Plan eyed for United Water to run Nassau County sewage treatment plant

The Nassau Legislature could vote in July on a plan to have New Jersey-based United Water run the plants. (6/30/14)

BAY PARK - A new proposal to have a private company operate Nassau's three sewage treatment plants could be approved soon, according to county officials.

County Executive Ed Mangano says the proposed deal with New Jersey-based United Water will save taxpayers roughly $10 million per year, because the county workers at the three facilities will become private employees. He also says United Water can run the plants much more efficiently than Nassau can.

"This brings us a state-of-the-art company that will introduce science and methodologies that the county cannot keep up with," Mangano said.

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United Water manages about 100 similar plants around the country.

Supporters of the plan say they hope it will end troubles at the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant. The plant was badly damaged by Superstorm Sandy, but it had seen issues arise for the past 20 years.

The privatization plan seems sweet even to typical critics. Environmental groups say they're happy with United Water's plan and the access they will be given to monitor the facilities. And Nassau Legislator Kevan Abrahams says the deal sounds good in principle, although he adds that he and other Democrats want time to review the proposal before it comes to a vote.

The deal needs the approval of both the county Legislature and NIFA, the state agency that oversees Nassau's finances.

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