City of Gardner, Massachusetts

Mayor Daniel J. Kelley

Population: 21,000
Service Area Population (water): 21,000
Service Area Population (wastewater): 23,000

City Contact:
Arthur E. Young, P.E.
City Engineer
City Hall, Room 226
Gardner, MA 01440


The City of Gardner, on October 28, 1998, entered into a 20-year Partnership with Earth Tech, Inc. to operate a 5-mgd wastewater treatment plant and to design, build, and operate a 3-mgd drinking water plant. The advanced secondary treatment wastewater facility services the populations of Gardner, Ashburnham, and a portion of Templeton. Earth Tech is responsible for the 75-mile sewerage collection network and pump stations.

The water filtration plant uses an ultrafiltration membrane method for purification. The cost to design and construct the new 3-mgd plant is $9 million. Earth Tech will transfer the facility back to the City of Gardner at the end of the 20-year Partnership. Earth Tech is responsible for the 82-mile water distribution pipe network, as well as booster pump stations and storage tanks.

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

Capital improvements to be performed by Earth Tech for the wastewater system are valued at $300,000. Cost savings on the $1.1 million per year operation costs are estimated at $11 million over 20 years. Earth Tech was also able to save Gardner $3 million on construction of the water treatment plant. Rate setting remains the responsibility of the City. Earth Tech will install 5,000 outside-reading meters during the first eighteen months of this contract.

No concession fees were paid in the Partnership.


Earth Tech employs 17 workers at the two facilities. Employment opportunities with equal or better packages were offered to all employees prior to the Partnership. The employees currently are not represented by a labor union.

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