In 1994, Boyertown, a small borough 45 miles outside of Philadelphia, faced the retirement the only manager its wastewater plant had ever had. Finding someone with his institutional, technical and regulatory knowledge would not be easy for this town of about 4,000 residents. Boyertown’s leadership opted for a more cost-effective – solution.
Borough of Boyertown, which owns the waste water and water systems, and Severn Trent Services of Fort Washington, PA, which operates and maintains both the water and wastewater treatment plants.
Boyertown used a competitive bidding process in deciding to partner with Severn Trent and has remained with the service provider for 23 years. Most recently, the town council approved a $1.1 million contract for 2016-17. In addition to operations and maintenance, Severn Trent also manages capital projects and provides customer service and watershed protection.
In the mid-‘90s Boyertown thought it would need $500,000 in capital improvements to comply with regulations. Instead, Severn – with its specialized expertise – was able to recommend removing some unnecessary filters because the system was compliant without them. The result? About $60,000 in savings annually. In addition Severn improved treatment of drinking water with chemical tweaks, automation and employee training. Third parties took notice, with the water facility earning safety awards in 2002 and 2003 and receiving a commendation for monitoring and treatment technique from the state Department of Environmental Protection in 1997.