July 1, 1999

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Contact: Janet Harris: 630/679-8879

US Water Assesses Clients’ Readiness for Y2K
Nearly all Water/Wastewater Facilities Ready for the New Millennium

SOMERVILLE, NJ, July 1, 1999 – With six months left until the new millennium, U.S. Water L.L.C. announced today that nearly all of the water and wastewater facilities it operates for municipal and industrial clients are ready for the Year 2000. The company recently completed a Year 2000 Assessment on the systems and equipment at each of its project sites. Of the more than 1,000 control systems and other pieces of electronic equipment examined by US Water that are potentially susceptible to the year 2000 date change, all but 11 were found to be ready for Y2K.

US Water conducted Year 2000 Assessments for all of its clients at no cost, giving detailed reports. For those few clients that needed help in achieving Y2K readiness, US Water provided resources to assist them free of charge.

"We believe that our clients are also our partners," said Michael Belsante, President & CEO of US Water. "When we can be of assistance to our clients above and beyond our contractual responsibilities, we proactively offer our expertise."

US Water took a 4-phase approach to conducting the Year 2000 Assessments, consisting of:

  • Inventory of equipment, with special attention paid to equipment with electronic circuit boards,
  • Criticality Assessment to sort equipment in to High, Medium or Low Risk categories,
  • Contingency Planning to assess whether backup equipment or "work arounds" are necessary and available in case of equipment failure, and
  • Mitigation Planning & Management to ensure that the facilities will operate without interruption into the Year 2000.

"There has been a lot of focus on January 1, 2000, but we tested for other critical dates as well, such as September 9, 1999 and October 10, 2000," said John Mech, Director of Enterprise Computing at US Water. "In some cases, we did simulations, sending equipment through a virtual time warp into the future and back to see how it would hold up. The Year 2000 Project Team found that, in nearly all cases, the equipment was found to be ready for the Year 2000."

The report notes that it is not possible to say with absolute certainty that a Y2K-related failure will not occur or that no other equipment or processes will be affected. However, in the analysis to understand the potential for Y2K problems at the facilities, US Water followed a logical and systematic course to determine whether an equipment failure due to the "millennium bug" was or was not possible.

Other aspects of US Water’s internal Y2K projects are also coming to closure. For example, the company’s portfolio of maintenance management systems which are used to schedule critical repair tasks are ready for the Year 2000, as is the customer billing system that is used to generate thousands of water and sewer bills each month. The infrastructure used to generate EPA and other regulatory reporting is also ready.

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US Water operates, maintains, and manages municipal and industrial water and wastewater systems, and provides related services in billing and collection, design, construction management and financing. US Water’s corporate headquarters is located in Bolingbrook, Ill., with regional offices in New Jersey, North Carolina and Massachusetts. US Water currently serves 68 facilities throughout the United States. For more information about US Water, please visit our web site at www.us-water.com.