Suez to hold internal planning summit in Indy

The Paris-based utility that operates Indianapolis’ wastewater plants, Suez Environmental, is holding a tiny conference at IUPUI from Thursday through Saturday to discuss internal strategy for the next few years.

Suez, which runs the local plants through its United Water Services subsidiary, will host about 15 people from its local operations as well as sites in nationals including Algeria, China and Hungary.

The meeting was held in Paris last year. It is closed to the public.

Indianapolis was a pioneer of large-scale privatization of wastewater treatment in the United States when it contracted operation of its Belmont and Southport plants to White River Environmental Partnership in 1994.

A new contract that covered the plants as well as the collection system was signed three years later with White River, which in turn was absorbed by United Water.

The current, 10-year contract expires Jan. 1, 2008, and the city has issued a request for proposals to operate and maintain the wastewater treatment system.

Four companies have responded to a request for expression of interest. In addition to United Water, they include:

  • -American Water of Voorhees, N.J., which is owned RWE AG of Essen, Germany.
  • -CH2M Hill OMI Inc. of Englewood, Colo.
  • -Veolia Water North America of Houston

The new contract will involve taking over management of the new $1.8 billion wastewater control system as stages of construction are finished.

The project, which began in 2001 and is to be finished by 2025, is expected to minimize raw sewage flowing into rivers during rain storms.

When complete, only two to four sewage overflows a year are expected; currently, there are 40 to 60.

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