Junction City, Kansas

The challenge

Long-term public-private partnership expands and evolves to cover comprehensive water and wastewater services that have won awards for safety and operational excellence.
Veolia North America has partnered with Junction City, a community of 21,000, since 1989. Over those 20-plus years, the city has expanded Veolia’s scope of services to cover water and wastewater treatment.

The project challenges are:

  • On the water side, this includes a 10-MGD groundwater treatment plant, 10 wells, 125 miles of water distribution, four finished water storage tanks and a booster pump station.

  • Wastewater operations cover a 2.5-MGD activated sludge wastewater treatment plant, 2.5-MGD industrial wastewater treatment plant (the only one in Kansas with industrial pretreatment and domestic wastewater treatment in the same plant), and 115 miles of sanitary sewers and 13 lift stations.

  • In addition, Veolia performs operations, maintenance and management (O&M) and design/build services, and septage receiving.

The solution

Innovative solutions:

  • Oversee capital improvement projects at the water plant, including: replacement of lime slakers; filter media; system valves; control systems and underdrains; and overhaul of the four multi-media filters and expansion of the media wash system.

  • Operate the on-site laboratory and upgrade and certify it through equipment purchasing and staff training; tailor lab reports to state regulatory requirements and customize operating reports for process control and utility management.

  • Developed a customized odor control program to reduce a problem at the East wastewater facility. Also implemented operational strategies to reduce floating sludge in the final clarifiers.

  • Implemented a well field-maintenance program and cleaned the wells, which resolved the city's initial water demand issues; drilled a new well later to provide additional water production to meet increasing demand of the growing community.

  • Chlorinated the return activated sludge to control filamentous bacteria until a 2000 upgrade to anoxic basis could be completed.

Benefits for our clients


  • Original four-and-a-half-year public-private partnership agreement has been ongoing for more than 20 years and has been renewed numerous times, currently running through 2020.

  • Achieved an outstanding safety record: East facility staff has worked without a lost-time accident since 1990; water treatment plant staff has worked safely since 1994; and Southwest wastewater plant has worked since startup in 1996 with no lost-time accidents.

  • Made operator certification a priority: 13 certified water treatment plant operators, nine of whom are certified Grade IV (the highest); 14 certified wastewater treatment plant operators, nine of whom are certified Grade IV; eight staff are dual certified, and three are certified in states other than Kansas.

  • Earned numerous awards, including the 2003 Plant of the Year (Class B Facility) from the Kansas Water Environment Association; 2006 Wendell R. LaRue Award of Excellence for Safety from the American Water Works Association; four-time Safety Award winner from the Kansas Water Environment Association; 1996 George W. Burke Safety Award from the Water Environment Association and the 1996 Environmental Excellence in Construction Award from the American Public Works Association, Kansas Section.

  • Honored with the Plant Safety Award from the American Water Works Association/Water Environment Federation.

  • Presented with the Meritorious Service Award by the Kansas AWWA.