WATER STORIES EAST PROVIDENCE, RI

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1 WATER STORIES EAST PROVIDENCE, RI

2

3 We are proud to partner with East Providence on this very important project. Together we developed an innovative, sustainable solution that promotes public, economic and environmental health. In addition, this infrastructure improvement project creates jobs right here in the community we serve. Bertrand Camus, CEO, United Water BACKGROUND PAGE 5 THE CONTRACT PAGE 7 CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS PAGE 9 ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT PAGE 11 COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT PAGE 13 THE FUTURE PAGE 15

4 THE RIGHT MOVE FOR 130,000 RESIDENTS The health of our City and its people depends on the health of our environment. The improvements at the treatment plant will go a long way to accomplishing this goal. former Mayor Bruce Rogers, East Providence, RI 4

5 BACKGROUND In 2008, the City of East Providence Water Pollution Control Facility was in a tight spot: Rhode Island environmental regulations were getting stronger, but the equipment used by plant operators to meet those regulations was getting weaker. The state Office of Compliance and Inspections slapped the plant with $27,500 in administrative fines for violating the Water Pollution Act and three sets of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) regulations. In addition, the plant was not meeting a 2004 law requiring a 50-percent cut in nitrogen content in plant effluent being discharged to the Providence River and upper Narragansett Bay. Something had to give. Rhode Island officials began looking for outside help. They didn t need to look far: Since July 2005, United Water had been operating the nearby Bucklin Point Wastewater Treatment Facility under a 10-year public-private partnership with Rhode Island s Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC), a quasi-public agency. Bucklin Point serves about 130,000 residents of East Providence and surrounding communities. Bucklin Point WWTF is one of two NBC treatment facilities and one of the largest facilities in the region. In 2010, United Water entered into a 10-year, design-build-operate (DBO) contract for the City s 103-mile collection system and 10.4-million-gallon-per-day (MGD) wastewater treatment facility. Under the terms of the contract, United Water would be responsible for designing, constructing, starting and testing the wastewater system project. The City would own the wastewater treatment plant, and United Water would operate, maintain, manage and as needed repair and replace portions of the collection system. 5

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7 THE CONTRACT In 2010, United Water entered into a 10-year DBO contract for the city s 103-mile collection system and 10.4-MGD wastewater treatment facility. The contract also called for United Water to replace a pump station in Watchemocket Cove with a 10-MGD selfcleaning wet-well pump station that is designed to eliminate untreated sanitary sewer overflows into the Providence River. Other collection system improvements include a new force main to convey sewage from the new pump station southward to the treatment plant. Originally planned for installation along Veterans Memorial Parkway and Pawtucket Avenue, the new force main was redesigned to be placed beneath the city s East Bay Bike Path. The move reduces traffic disruption and utility impacts on those main thoroughfares, thus saving an estimated $3 million in construction costs. Additional improvements include the construction of a 5-MGD pump station on the City s Boyden Boulevard and three other smaller pump stations at various locations. Under the terms of the contract, United Water operates the treatment facility while East Providence retains the authority to set rates and maintain jobs for local workers. The design-build-operate contract is saving East Providence an estimated $13 million over what was budgeted to be spent under a traditional project delivery approach. 7

