CITY OF OKLAHOMA CITY, OK
Mayor Ronald Norick

  • Population: 440,000
  • Population Served: 560,000

For additional information, contact: James D. Couch, P.E. Director of Water and Wastewater Utilities City of Oklahoma City 420 W. Main - Suite 500 Oklahoma City, OK 73102 (405) 232-0238 FAX (405) 297-3813

DESCRIPTION OF PARTNERSHIP ARRANGEMENT

In December 1987, the City of Oklahoma City/Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust and Professional Services Group, Inc. (PSG) entered into a five year contract for the operation and maintenance of three wastewater treatment plants (capacities of 60 MGD, 10 MGD and 5 MGD). Responsibilities included operation of a major lift station and sludge disposal. The agreement resulted from a Request for Bids (RFB) which resulted in receipt of 11 proposals with innovative approaches to cost reduction techniques, such as automation (including remote monitoring of plants and the major lift station), alternative sludge handling with electrical cost reductions, and personnel cost reductions. Under the contract, PSG would be responsible for plant(s) O&M in compliance with state and US EPA permit requirements with a budget to include repair and replacement of equipment (less than $50,000) and odor control. The budget is reviewed annually as to changes in scope of service and consumer price index increases/decreases. Since 1988, the five year contract has been renewed twice, with the current contract in effect through December 2002.

ESTIMATED/ACTUAL COST SAVINGS -- IMPACT ON RATES

Oklahoma City has operated wastewater treatment facilities by private contract successfully since 1988, realizing cost savings up to $4 million annually. Prior to 1988, annual costs utilizing both in-house and contractual services exceeded $12 million annually for three treatment plants and sludge disposal. Under the five year competitively bid contract, amendments have addressed changes in scope of services including advanced treatment requirements, a plant expansion by 20 MGD, an additional plant, and additional services (industrial waste inspections). The annual cost has remained well under the City's cost prior to 1988 ($10 million compared to more than $12 million). Sewer rates have remained relatively low with savings being applied to capital improvement projects for wastewater operations.

LABOR RELATIONS

PSG was required by the RFB to offer employment, at no loss in compensation and benefits, to all City employees at each facility. About one-half of employees at the facilities elected to accept employment with PSG. The other employees were placed in positions they qualified for within the City system.