacted Veolia North America after the city's second contract operator failed to achieve consistent compliance, and in 1994 signed an operations and maintenance contract with Veolia. Under the O&M contract, Veolia assumed responsibility for the city's water facilities: a 30.9-MGD pure oxygen secondary-activated sludge wastewater treatment plant, 15-dry-to-per-day multiple hearth furnace, 14 pump stations and a regional collection system. In addition, Veolia conducts industrial pretreatment program analyses and river sampling, and performs collection system rehabilitation, CSO tunnel management and 5,000-dry-tons-per-year sludge incineration and disposal.


  • Mobilize team of specialists to evaluate the plant and provide suggestions for improving operations: increasing oxygen flow to the biomass; controlling biomass levels; monitoring concentration levels; and conducting analyses on a more frequent basis.
  • Implement a combination of process controls for increasing plant efficiency and new operational procedures which together had a dramatic impact on reducing odors and noise.
  • Develop proactive community relations program to keep residents informed about activities at the wastewater treatment plant through newsletter, periodic meetings and 24-hour telephone hotline.
  • Become active member of Fall River community, providing plant tours, making donations to local organizations and lending project personnel to help the city during snowstorms.
  • ​Maintain three-mile deep rock tunnel to capture 600 million gallons of rainwater and wastewater that would otherwise overflow into Mount Hope Bay each year.


  • Contract for lengthy collection system renewed a second and third time.
  • Conquered historic odor problems.
  • High-quality effluent playing an important role in recovery of Mount Hope Bay whose ecosystem had suffered over decades of misuse.
  • Project won 2007 and 2008 Operations Excellence Award from the U.S. EPA.
  • Received numerous Gold and Silver awards for perfect and near-perfect compliance from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies.
  • Received Laboratory Proficiency Award in 1994 from the State of Massachusetts' Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators Association.
  • ​Nominated for National Council of Public-Private Partnerships Award.