Wilmington, Del.


More than a quarter century of O&M and capital improvements for regional wastewater treatment plant based on public-private partnership.


Veolia North America assumed operations/maintenance/management (O&M) responsibility for the solids processing facilities in 1985. In 1998, the company was awarded a new 20-year, $224 million contract to manage the entire wastewater treatment process. That includes a 134-MGD high-rate activated sludge plant, three pump stations, industrial pretreatment program, industrial leachate and 11,000 dry-tons-per-day sludge disposal. The O&M project has met all of the city's requirements and the plant is an integral part of Delaware's innovative solid waste management plan.


  • Finance, design and build $15 million in capital improvements, including SCADA system and fine-bubble diffused aeration to enhance system operation and conserve energy.
  • Negotiate with labor unions and offer employment to all city employees.
  • Replace labor-intensive belt filter press installation with more efficient centrifuges.
  • Work with city to install sodium hypochlorite disinfection system to replace dangerous chlorine gas system.
  • Work with city to maximize diversion of combined sewer overflows into treatment plant for effective treatment.
  • Haul dewatered sludge from the city's wastewater treatment plant to a sludge stabilization facility where it is mixed with cement kiln dust, then used as a cover material at the Delaware Solid Waste Authority's landfill.


  • Provided city with more than $1.5 million in annual operating savings.
  • Discharged $10 million of capital work 10 months early.
  • Completed fast-track conversion to centrifuges in just 120 days and improved power efficiency and dewatering.
  • Achieved excellent compliance record since taking over site-wide O&M responsibility.
  • Received Operation & Maintenance Excellence Award nominations from EPA Region III in 1999 and 2005.
  • Earned Northeast Region OPEX Award in Large Plant category in 2003 from Veolia.
  • Received 2010 Gold Peak Performance Award for perfect compliance from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies.
  • In 2011, honored with the Gold Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies.