After being awarded a $288 million utilities privatization contract for Hill Air Force Base in January 2014, American Water has launched an initiative to invest $3.6 million in its first three contract years to upgrade water and wastewater systems at the installation in northern Utah.
“The first year efforts include a major upgrade to one of our wells, as well as other replacements and infrastructure improvements,” Mark Persico, primary contracting officer representative for the contract, told Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) Public Affairs. “Over the next two to three months, projects include work on three sewage lift stations, 1,900 linear feet of sewer line, 13 pressure-reducing valves and replacement of 10 fire hydrants,” he said.
Under the 50-year agreement with the Air Force, American Water, the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company, is responsible for upgrading the utilities to current industry standards, as well as operating and maintaining them.
In addition to achieving modernization of its utilities, the Air Force also gains substantial cost savings through privatization.
“Private industry does this type of work day in and day out,” said Rick Weston, AFCEC’s utilities privatization program manager. “They can normally do it cheaper than we can,” Weston said.
Over the past 16 years, the Air Force has privatized 66 systems, amounting to a $3.6 billion value and a cost avoidance of $511 million, according to the story.