Public-private partnership created substantial savings for the Citizens of Santa Paula
Santa Paula News
Published: August 21, 2013
The City of Santa Paula’s decision to use a public-private partnership for its water recycling facility lowered anticipated sewer costs for its citizens.
In 2007 the City of Santa Paula voted to proceed under a public-private partnership to replace its noncompliant wastewater treatment plant. The City entered into an agreement with Santa Paula Water, LLC to design, build, operate and finance a new water recycling facility. At the same time, Santa Paula Water LLC entered an agreement with PERC Water Corporation to design, build and operate the new facility.
The public-private partnership option cost 15% less than the design-bid-build option the City initially considered. As a result of changing from the design-bid-build option to the public-private partnership delivery method, the City was able to:
• avoid $18 million of capital costs,
• avoid $1.8 million per year of current operating costs,
• increase design capacity by 25%,
• reduce facility footprint by 70%, and
• reduce energy consumption by 30%.
Santa Paula’s Councilmember Bob Gonzales was mayor at the time the public-private partnership contract was signed. “The cost of doing business was significant for us,” he said. “We had to build a new wastewater treatment facility, and we did not have the necessary funds. The DBOF delivery method gave the city a lot more latitude, and the risk was transferred to the company who was doing the work.”
The Facility was completed seven months ahead of schedule and began operating in May 2010, less than three years after the City’s decision to proceed with the public-private partnership. Since it began operations three years ago, the Santa Paula Water Recycling Facility has consistently performed under the expected operating budget and produces water quality significantly better than guaranteed.
The Facility is operating at 50% of its design capacity, which means it can meet the future demand created by new homes and businesses within the City.
The Facility’s treated water is consistently better quality than required by PERC Water’s performance guarantee. It is currently producing approximately 2,200 acre-feet (over 700 million gallons) per year of recycled water, which could be utilized as reuse water.
PERC Water uses the most advanced treatment process technologies available, ensuring that the Facility operates at peak efficiency while meeting the high standards of recycled water. Their proprietary design accomplishes these results on a one-acre footprint with the majority of the treatment processes taking place underground and beneath the operations buildings.
Santa Paula reduced its ecological footprint by investing in innovative technology while simultaneously creating consistent and sustainable financial savings. The Santa Paula Water Facility project is an ideal example of a city choosing to not compromise its environmental responsibility while still exercising fiscal certainty.
For more information, visit www.percwater.com.