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Fayetteville extends wastewater P3 through 2019

Fayetteville, Ark. — The Fayetteville, Ark., city council unanimously approved a five-year renewal of its contract with CH2M HILL for operations, maintenance and management of the city’s wastewater facilities, extending the public-private partnership (P3) through Dec. 31. 2019. The city also expanded the contract scope to include engineering services.

“We are so excited to continue this long-standing partnership,” says Don Marr, Fayetteville chief of staff. “CH2M HILL has demonstrated to our city their commitment to this contract, their passion for the services they provide, and a quality of work that is second to no one. They are such an integrated part of our team, I couldn’t imagine not having their talent and expertise working on behalf of our city, and our citizens. We look forward to this relationship continuing for many more years into the future.”

CH2M HILL has managed the city's wastewater facilities since 1987, and work currently includes two wastewater treatment plants with a combined capacity of 21.2 million gallons per day, a biosolids management site, 38 wastewater lift stations, a state-approved industrial pretreatment program, an environmental laboratory, a hay harvesting and marketing operation, and a wetland mitigation site. CH2M HILL also originally designed and managed construction of the Paul R. Noland wastewater treatment plant.

“This has been one of our flagship partnerships for many, many years, and we are extremely excited it will continue for five more years and beyond,” says Steve Meininger, senior vice president and managing director of Operations Management Services.  “The Fayetteville team’s relentless focus on innovation, award-winning service, and strong client relationships has paid off once again.”

The partnership has extended beyond the wastewater facilities to support the city's efforts to encourage sustainable practices throughout the community by cooperating with business and academia to increase awareness about sustainability in the region. In 2008, CH2M HILL was the first sponsor to sign on to Fayetteville's first Sustainability Summit. Since then, CH2M HILL has continued to sponsor additional sustainability events in the community.

At the project, sustainability efforts began by replacing an all-terrain vehicle with a tricycle and ditching paper cups and bottled water in favor of mugs and reusable water bottles. CH2M HILL also pilot-tested and purchased a new oxygen system developed at the University of Arkansas that reduced annual energy and chemical costs by nearly $35,000 at one treatment facility.

In 2010 staff worked with the City to designate the Noland Xeriscape project and wildlife habitat restoration areas as certified wildlife habitats through the National Wildlife Federation. CH2M HILL also maintains the Woolsey Wet Prairie Sanctuary (wetlands) adjacent to the West Side wastewater plant. The goal of this project is to restore the native prairie ecosystem that once lived there. The Woolsey Wet Prairie also was recognized by the National Wildlife Federation as a certified wildlife habitat.

More recently, in an effort to eliminate transportation of biosolids to landfill, CH2M HILL staff was instrumental in developing an innovative combination of solar drying and thermal drying that enables biosolids to be beneficially reused and sold as fertilizer, reducing fuel consumption, landfill fees and space requirements. It is the first facility in the U.S. to use a combination of these technologies.

The partnership has earned numerous accolades, including the prestigious U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Award for Outstanding Industrial Pretreatment Program in 1998, the 2011 Keep Arkansas Beautiful Shine Superstar Award, and 2011 National Council of Public Private Partnerships Service Award for its sustainability efforts. Fayetteville also earned honorable mention in the 2012 Siemens Sustainable Community Award and was a finalist for the 2012 Arkansas Environmental Stewardship Award and the 2008 Arkansas Environmental Stewardship Award.