United States Conference of Mayors Recognizes New Orleans Environmental Partnership

01/20/12  • Water
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Partnership played key role in Hurricane Katrina environmental recovery; generated $26M in savings for New Orleans residents

NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 20, 2012 - A New Orleans wastewater partnership with Veolia Water, the world's leading water and wastewater company, was today recognized for excellence by the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM). USCM presented the city and Veolia Water with an award for excellence in public/private partnerships.

"This award highlights the importance of public/private partnerships within government," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. "This partnership has continuously saved taxpayers money, and delivered high environmental compliance."

The environmental challenges of New Orleans are different than most U.S. cities, as New Orleans sits below sea level in an area where hurricanes are a major problem, with average rainfall exceeding 60 inches per year. This makes the operation and management of the city's wastewater facilities, which by design must deal with heavy rains and flooding, a very important role. To help meet these challenges, a partnership was formed between Veolia Water and New Orleans' Sewerage and Water Board (S&WB) in 1992, when the city contracted the operation of its two wastewater treatment plants to Veolia Water.

With a combined treatment capacity of 132 MGD, the project remains one of the largest in North America. USCM, the official non-partisan organization representing U.S. cities, acknowledged the outstanding achievements made possible by this partnership, which include :

  • Maintaining consistent environmental compliance with State and EPA regulations. Veolia and the City have earned multiple awards, including the 2010 Gold Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies for exceptional environmental compliance.
  • Leveraged environmental expertise on a new environmental project. Developed in conjunction with Tulane University, this project will restore urban, degraded wetlands into a lavish cypress forest.
  • Generated $26 million in overall savings. Veolia Water has worked with the S&WB to generate savings over the life of the contract, attributed to strategic planning and innovative solutions.
  • Environmental operations during Hurricane Katrina. Together, Veolia Water and the city quickly brought New Orleans' sewerage treatment back online after Hurricane Katrina, meeting the EPA's tight deadline. This move was essential in safeguarding public health.

"When people think of New Orleans, they think of its unique culture," said Laurent Auguste, president & CEO, Veolia Water Americas. "But environmentally, it's unique too. As a company of global environmental specialists, working in close partnership with New Orleans has been a tremendous honor."

The awards were presented today in Washington, D.C. at the U.S. Conference of Mayors' 80th Winter Meeting.

Based in Chicago, Veolia Water North America is the leading provider of comprehensive water and wastewater partnership services to municipal and industrial customers, providing services to more than 14 million people in approximately 650 North American communities. The company is part of the Veolia Environnement companies in North America, with 30,000 North American employees providing sustainable environmental solutions in water management, waste services, energy management, and passenger transportation.

Veolia Water, the water division of Veolia Environnement, is the world leader in water and wastewater services and technological solutions. Its parent company, Veolia Environnement (NYSE: VE and Paris Euronext: VIE), is the worldwide reference in environmental services. With more than 315,000 employees, Veolia Environnement recorded annual revenues of $46 billion in 2010. Visit the company's Web sites at and



Matt Demo
Veolia Water North America