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9 CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS In November 2012, United Water and its construction partner, Wakefield, MA-based AECOM, completed capital improvements to the 58-year-old wastewater facility. It is now better equipped to trap and treat harmful and odorous gases and to eliminate sewer system overflows that harm water quality in the Providence River and Narragansett Bay. The work brings the collection system and plant into compliance with state Department of Environmental Management mandates. Major elements of the work included upgrading the four aeration tanks used in the enhanced biological nitrogen removal (BNR) process. BNR is needed to reduce algae buildup and, in turn, to improve water quality for aquatic life and recreation use in the Narragansett Bay watershed. United Water also constructed an enclosed headworks building, installed two new odor control systems and upgraded a third, installed an enclosed belt-press dewatering system and doubled the pumping capacity of the Watchemoket Pump Station to 10.5 million gallons per day. Biological nitrogen removal: The BNR process is important to reduce algae buildup that in turn helps improve water quality for aquatic life and recreational use for fisherman. Each of the four aeration tanks was modified to provide multiple aerobic and anoxic zones and intermediate pumping that are necessary to achieve enhanced biological nitrogen removal. Headworks Building: Construction of this new building now encloses the channels and equipment for odor control and protects against the environment and weather conditions. Odor Control: Two new odor control systems and an upgrade to the existing system at the WPCF. The first system has a new biofilter unit complete with a fan and control panel to ventilate and treat odorous air from the new headworks building and raw sewage pumping station wet well. The second system is an activated carbon scrubber that treats air from the clarifier weirs. In addition, the improvements include a new beltpress dewatering system with a totally enclosed dewatering press that has significantly reduced odors from these previously problematic operations. Collection System Bike Path: The three-mile pipeline placed along the East Bay Bike Path reduced traffic and utility impacts and also maintained access to public and private properties at all times during construction. The repaving of the damaged bike path the first multi-town bike path built in Rhode Island has also sparked a great sense of pride and usefulness to the community. The bikeway stretches 14.5 miles from India Point Park in Providence to Independence Park in Bristol. 9

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11 ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT While the most obvious improvement to area residents is sweeter smelling air, the most profound benefit comes from the reduction in nitrogen finding its way into the Providence River and, in short order, into Narragansett Bay, New England s largest estuary. The East Providence Water Pollution Control Facility and the Watchemoket Pump Station lie alongside the Providence River, an eight-mile-long tidal watercourse running from downtown Providence to Narragansett Bay. The reduction of nitrogen in discharged effluent is critical to the area. Nitrogen, along with phosphorous and other nutrients, supports vegetative growth and is essential to marine life; however, high levels of nutrients can lead to excessive vegetative growth. The subsequent decay of this plant matter consumes oxygen and lowers dissolved oxygen concentrations in the water. In 2001, low dissolved oxygen levels led to a massive die-off of blue mussels, which help to keep algae levels in check. Because of the low oxygen levels in the upper Bay and their connection with nutrient levels, the RIDEM in 2005 initiated a program to reduce nitrogen concentrations in effluent from wastewater treatment plants. That s where United Water comes in. We combined our BNR technology with a second technology, called integrated fixed-film activated sludge (IFAS) technology. IFAS treatment technology introduces thousands of tiny biofilm disk media that serve as growing platforms for biomass in the sludge. The naturally occurring microorganisms in the sludge use oxygen instead of chemicals to remove phosphorus and nitrogen during the wastewater treatment process. United Water used an IFAS design from Infilco Degremont, one of United Water s sister companies, that achieves high removal rates in a small volume. The upgraded plant is designed to treat an average daily wastewater flow of 14.2 million gallons and a peak daily flow of 26 million gallons. 11

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13 COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT United Water is dedicated to making our communities better places where we live and where we work. We re your neighbors. We live and work here, too. So, in addition to significantly improving and repaving the East Bay Bike Path, United Water proudly participates in community events throughout Rhode Island, including National Water Week in Wakefield, the Rhode Island Business Expo in Providence and the Washington County Fair in Hope Valley. We also partnered with Save the Bay, a nonprofit organization that aims to protect, restore and improve the ecological health of the Narragansett Bay, its watershed and adjacent coastal waters. We also meet regularly with local organizations to discuss issues such as water quality, water conservation and Xeriscape (conservation) gardening. United Water also meets periodically with representatives from the communities it serves, to share company information and to seek input from customers on the services it provides. For example, the rehabilitation of the bike path provided such an opportunity. 13

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15 THE FUTURE East Providence and the Narragansett Bay are at a crucial turning point. The health of our City and its people depends on the health of our environment and the improvements underway at the treatment plant will go a long way to accomplishing this goal, said Bruce Rogers, former Mayor of East Providence. United Water will bring to bear our proven strengths in continuing the area s recovery. We are proud to partner with East Providence on this very important project, said Bertrand Camus, CEO of United Water. Together we developed an innovative, sustainable solution that promotes public, economic and environmental health. In addition, this infrastructure improvement project creates jobs right here in the community we serve. 15

16 MAKING THE PLANET SUSTAINABLE IS THE BEST JOB ON EARTH Corporate Headquarters 200 Old Hook Road Harrington Park, NJ _2012 Printed in the United States on recycled paper.

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