Prichard, Ala., Grants Severn Trent Contract Renewal

Severn Trent Services has renewed its public-private partnership with the Water Works and Sewer Board (the Board) of the city of Prichard, Ala., through a competitive bid process.

The company will be responsible for the complete operation, maintenance and management of the city’s water and wastewater facilities, collection and distribution systems, meter reading, billing and customer service functions.

Prior to entering into partnership with Severn Trent in 2007, the Board was operating on a strict consent order from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and experiencing significant operational challenges. Shortly after the partnership began, plant performance was dramatically improved, allowing the Board and its engineer to concentrate on capital improvement planning. In the last two years, the Board and citizens of Prichard have benefited from improved operations and performance, including reduced solids inventory; improved discharge quality; the introduction of an asset management program; identification of capital improvement projects; and the installation of a comprehensive maintenance management program that schedules predictive and preventive maintenance.

The partnership will continue to benefit the city and its 26,000 residents in a number of ways. Unlike privatization – when a system is owned, operated and financed by a private entity – a public-private partnership allows the municipality or authority to retain control of the assets. Using the public-private partnership model, rates are set by the municipality. In addition, jobs are secure per contract terms. Following the inception of the partnership in 2007, Severn Trent transitioned all employees from the previous contractor.

“We take great pride in calling Prichard our first partnership in Alabama. It is an honor to be selected by the Water Works and Sewer Board of the City of Prichard to continue our relationship,” noted Dana Kaas, vice president, Operating Services. “Severn Trent Services looks forward to continue serving the citizens of Prichard for years to come.”

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