Boston — The U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) renewed its partnership with Veolia to continue operating, maintaining and managing the South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant (SBIWTP) outside San Ysidro, Calif. USIBWC is the federal agency charged with water rights management on the U.S./Mexico border.

Since 1996, Veolia has partnered with the USIBWC to operate and maintain the 25 million gallon-per-day treatment plant, an integral component of a regional system that was developed to address a long-standing sanitation problem along the San Diego – Tijuana border. The treatment facility addresses a critical waste management need for Mexico while protecting U.S. waterways and beaches from uncontrolled wastewater discharges. 

Under the terms of the renewal, estimated at $45 million, Veolia will provide operations, management and maintenance of the SBIWTP and related infrastructure, manage chemical procurement, and oversee the facility's annual repair and maintenance program. Veolia also will coordinate with Mexican authorities on the disposal of residuals from the plant and operate and maintain canyon interceptors and pump stations that collect wastewater flows from Mexico.

"Since the beginning of our partnership, we've worked together with the USIBWC to build and operate a world-class facility that plays a critical role in the protection of our environment and meets key infrastructure needs along the California border," said Lanita McCauley Bates, senior vice president, Veolia North America. "We're proud of our long-standing relationship with the federal government and look forward to continuing to serve IBWC and meet stringent performance, staffing and security standards."

As part of the contract extension, Veolia will increase staffing and certification levels to meet USIBWC's performance and scheduling requirements and add additional personnel who will help meet enhanced federal IT security standards.

"Our clients look to Veolia to provide safe, secure, cost-effective, efficient and compliant operations and maintenance of critical wastewater assets," said William J. DiCroce, president and COO of Veolia North America's Municipal & Commercial Business. "The renewal of our agreement with IBWC demonstrates the successful partnership that we've built with the federal government during the past 20 years and we look forward to continuing the tradition of excellence that we've established along the U.S. border and protecting natural resources." 

Since 1996, Veolia has, on behalf of IBWC:

  • Performed more than 80 improvement projects at the SBIWTP facility, including the repair and maintenance of existing equipment, replacing primary sludge pumps and belt filter press pumps, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) upgrades, new variable frequency drives for influent wastewater pumps and an upgrade to the SCADA security system.
  • Reduced chemical costs by more than $140,000 annually through improved process controls and plant modifications.
  • Managed $3.2 million in facility upgrades in the past five years to enhance treatment facility reliability and operability.