Vancouver, Washington

The challenge

Veolia North America’s 30-year partnership with Vancouver has produced a perfect record for water quality compliance for this area of 200,000 people. The city and company have earned numerous awards and honors during a disruptive period of new construction and revision of existing facilities.

The project challenges are:

  • By 1978, the City of Vancouver's wastewater facilities were consistently failing to meet discharge standard since their 1975 startup. As a result, the city faced fines and a sewer connection ban.

  • That was when Vancouver retained Veolia on an operate/maintain/manage (O&M) basis to take over operations.

  • Over the years, the partnership has been renewed and our scope of services expanded as new facilities have come online or been upgraded. Today, the system we manage comprises a 22.4-MGD activated sludge wastewater treatment plant, 16-MGD activated sludge wastewater plant, 4.1-MGD industrial wastewater lagoon, 58 dry-ton-per-day fluidized bed incinerator and eight major pump/lift stations.

  • We also are responsible for capital improvements, industrial pretreatment program, septage receiving, biosolids disposal and effluent reuse.

Veolia’s solution

Innovative solutions:

  • Apply computerized process control system to monitor and analyze process data, helping staff understand process dynamics and develop a strategy for achieving effluent quality.

  • Provide process analysis to increase Westside facility capacity 25% at no additional cost. Process components at Westside include multi-stage nitrification with anoxic selectors, UV disinfection, centrifuges and a fluidized bed incinerator for sludge disposal - some 6,850 dry tons per year.

  • Bring Marine Park secondary wastewater treatment plant online and ensure compliance from day one.

  • Upgrade project SCADA system, which features improved capabilities for tracking electrical costs.

  • Implement an Advanced Asset Management system that performs all purchasing management and inventory control.

  • Strengthen the community through sponsorship of events, programs and associations.


Surpassed goals:

  • Contract renewed multiple times since 1978, the latest being in 2010.

  • Operated 29 years without a permit violation.

  • Achieved permit compliance within first six months of project startup.

  • Developed pilot program that increased Westside plant's capacity from 12 to 15.2 MGD.

  • Maintained reputation as good corporate citizen, participating in community outreach programs.

  • Became multiple winner of George W. Burke Safety Award from the Water Environment Federation. Received dozens of other safety awards from state and national organizations.

  • ​Received numerous awards for exemplary performance, O&M excellence, public-private partnership and outstanding wastewater treatment from the Washington Department of Ecology, Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association and National Council for Public-Private Partnerships.