United Water, Gary District Sign Contract

United Water has signed a five-year extension to its contract to manage the Gary (Indiana) Sanitary District's wastewater treatment facilities and sewage collection system. The company has operated these facilities through a public-private partnership since 1998.

The new contract, which takes effect June 1, represents about $54 million in total revenue for United Water. The district serves 180,000 people who live in Gary and the surrounding communities of Calumet, Hobart, Lake Station, and Merrillville.

Under the agreement, United Water is responsible for the operation, maintenance, and management of a 60 million-gallon-a day wastewater treatment plant, a 360-mile sewer collection system with 25 miles of storm sewers and five miles of separate sanitary sewers, 36 pumping stations including 20 sanitary remote pumping stations, and 16 stormwater pumping stations, and 12 combined sewer overflows (CSOs).

"We're honored that the Board of Commissioners selected us to continue operating their wastewater facilities," said Tony Harding, chief executive officer. Harding noted that United Water's cost-effective management has helped the district maintain stable rates for its customers.

The company's wet weather management plan also helped to reduce the number of CSOs by 66 percent while reducing the volume from 3.8 billion gallons to 236 million gallons. In addition, the United Water-Gary partnership's efforts have been recognized by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management with Safety and Laboratory awards for five consecutive years.

"This public-private partnership has served Gary area residents well," said Richard J. Comer, sanitary district president. "Our wastewater infrastructure is an important part of our plan to improve the environment and enhance economic development in Northwest Indiana. United Water has been a true partner in helping us pursue those goals."

United Water, one of the nation's largest water services companies, is a subsidiary of the Suez Environment division of the Suez Group, which supplies sustainable solutions for essential environmental services (water, wastewater treatment, and waste services) to industrial and individual customers around the world.

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