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United Water Begins Five-Year Agreement to Provide Wastewater Services for Residents of DeSoto County, Mississippi.

HARRINGTON PARK, N.J. -- United Water, one of the nation's largest water service companies, begins a five-year contract today to provide wastewater services to 145,000 residents of DeSoto County, Mississippi. Under the terms of its agreement with the DeSoto County Regional Utility Authority (DCRUA), United Water will be paid approximately $1.8 million during the contract period to operate, manage and maintain three wastewater treatment facilities with a combined average flow of 4.2 million gallons a day (MGD) and a combined capacity of 7.5 MGD.

"We are honored that the DCRUA has chosen us to operate the wastewater treatment facilities," said Bob Iacullo, chief operating officer of United Water. "Our team looks forward to being a true partner with the DeSoto County community and we are proud to have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the county's future." According to Iacullo, United Water's competitive position resulted in significant savings for the DCRUA over the initial term of the contract. "We believe that we will be able to generate more than $1.7 million in savings during the life of our contract," Iacullo added.

DeSoto is Mississippi's fastest growing county

DeSoto County's population has increased by 35 percent since 2000 and the U.S. Census Bureau projects that DeSoto County will be home to 161,000 people by the end of the decade, making it the fastest growing county in Mississippi and one of the fastest growing counties in the nation.

"We've recognized the need for comprehensive planning for future wastewater needs in order to attract industry and to enhance the quality of life and sustain growth in the county," said B.J. Page, president of the DCRUA Board of Directors. "This planning culminated in the formation of the DCRUA in 2000. Since its inception DCRUA has fulfilled its mission by opening the Short Fork Wastewater Treatment Facility, a state-of-the-art facility located in eastern DeSoto County. This facility will serve the needs of the citizens on the eastern part of the county well into the future and ensure compliance with all state and federal environmental regulations."

"We are pleased to welcome United Water to the community," Page continued. "We are confident that the company will play an important role in further enhancing our community and meeting environmental needs associated with DeSoto's continued rapid growth."

Located in northwest Mississippi, six miles from Memphis, DeSoto is comprised of five cities: Hernando, Horn Lake, Olive Branch, Southaven and Walls. DCRUA is implementing a comprehensive $120 million infrastructure upgrade which will replace many aging and scattered sewer treatment plants throughout these communities. The investment will help protect and improve many of the area's impaired waterways.

According to Page, DCRUA has proven to be a most effective state, local and federal partnership. In fact, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi's Governor Haley Barbour has pointed to DCRUA as a model for development of systems on the Mississippi Gulf Coast to more effectively manage water and wastewater needs.

"United Water is excited about supporting DCRUA as it works to meet "smart growth" challenges," "said Iacullo. "As DeSoto County moves forward with plans to expand its commercial, residential and industrial tax bases and make other improvements, we can help with "smart growth" practices relative to wastewater. Doing our job well means balancing DeSoto's economic growth with environmental protection."

United Water, which serves customers in 21 states, operates the water and wastewater systems for Laurel, Mississippi and also has operations in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.

ABOUT UNITED WATER

United Water provides water and wastewater services to 7.7 million people in the United States. In addition to owning and operating 25 regulated utilities, United Water operates 145 municipal systems through public-private partnerships and contract agreements including four of the nation's largest water and wastewater contracts. Founded in 1869, United Water is a subsidiary of the Suez Environment division of the Suez Group.

ABOUT SUEZ ENVIRONMENT

Suez Environment, a Suez business line, provides equipment and services that protect the environment and deliver the essentials of life. The company's environmental expertise ranges from drinking water production and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, waste collection, treatment and recovery. Backed by its experience in the water and waste cycles, Suez Environment has a wide-ranging portfolio of know-how providing sustainable solutions for local authorities and businesses. Suez Environment employs over 82,400 people worldwide and generated revenues of $16.2 billion in 2006.
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Publication:Business Wire
Article Type:Company overview
Date:Oct 1, 2007
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