You might not realize it, but your water system has always involved the private sector. From the lawyers who assist with financing arrangements, to the contractor who poured the concrete, to the engineers who design pump stations, you rely on private services to get water to your customers. Choosing a single, experienced private provider can streamline all of those contacts, making far less work for you and bringing greater reliability and service to your customers. That means that public-private partnerships are not revolutionary at all but, instead, merely an evolution of how to most efficiently and cost-effectively deliver reliable water and wastewater services to customers
When a water or wastewater system is designed and built, typically the municipality is burdened with coordinating and overseeing all of the private contractors involved, including each construction specialty, financing and legal work. That means the municipality also assumes the risk involved in this fragmented management system. Relying on a single private partner who is experienced in the industry to manage all aspects of the project can transfer these risks to the private partner and will deliver high-quality, less stressful results.
To American Water, a public-private partnership is exactly what it sounds like: a partnership in which the public truly comes first. It’s all about local involvement, improving the quality and reliability of a community’s water or wastewater system and service to its customers, updating its pipes and treatment plants to handle the growth its area is experiencing, and being a good neighbor in the areas we serve.
A public-private partnership with American Water can also help you upgrade your system infrastructure, which could be decades or even a century old, without the resistance you might see from residents. It will also relieve the pressure that changing weather patterns like drought and flooding are putting on communities across the country by linking you to a company that regularly deals with and has developed best practices around changing weather patterns. Many cities are forced to impose water restrictions and find ways to deal with heavy rain but those are the issues American Water effectively deals with every day – for over 121 years. It’s what we do.
The Tolt treatment facility in Seattle is another success story. In 1997, American Water began working on the project which now provides the city with 120 million gallons of water per day, or roughly 30% of the City of Seattle's annual drinking water supply. The plant’s design/build/operate model developed by American Water and its partners saved the city an estimated $60 to $70 million over its original benchmark design costs.
View the Seattle case study here.
Types of Public-Private Partnerships:
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