Smithfield, Rhode Island

The challenge

Veolia North America helps town exceed most stringent discharge limits through long-term public-private partnership.


The project challenges are:

  • The Town of Smithfield originally retained Veolia in 1990 to address odor problems at its wastewater treatment plant.

  • The plant is subject to the most stringent discharge requirements in Rhode Island because it discharges into the Wooasquatucket River.

  • Under an operate/maintain/manage (O&M) contract, Veolia is responsible for the 3.5-MGD Envirex activated sludge treatment plant, 12 pump stations, 85-mile collection system, industrial pretreatment program and disposal of approximately 520 dry tons of sludge per year.

Veolia’s solution

Innovative solutions:

  • Conduct study, then make improvements to reduce odors, including enclosing problem areas, constructing air scrubbing systems and adding chemicals.

  • Perform work beyond the scope of services, including assisting the Public Works Department in cleaning town's storm drains on numerous occasions.

  • Assist with installation of mandated oil tank spill containment basins, pump stations and lateral tie-ins.

  • Support various community events.


Surpassed goals:

  • Designed and built air scrubbing system for one-tenth of the usual cost.

  • Saving town $100,000 annually due to reduced sludge disposal fees and greatly reduced chemical usage.

  • Reduced power costs by 30% as a result of upgraded treatment processes.

  • Achieved outstanding compliance record, with the facility receiving the highest evaluation given by state's regulatory agency.

  • Operated with only one lost-time incident in more than 10 years.

  • Won the A. Joseph Mattera Safety Award four consecutive years, something no other facility has accomplished.

  • Consistently received O&M Excellence Awards from the state and local pollution control agencies and the EPA.

  • Received 2007 Most Efficient Small Advanced Wastewater Treatment Award from the Narragansett Water Pollution Control Association.

  • Earned the 2010 Most Efficient Small Advanced Wastewater Treatment Award from the Narragansett Water Pollution Control Association (NWPCA).

  • In 2015, Smithfield received an award for the "Most Efficient Small Advanced Treatment Plant" by the NWPCA.