Jan 24, 2012

American Water, City of Elizabeth, N.J., Receive Outstanding Public/Private Partnership Award

Water and wastewater system improvements recognized for combined effort between city, company

American Water announced that its water and wastewater systems in the city of Elizabeth, N.J., received the 2012 Outstanding Public/Private Partnership Award, which honors achievements made possible through the combined effort of cities and members of the Mayors Business Council, from the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

In response to upgrading the city’s 100 year-old water infrastructure and a wastewater system that was nearly 150 years old, Elizabeth entered into two long-term contracts with American Water to maintain and operate the city’s water and wastewater systems. After considering possible solutions in the realm of public-private partnerships, in 1998 the city selected a 40-year concession contract with American Water’s market-based subsidiary (a division that was then-named Liberty Water Co.) to operate and maintain the water system. A few years later, the city entered into a separate 20-year operation and maintenance contract with American Water for the sewer system.

“Both contracts have provided multiple benefits to the city and its residents. Beyond the financial benefits to the city, this public-private partnership has allowed the administration to focus its attention on other priorities in our ongoing commitment to Elizabeth’s future,” said J. Christian Bollwage, mayor of Elizabeth.

During the course of the partnership, American Water has made more than $4 million in water-related infrastructure investments to date, including system-wide meter replacements; replacement of undersize water mains with new ductile iron pipe to increase volume capacity; and the replacement of old existing cast iron mains that previously had numerous water main breaks.

The wastewater system is operated and maintained by E’town Services LLC, an American Water subsidiary, in conjunction with the Union County Improvement Authority.