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City of Norwalk celebrates one year with SUEZ

Despite a global pandemic, the City achieved many goals in just the first year of operations

The City of Norwalk, Norwalk Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) and SUEZ came together on Monday, May 24 to celebrate one year of their partnership. Despite COVID-19 restrictions set forth by the nation’s health agency, the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC), SUEZ has enhanced environmental health and safety throughout the City in just the first year. The operational efficiencies SUEZ has integrated into the system has allowed the City of Norwalk to access the latest technology in industry innovation, and this is only the beginning.

During the first week of operations and maintenance of the wastewater system in Norwalk, CT, SUEZ set up training for its acoustic inspection tool. While conducting an exercise, SUEZ discovered that the pipe used for training was practically 100% clogged and a sanitary sewer overflow was imminent. The company’s employees were able to react immediately, clean the line, and prevent a possible sewer overflow over Memorial Day weekend. The acoustic inspection tool has allowed SUEZ to continue to assess and prioritize sewer lines that need maintenance.

“The critical discovery the week before Memorial Day weekend is an example of why we chose SUEZ to manage our system,” said Ralph Kolb, Senior Environmental Engineer for the Norwalk WPCA. “SUEZ has worked daily to bring the latest technology into our system in more ways than one. We are excited for the future of our partnership and the benefits it will bring to our community.”

Another major success was the immediate improvement in the nitrification and denitrification process, in which large concentrations of nitrate or nitrite can pollute groundwater and surface waters. The team made several mechanical improvements to the air system and optimized dissolved oxygen settings to produce the lowest total nitrogen sample results ever experienced in Norwalk.

In the first full year of operations in Norwalk, SUEZ discharged 25% less nitrogen than any year prior. Excess amounts of nitrogen discharge can create over growth in aquatic plant life, leading to toxic conditions for species living under water. The lower level of nitrogen discharge has provided the benefit of cleaner effluent and improved water quality conditions for Norwalk, resulting in many happy oyster fishermen whose livelihoods depend on clean water entering their waterways.

“The City of Norwalk recently achieved a bronze certification from the group Sustainable CT in recognition of our sustainability accomplishments,” said Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling. “This is a statewide initiative that encourages and supports communities in becoming more resilient, inclusive and efficient. We believe the impact that our partnership with SUEZ will vastly improve our environment and lead us into a more sustainable future. I’m proud to have been a part of this transformation and to see the positive effects it has had not only for the environment, but for industry as well.”

Another “smart tool” brought in by the SUEZ is the use of smart sewer covers that have a played a major role in detecting sewer overflows before they occur. Smart  Manhole  Cover  sensors  are  typically  installed  within  manholes  that  have  a  history of overflows or are close to sensitive locations, such as hospitals, schools and beaches. In the first year, the collections team in Norwalk has successfully prevented three sanitary sewer overflows and one pump station failure by using this technology.

“Norwalk’s Citywide Plan focuses on both smart growth and sustainable development through preserving existing environmental resources,” said Xavier Castro, President of SUEZ’ Environmental Services division. “That mission is in line with our belief that the future of environmental sustainability depends on innovative technology and solutions. We have integrated every resource we have available into the operations in Norwalk. These tools combined with Norwalk’s leadership and our experience and expertise have enabled us to improve much of Norwalk’s wastewater operations in just one year.”

SUEZ provides wastewater services to nearly 150,000 customers throughout Connecticut including Killingly, Newtown, Norwalk, Ridgefield and Stonington.


About SUEZ in North America

SUEZ North America operates across all 50 states and Canada with 3,000 employees dedicated to environmental sustainability and smart and sustainable resource management. The company provides drinking water, wastewater and waste collection service to 6.7 million people on a daily basis; treats 560 million gallons of water and 460 million gallons of wastewater each day; delivers water treatment and advanced network solutions to 16,000 industrial and municipal sites; processes 160,000 tons of waste for recycling; rehabilitates and maintains water assets for more than 6,000 municipal and industrial customers; and manages $4.1 billion in total assets. The company posted revenues of $1.1 billion in 2018 and is a subsidiary of Paris-based SUEZ.

About SUEZ

Since the end of the 19th century, SUEZ has built expertise aimed at helping people to constantly improve their quality of life by protecting their health and supporting economic growth. With an active presence on five continents, SUEZ and its 90,000 employees strive to preserve our environment’s natural capital: water, soil, and air. SUEZ provides innovative and resilient solutions in water management, waste recovery, site remediation and air treatment, optimizing municipalities’ and industries’ resource management through “smart” cities and improving their environmental and economic performance. The Group delivers sanitation services to 64 million people and produces 7.1 billion m3 of drinking water. SUEZ is also a contributor to economic growth, with more than 200,000 jobs created directly and indirectly on an annual basis, and a provider of new resources, with 4.2 million tons of secondary raw materials produced. By 2030, the Group is targeting 100% sustainable solutions, with a positive impact on our environment, health and climate. SUEZ generated total revenue of €18.0 billion in 2019.

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