American Water and the City of Camden Participate in The Value of Water Coalition's Local Innovators Tour for Infrastructure Week

Event unveils details of a new asset management project with Center For Family Services' Power Corps Program
Tuesday, May 17, 2016

American Water
Denise Venuti Free, 856-309-4690
Denise.Free@amwater.com

Value of Water Coalition
Abigail Gardner, 412-977-3051
AGardner@thevalueofwater.org

VOORHEES, N.J.--()--In conjunction with the national Infrastructure Week observance, taking place May 16-23, 2016, American Water is partnering with the City of Camden, New Jersey and the Value of Water Coalition to participate in the Coalition’s “Local Innovators Tour.” The tour, which includes an event in Camden on May 17, highlights water infrastructure initiatives being implemented across the country that are having a measurable impact on the community.

As the contracted water and wastewater services provider to the city of Camden, American Water Contract Services is working to maintain and help improve the water and sewer systems through operations, engineering, and technology expertise. As the city’s public-private partner, the company is implementing changes and partnering with the City to make critical system improvements to reduce water loss, improve water taste, help better manage stormwater issues and provide high quality service to utility customers.

“Camden has the same challenges every community has in terms of aging infrastructure and treated water lost to leaks, a nationwide problem that is a top priority for all water utilities to help solve,” said David Choate, President, American Water Contract Services. “Working with the City, American Water is committed to identifying Camden’s water and wastewater assets in an effort to pave the way for a future GIS mapping of its system, which will enable improved leak detection technology, as well as ensure that resident continue to receive high quality, reliable water services.”

“I am extremely proud of the strong public-private partnership the City of Camden and American Water have built. It's so critical that older urban areas like Camden, make a conscious effort to identify and address the needs of water infrastructure systems,” said Dana L. Redd, Mayor of Camden, N.J. “Camden has an aging system, and as a result repairs and maintenance are required regularly. The City water system is one of our most valuable resources. I am pleased to see American Water is taking the necessary measures through the use of technology, to assess the existing system and look for ways to improve it. I am thankful to our partners at American Water and the Camden County Municipal Utility Authority, not to mention Power Corps, for ensuring Camden's system gets the attention required and our residents receive the quality services they deserve.”

To help with asset identification – building a database that contains pertinent information about pipes, valves, meters and hydrants – American Water has contracted with the Center for Family Services to work with their Power Corps program participants, a team of young leaders from Camden serving to tackle pressing environmental challenges in their community. American Water’s Contract Services Group, collaborating with the city of Camden, Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority (CCMUA), and Camden County, will provide training to Power Corps participants on asset identification and verification, which are the initial steps of GIS mapping. Participants will be working with maps and other tools to verify exact location of water and wastewater assets throughout the city. They will then enter this information into American Water’s database to provide the necessary framework to proceed with the next proposed phase of the project, GIS mapping.

In addition to this new initiative, American Water Contract Services is responsible for the ongoing operations and maintenance of the Camden water and wastewater infrastructure, which includes providing recommendations and solutions for increasing efficiency and addressing issues. One example of this is the company’s attention to flooding issues that occur within Camden’s combined sanitary sewer system, which processes stormwater along with wastewater. When heavy rains occur, flooding is common. One way that the company has been able to remedy this is through street sweeping efforts, which in March and April alone removed about 256 tons of material that otherwise would have entered the water and wastewater system.

“Water is our most precious resource, and aging water infrastructure poses a unique risk to the nation because water is so essential to everything we do. To secure our water future, we need to invest in our pipes and treatment plants, and focus on the innovative partnerships that are driving the next era of water management and delivery. I’m thrilled to be here in Camden for Infrastructure Week 2016 to celebrate a bright spot of water infrastructure investment,” said Radhika Fox, CEO of the US Water Alliance, which coordinates the Value of Water Coalition.

Infrastructure Week 2016 is led by a steering committee consisting of the AFL-CIO, the American Society of Civil Engineers, Building America’s Future, Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Value of Water Coalition. Find out more about Infrastructure Week at www.infrastructureweek.org. Follow the conversation on Twitter, @InfraWeek and #InfrastructureMatters.

Founded in 1886, American Water (NYSE: AWK) is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. Marking its 130th anniversary this year, the company employs more than 6,700 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 47 states and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found at www.amwater.com.