Gene F. Eriquez

Best Practice Recognition
The City of Danbury and USFilter
Privatization of Wastewater Treatment Services

Like many municipalities, the City of Danbury, Connecticut, was faced with making important changes in the delivery of its wastewater treatment services. Danbury Mayor Gene F. Eriquez had a tough set of requirements for any changes: (1) maintain or exceed historic levels of performance in effluent quality measures; (2) guarantee the employment of all existing city personnel; (3) meet current and future environmental requirements; and (4) stabilize utility rates for Danbury’s citizens.

To meet these requirements, the City decided in October 1997 to enter into a 20-year partnership agreement with USFilter to operate its 15.5 million gallons per day treatment facility and 13 pump stations. At the outset of the partnership, USFilter provided the City with $10 million for infrastructure needs. The City used the $10 million to close in an existing landfill. In addition, USFilter agreed not only to take on 14 city employees with comparable wages and benefits, but added additional training and advancement opportunities. These employees, during their first year with USFilter, were nominated for a variety of awards and won several regional EPA excellence awards.

Danbury’s ratepayers will benefit from new infrastructure and guaranteed performance over the next twenty years as well as stable user fees. Already improved operating efficiencies, more effective maintenance, and a team of well-trained employees have improved city services. The City has already realized additional revenues from USFilter’s development and management of an expanded septage-receiving program, and the City will also be able to rely on USFilter for ongoing advice on regulatory compliance and infrastructure improvement.

USFilter actively participates in the community. On any given day, USFilter staff can be found giving tours of the facility to plumbing classes from the local technical school or sponsoring a local baseball team, the Jaycees, or the Mayor’s Cup Golf Tournament. USFilter also contributes to and participates in the Still River Alliance, whose goal is to develop access and recreational use of the Still River. The Still River receives a large portion of its flow from the Danbury Treatment Facility. 

For more information, please contact:

Mike Stark
Executive Vice President & General Manager
USFilter Operating Services
14950 Heathrow Forest Parkway, Suite 200
Houston, TX 77032
Telephone: (281) 985-5406
Fax: (281) 985-5630

Home Search

The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Telephone (202) 293-7330, FAX (202) 293-2352

Copyright ©2000, U.S. Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.