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Indianapolis Wastewater Treatment and Storm Water Management Services

2008 NCPPP Service Award Winner
Project Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Public Sector Partner: City of Indianapolis
Contact Name: Gregory Ballard, Mayor, 317-327-3601
Private Sector Partner: United Water Indianapolis
Contact Name: Robyn Ashment, Manager – Strategic Marketing, robyn.ashment@unitedwater.com

Project Summary
In 1994, the City of Indianapolis partnered with United Water Indianapolis for the operation, maintenance and long-term planning of the City’s storm water and wastewater systems. In addition to providing these services, which have saved the City approximately $189 million over the past fourteen years, United Water has become a true community partner, sponsoring community events, scholarship programs and environmental education opportunities.

The contract, which has been extended through 2017, provides residents with excellent service with a high standard of water quality at an affordable price. With twelve consecutive Peak Performance Awards from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies and a 100 percent compliance rating for all conventional pollutants, United Water saved the City $46 million and decreased accidents by 85 percent in the first four years of the partnership.

United Water was awarded its first contract in 1994 to operate and maintain two advanced water treatment (AWT) facilities adjacent to the White River, which runs through the west side of Indianapolis. Two years later, United Water was awarded a contract for the operation and maintenance of the City’s wastewater and storm water collection systems and the Eagle Creek Flood Control Dam, located in the far northwest corner of the City.

Project Objectives
The scope of service for this contract includes the operation and maintenance of two AWT facilities, storm and wastewater collection services and laboratory, industrial pretreatment and program management services. This scope is meant to improve service, enhance productivity and strengthen a commitment to safety and training. United Water provides these services to 800,000 residents and 41,000 businesses in the Indianapolis-region.

Project Description
The public sector partner for this project is the City of Indianapolis, Indiana. The City, located in central Indiana in Marion County, has a large urban center with numerous surrounding parks and recreation areas. The City, governed by an elected Mayor and the City-County Council, provides typical municipal services in addition to court services for Marion County.

The City partnered with United Water for the complete operation and maintenance of the City’s wastewater management and treatment system. United Water specializes in water and wastewater treatment, municipal solutions and innovative treatment technology and serves seven million people nationwide.

Implementation Environment–Legislative and Administrative
Indiana state statute allows public entities to contract with private entities for the development, financing and/or operation of projects through a public-private partnership with a private entity (Indiana Statutes, title 8, art. 15.7, ch. 3 § 1, [2006]).

Financial Agreement
The most recently negotiated contract (effective 2007) states that the City will pay United Water $28,310,524 each year of the contract plus an additional adjustment factor based on CPI and ECI changes for full operation and maintenance of the system.

Contract Provisions
For the full operation and maintenance of the Indianapolis wastewater and storm water systems, United Water is tasked with the collection, treatment, disposal and discharge of water to the City and surrounding region. This shall be conducted in compliance with all city, state and federal laws.

Implementation Metrics
In order to preserve the long-term reliability and conservation of the system, United Water was tasked with developing and implementing an operations strategy based on the formation of an operations leadership team (OLT) to ensure contract provisions are met. The OLT’s main responsibility is addressing specific issues, develop alternatives and coordinate with the City on information, review, solutions and approval for associated activities.

United Water’s improvements to the Indianapolis wastewater and storm water systems have saved over $189 million since 1994. The success of this partnership has allowed United Water to become a true community partner in its own right, sponsoring events and taking a lead role in the environmental education of Indianapolis youth.