Connecting a local utility and military installation through privatization

Posted in: Infrastructure, Military, Water


awwa-water-privatization-300x200pxContrary to the scenario in my previous post, a local utility provider may be near a military installation, but the installation has its own water supply and is taking care of its own water and wastewater treatment. When the opportunity arises for the utility to pursue privatization of the systems on that installation, there are different approaches the utility might consider.

First and foremost, the installation’s interest is in divesting the on-base systems, so responding to the request for proposal to take those over is the place to start. But connecting the installation to the utility provider’s off-base system(s) might take advantage of excess capacity and be an economic advantage to the installation. So the utility could submit an alternative proposal during the privatization process to connect the installation, and reserve the installation’s supply and treatment systems as backup. An engineering consultant can help provide technical solutions for making those connections.

Long-term benefits realized in the process can add real value and make utility privatization more than just a continuation of the same services the military was providing pre-privatization. I wrote about such benefits in the article “Lessons From the Department of Defense Utility Privatization Program” in the Journal AWWA.

If you have an installation nearby that might be privatized, what interest or reservations do you have about the process or the risks and benefits of doing so? I would be happy to discuss these with you directly and share my experiences working with local utilities. Some of those have even connected military installations to regional wastewater treatment plants.

If you happen to be one of several local utility providers surrounding a military installation, how does that work? I think you’ll be interested in my next post, which will consider that scenario.


Jeff Sorenson, PE, CFM, DBIA

About the Author

Jeff Sorenson, (USAF-Ret) is the Federal Programs Market Leader for Mead & Hunt. He has broad expertise in federal contracting, and has provided environmental, planning, design and construction solutions to numerous federal agencies. Jeff is also the Practice Leader for utility privatization at Mead & Hunt, helping clients acquire military utility systems.

Read more posts by Jeff Sorenson, PE, CFM, DBIA

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