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New York Times attacks 5 successful P3 projects in NJ, CA and PA

Even as Wall Street deals like the one with Bayonne help financially desperate municipalities to make much-needed repairs, they can come with a hefty price tag — not just to pay for new pipes, but also to help the investors earn a nice return, a New York Times analysis has found. Often, these contracts guarantee a specific amount of revenue, The Times found, which can send water bills soaring. ...full story


Septic systems adding E.coli to America's drinking water

Michigan State University researchers have sampled 64 river systems in the state for E. coli and the human fecal bacteria B-theta and found that septic tanks aren't working. "Sample after sample" shows bacterial concentrations are "highest where there were higher numbers of septic systems in the watershed area," according to water expert Joan Rose. ...full story. 


Bottled water recalled for E.coli contamination

Fourteen brands of spring water bottled by the same company -- from the same source are potentially contaminated with E. coli. A voluntary recall notice has been issued for Acadia, Acme, Big Y, Best Yet, 7-Eleven, Niagara, Nature's Place, Price Rite, Super Chill, Morning Fresh, Shaws, ShopRite, Western Beef Blue, and Wegmans water bottled at two plants in Pennsylvania between June 10 and 18, ABC 6 reports.Niagara Bottling says a spring owner failed to report evidence of E. coli at the source, but there have been no signs of contaminated products or reports of consumers getting sick, reports CNN. source: NEWSER



Do you care about our environment? 

You can be a part of its future. You CAN make a difference.


Columbia SC rejects privatization of water and sewer system

The Columbia City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to not privatize the city’s water and sewer system after weeks of public outcry over the proposed move. ...full story


Santa Paula Recycling Facility "Plant of the Year"

The Santa Paula Water Recycling Facility added another honor to its collection. The California Water Environment Association (CWEA) selected this "exceptional" facility as the 2014 Plant of the Year Award for Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties. It is now in the running for plant of the year for the state of California. The Facility was recognized by CWEA for its "outstanding achievements within the water environment field," specifically noting its award-winning efficient design, commitment to process efficiency, and exceptionally high quality effluent.  ....full story


Alinda's Santa Paula recycling facility in negotiation

The city council of Santa Paula – led by a recently re-elected mayor who in his previous time in office was against privatizing the plant – voted on 3rd February to exercise an option to cancel the contract and buy  the 3.4MGD (12,869m3/d) water recycling facility built and owned by a consortium of PERC Water and Alinda Capital for $70.8 million. The original capital cost of the project, which was completed in 2010, was $62 million. The deal faces tough City Council debate.  ...full story from Global Water Intelligence


New NJ law: private water companies can recover full purchase price of under performing municipal utilities

  • A municipality wishing to sell could certify that because of certain “emergent conditions” it has to accelerate the process for a sale. Voters can be bypassed – no referendum.

  • Currently, regulators review a sale and approve how much of the purchase price may be recovered in the rates the purchaser charges. WIPA would require the entire purchase price be included in the rates. 

    For more information, New Jersey consumers can find the bill (A3628) www.njleg.state.nj.us/ 


New New Jersey legislation would allow sale of troubled municipal water systems to private water companies without public referendums

Currently, a public entity must put a potential sale directly to the public in the form of a referendum. But the bipartisan bill, sponsored by State Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) and State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen), would put together a new process by which a municipality could seek to designate its system as in disrepair – and get approvals from both the Department of Environmental Protection and the Board of Public Utilities to sell it directly to a private company....full story


WIFIA legislation approved by both houses

WIFIA is designed to leverage federal funds by attracting substantial private or other non-federal investments to promote increased development of critical water infrastructure and to help speed construction of local projects. It is modeled on the USDOT TIFIA program and has many similar elements, including interest rate (tied to long-term Treasury rates) and maximum maturity (35 years); maximum percentage of eligible project cost that can be financed (generally 49 percent, although in contrast in TIFIA program, WIFIA legislation provides that up to 25 percent of each year's financing assistance can be made be available for loans exceeding 49 percent of project cost); deferral of loan repayment for up to five years after substantial completion; credit rating requirements; and non-subordination/ "springing parity lien" in the event of bankruptcy. ...full story



Half the drugs in sewage pass through treatment plants

Treatment plants may only be getting rid of about half the drugs that turn up in our sewage. A new study found that plants capture many but some herbicides and anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-seizure drugs and two antibiotics slipped by.  ...full story



Abengoa wins 30 year water supply concession for San Antonio TX

The San Antonio City Council voted today to approve the Abengoa contract to deliver 50,000 acre feet with 0/11 in favor of the project, which will go online by 2020. The San Antonio Water System (SAWS) Board of Trustee voted unanimously for the project on September 29th. There are no further approvals required. This project will set an example for other public-private partnerships for water projects in the US....full story


