Richmond, California

The challenge

Odor and compliance solutions were key benefits from this long-term partnership.

The project challenges are:

  • In an effort to curb excursions at its wastewater treatment plant, address long-time odor problems and control ever increasing costs, the city in 2002 entered into a long-term operate/maintain/manage (O&M) partnership with Veolia Water.

  • The company provides management of the city's wastewater facilities: a 16-MGD treatment plant, 185-mile sanitary sewer collection system, 94-mile stormwater drainage system, 15 wastewater lift stations, seven stormwater lift stations and sludge treatment.

  • In addition, we have design/build/operate (DBO) responsibility for the capital improvements program.

The solution

Innovative solutions:

  • Implement $7 million in capital improvements to wastewater treatment plant, updating, modernizing and automating existing processes and systems

  • Manage 280-miles of collection system and stormwater pipe and 22 lift stations

  • Inspect and clean sanitary sewers and storm sewer main lines and manholes, repair and maintain lift stations and provide 24-hour emergency response and related customer service

  • Update and expand plant SCADA system and add redundant equipment at critical processes

  • Employ state-of-the-art robotic cameras for inspection of underground pipe

  • Develop and implement master plan for underground asset management program that incorporates global information system, state-of-the-art computerized maintenance management system and condition/capacity assessment

  • Play lead role in implementing State of California's Sanitary Sewer Management Plan, a key effort in bringing the city into compliance with state requirements

Benefits for our clients


  • Generated an estimated $75 million in savings over the life of the agreement

  • Provided improved operations, regularly scheduled maintenance and guaranteed environmental compliance

  • Reduced sanitary sewer overflows and achieved long-term price stability

  • ​Increased efficiency and effectiveness of plant operations and sharply reduced water quality violations and odors