City of Devens, Massachusetts

Population: 500
Service Area Population: 3500

City Contact:
William Burke
Director of Operations
Devens Commerce Center
Devens, MA 01432


In June 1999, the Redevelopment Zone of Devens initiated a 20-year Partnership with Earth Tech to design, build, operate, and perform full asset management of a wastewater treatment plant. At the end of the Partnership, the Devens Commerce Center can opt for a 10-year renewal, or the facility will be transferred back to their control. Earth Tech will be responsible for construction of the new 3-mgd advanced wastewater treatment plant, which includes nitrogen and phosphorous removal. Construction is scheduled for completion at the end of year 2000. The existing, outdated 3-mgd plant will be decommissioned, but its pump station will be salvaged and upgraded. Earth Tech will maintain and repair, as needed, the existing 60-mile network of piping.

The new 3-mgd facility is being built in a modular format that allows for its capacity to be doubled or tripled, and for the possibility of interconnection with neighboring communities, Shirley and Ayer, MA. The first phase of the project is valued at $10 million and includes the 3-mgd plant. The second phase, valued at $2.6 million, will have up to a 4.65-mgd capacity, and will be built when the need arises. The Massachusetts Development Finance Agency (MDFA) will own the plant and be responsible for customer service. The MDFA has been given a unique opportunity in their Partnership with Earth Tech to keep their initial capital costs low and expand as needed. Earth Tech will also manage and administer the Industrial Pretreatment Program (IPP), which monitors discharges from industrial users as mandated by the state.

ESTIMATED/ACTUAL COST SAVINGS— Capital Upgrades, Consumer Rates, and Fees

Earth Tech will pay for all capital upgrades. The MDFA will be provided with a fixed annual service fee for a 20-year period, escalated annually by CPI and flow increases. This provides the MDFA with a 20-year cost structure. The first year service fee is $850,000. Rate setting responsibilities are retained by the MDFA. There are no concession fees. The value of the overall agreement is $40 Million.


Earth Tech plans to hire five staff to work at the 3-mgd plant. There are currently three employees for the interim period, and they are not represented by a labor union.

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
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