Water infrastructure finance initiative passes House awaits Senate vote

WIFIA, a five-year pilot program, would authorize loans or loan guarantees through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (COE) for projects including desalination, pipe replacement or rehabilitation, and new water supply facilities projects. Each agency would be authorized to provide up to $50 million annually to support eligible projects. The minimum size for a project would be $50 million. ...full story



How much Fat Oil and Grease do Fast Food restaurants produce and how to deal with it


The thousands of fast food restaurants in the US produce over 1.6 billion pounds of grease every year. The average fast food restaurant generates over 28 pounds of grease per day. This grease, if untreated properly jams pump stations, clogs sewer lines and over burdens wastewater treatment plants. Who should pay for this public burden and how should it most effectively be treated? Green Turtle water treatment solutions believe they have a plan. Let them know if their plan makes sense to you and to your municipal utility.


Go to the Green Turtle web site to learn more and to toss in your 2 cents of opinion ... or facts.

Green Turtle  and read the full story here.




Miya awarded for ending the loss of 67%

of finished water in Manila

Maynilad is the water and wastewater services provider for the western zone of Manila, serving some 9 million people. In 2008, 67% of the water put into their delivery system was lost mostly to leakage. One third of residents in western Manila lacked a connection to the municipal system and well over a million suffered from intermittent supply or low system pressure. Miya, starting in 2009, began improving water service to residents. The project earned the IWA Award for Project Innovation in the drinking water supply category. ...full story







Middlesex Water Company produces 

renewable energy for Ridgewood, NJ


Middlesex Water Company with Natural Systems Utilities and American Refining and Biochemical invested $4 million capital cost to transform waste from incoming water into electricity to power the plant and allow the village of Ridgewood purchase the electricity at a below-market price.The public-private partnership was lauded by both village officials and representatives of the companies involved, who said the financing arrangement had no precedents in New Jersey, and few if any in the country. ...full story





Ascension Parish, Louisiana agrees to exclusive fully private toll road

Ascension and Livingston parish leaders have agreed to allow a Los Angeles company to study the economic feasibility of a 2-mile elevated toll road linking the parishes that would be privately owned.  American Transportation Partners will have two years to do due diligence on the proposed private road tying La. 933 at La. 42 in Ascension with La. 16 in Livingston over the Amite River, according to a parish agreement. ...full story



Fort Worth task force rejects water system privatization

A seven-month task study of privatizing the Fort Worth water department is recommended the city continue running the department. Privatization would likely force water rates up, increase costs for the city and the Tarrant Regional Water District and would limit Council’s flexibility in directing economic development the study concluded.. ...full story



Shortlist of Regina Canada concession competitors

The City of Regina three shortlisted private consortiums will compete for the contract for a new $224.3 million wastewater treatment plant. The successful bidder will design, build, finance, operate and maintain the new plant under a public-private partnership with the city. Each will be paid a $250,000 honorarium to help cover the cost of participating in the process.

  • EPCOR Saskatchewan Water Partners

  • Prairie Water Partners

  • Wascana Environmental Partners

To learn the names of the familiar companies in each consortium go to: full story 

Regina votes for P3 funding of wastewater treatment plant

Unofficial results in Regina, Canada show 27,988 people voted for the P3 funding model, which was initially approved by council while 21,025 voted for the traditional design, bid, build model. Official results will be announced on Friday at 1 p.m. CST at City Hall. ...full story



Down to the wire in Regina: Union of Public Employees

dip heavily into $5 million anti-P3 war chest

The city of Regina has a total budget of $340,000 to push its "Vote No" (pro P3) position. Out of that amount, $70,000 has been allocated toward the polling work and three town halls are to total $16,000.




Canadians to vote on P3 financing of $252 million treatment plant

.... full story




What is a P3? The pros, the cons, the definition and the value of a P3 procurement vs. the traditional design, build, build model

 ... full story





Saskatchewan public interest group opposes private financing

of new wastewater treatment plant

...  full story




The Mayor and the Water Watch advocate give their opposing views

... and the Mayor explains why he choose a referendum full discourse




Water Watch sees Regina referendum as do or die moment for all P3s

.... full story



Regina, Saskat'ewan to vote Sept 25th on P3 for new sewage plant

...  full story

[Editors note: historically, no large P3 project survived a general referendum. Change still seems to be the biggest obstacle to progress.]


