NEWS RELEASE                                   OCTOBER 2011

U.S. and Canadian Wastewater Plants Enter Into More Than 100,000 Contracts per Year

The 20,000 municipal wastewater plants in the U.S. and Canada enter into more than 100,000 large contracts (of more than $10,000) per year. Some of these contracts are for plant expansions and renovation. So the value can be in excess of $10 million. Most of the plants have an annual contract for chemicals with several different chemical suppliers. The activities at these plants are tracked in the McIlvaine North American Municipal Wastewater Treatment Facilities and People.

Five thousand of these plants treat more than one million gallons per day of sewage. Some of these plants process hundreds of millions of gallons per day.  The value of the contracts let by these 5000 plants represents more than 80 percent of the total purchases by the 20,000 plants.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 resulted in over 3000 assistance agreements with funding of $5.6 billion. $3.8 billion was provided for wastewater projects. These funds have now been expended.  As a result, contracts in 2012 will be down from the 2010-11 level.  There are other forces at work to raise investment again in later years.

One of the growth areas is water reuse. Much of the U.S. suffers from water shortages. Projects to treat effluent for reuse for industry, golf courses, lawns and other purposes are increasing.

Ashland, Ohio issued contracts to three different chemicals suppliers with a total value of over $100,000 for a period of one year. Fostoria, Ohio issued contracts to six chemical suppliers for a total of over $300,000.  Large cities such as Chicago issue many contracts for individual chemicals.

Odor control projects comprise a significant percentage of the capital investment. Disinfection is another investment which can be triggered by legal action. EPA ordered Maui to fully disinfect Lahaina Wastewater Plant.

This facility is discharging wastewater containing bacteria that could exceed federal standards. The agency says it's requiring the county to install a non-chlorine disinfection system at the facility by the end of 2013.

Other EPA actions are generating projects as witnessed in Idaho. The city of Nampa is about to face new standards from the U.S. EPA. The city of Boise is also preparing for never-before-seen restrictions on phosphorous and water temperature. Boise officials approved $4 million in immediate capital improvements to the city's water systems and an additional $1.5 million in annual chemical costs. Long-range improvements to the West Boise Wastewater Treatment Facility could cost anywhere from $67 million to $92 million.

North American Municipal Wastewater Treatment Facilities and People includes biweekly updates on all the projects. For more information, click on: