The Challenge

Hunter Water is a State Owned Corporation (SOC) providing drinking water, wastewater, recycled water and some stormwater services to a population approaching 575,000 people across the Lower Hunter.

In 2014, Hunter Water was acutely aware of the mining industry downturn which caused a spike in the number of families in the Hunter to experience financial hardship. With this in mind, Hunter Water required an outsourced asset management solution that would help ease this pressure and keep water bills low while ensuring the continued delivery of safe and reliable water and wastewater services. 


Veolia's Solution

Reducing pressure on local water prices

In June 2014, Veolia was awarded a contract to operate and maintain Hunter Water's 25 treatment plants. The $279 million contract is the largest ever awarded by Hunter Water and comes after a 12-month tender process overseen by independent procurement specialists to ensure the integrity of the process. This contract has seen Veolia create 65 positions; further adding to an existing workforce of 270 Veolia employees across the Hunter region. Under the eight-year contract, Veolia is operating and maintaining the plants which supply potable water and wastewater treatment services to over half a million people in six local government areas.

The area of operation covers 5,366km with a population close to 575,000 in the local government areas of Cessnock, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Dungog and small parts of Singleton. 


The benefits for our client 

  • Reducing pressure on local water prices by $23 million over the next 8 years
  •  Single point of contact and accountability
  • Up skilling workforce with operator and maintainer roles now combined resulting in less management, enhanced workforce moral, improved productivity and greater ownership and responsibility
  • Risk transfer that equates to higher incentives to deliver positive outcomes longer term which result in cost reductions 
  • Maintenance program optimisation extending the life of plant assets
  • Availability to access maintenance needs 
  • Generating greater savings through effective biosolids management
  • Sludge recovered for beneficial reuse including filler in fertilizer used by agriculture
  • Clarity of risk and responsibility between Hunter Water Corporation and Veolia.


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