Fort Worth, TX on path to reject P3




Fort Worth public to weigh-in on public-private partnering

Fort Worth water and wastewater customers can offer feedback when the city's water utility task force meets on Tuesday Sept. 24. The task force, appointed by the City Council in March, is studying potential public-private partnership opportunities for operating the utility. It has met four times since early April, with two more meetings planned before it forwards a recommendation to the council. full story




Publicly financed water projects are not cheaper than privately financed

A study by a Canadian think tank is pouring cold water on the contention Water Watch that public-sector financed infrastructure projects are cheaper than projects financed by the private sector. “The argument that government funding is less expensive than private funding is not only wrong but also, unfortunately, ubiquitous in debates on public investment, especially for large infrastructure projects,” said the 20-page report by the C.D. Howe Institute. full story




Private equity firm rehabilitates Bahamas water system

A 10-year project to improve the Bahamas water system has reached its first significant milestone: 24/7 service water supply and pressure for all residents achieved through a new automated pressure control system.  This is the first step towards a more efficient water distribution system for the island which will also lead to savings of 4 million gallons of clean water every day. The decade-long Water Efficiency Project is being carried out by The Water and Sewerage Corporation, in partnership with Miya, part of Arison Investments with support of the Inter-American Development Bank. full story




Aqua America sells Sarasota water system to county

County commissioners voted to purchase of the company’s water and wastewater operations in Sarasota, FL. The price of the systems, which serves about 12,000 customers, is $36.8 million. This transaction would represent the final of five separate transactions to profitably sell all of Aqua America’s operations in Florida. full story




Ever wonder when America got indoor plumbing?

Read the History of Plumbing in America



Santa Paula saves millions with successful Public Private Partnership

This Southern California wastewater recycling facility, completed in 2009, has been successfully turning wastewater into clean water to recharge the local aquifer. The public-private partnership cost the City of Santa Paula 15% less capital investment than a design-bid-build option. As a result of choosing the public-private partnership delivery method, the City was able to:

  • avoid $18 million of construction costs,

  • avoid $1.8 million per year of current operating costs,

  • increase design capacity by 25%,

  • reduce facility footprint by 70%, and

  • reduce energy consumption by 30% full story


Illinois may allow private water companies to finance privatization through rate increases on current customers

Legislation moving quickly through Springfield would allow the state's biggest private water companies, Illinois American Water and Aqua Illinois, to fast-track takeovers of municipal water systems and automatically charge current customers higher rates to fund those conquests, the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) warned Monday. full story



Can public private partnerships really be better than government wastewater treatment systems?

West Yost Associates presented to the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency a comprehensive comparison publicly operated versus privately operated wastewater systems. Guess which systems are more cost effective and why. full story



America: leaking energy for water systemssmart water, water infrastructure, aging water systems, aging water infrastructure, water and energy, energy used for water supply and treatment

Xylem Inc. believes that 50% to 75% of the total capital costs at public utilities go to supplying energy for water supply and treatment and the U.S. loses 1.7 trillion gallons per year to leaky water pipes. Water and wastewater utilities are typically the largest consumers of energy in municipalities, often accounting for 30-40% of total energy consumed according to EPA..full story



Allentown PA 50-year concession awarded to home team

Allentown, PA, awarded its water and wastewater concession to Lehigh County Authority (LCA), which offered the highest final upfront bid of USD 220m in a competitive bidding process, according to a press release issued by Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski on 2 April. LCA is a municipal authority in Lehigh County, PA and, while it receives no direct taxpayer money, it does qualify for low-cost financing from the government.


Summary of estimated costs and savings of alternative water and wastewater treatment systems

Public Works Financing looked at more than two dozen water and wastewater system projects to compare costs and, for design-build-operate, savings through private involvement.




How does the Long-Term water concession model work?

A simple description of the design-build-own-operate-transfer public private partnership arrangement -- also called Concession Model



  Is there a future for water privatization?

Most Americans get their household water from a public-owned-and-operated water utilities. However, nearly 73 million people now are served with help from a private company, according to a 2011 report by the National Association of Water Companies. From the consumer's perspective, privatization's results have been mixed. In some cases, cities have retaken control of their water services. And not every private provider has delivered on promises of reduced rates. But to governments strapped for cash, the option is seen as increasingly attractive. Here, two policy experts exchange views on what is best for our communities. Richard G. Little is a senior fellow at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California . Wenonah Hauter is the executive director of Food and Water Watch, an advocacy group for food and water quality.





Water Facts

Is Larry Chertoff controlling our water supply?

Candidate Ron Paul thinks so, or so his web site states. 


The truth about plastic bottles
Is it so that: “Reusing plastic water bottles (PET) can cause them to break down into carcinogenic compounds (diethylhydroxylamine or DEHA).
reprinted from The Water Connoisseur

The origin of water
Water is the essence of life, but where did water come from? The latest discoveries in astrophysics point to water not being a natural terrestrial product but imported from the edges of our solar system.
reprinted from The Water Connoisseur

Archaea -- from the dawn of time
Archaea -- the oldest new solution to wastewater treatment?

The story of sludge processing
How it is generated, dewatered, dried, distributed.



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How corrupt is your country?

Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index for 2005 lists 143 countries from Finland to Haiti in order of the integrity of business relations. Compare this index to the 2003 Corruption Perception Index. 

Corruption Perception Index
Corruption Perception Index 2003


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Published by Larry Chertoff