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Many utilities across the USA have implemented public-private partnerships as a means to operate and maintain their water and wastewater utilities and/or to provide major capital improvements. The partnerships vary in the duration and complexity of services from contract operations to design-build-operate, but are generally employed to achieve cost savings to the utility and its ratepayers, as well as meet construction schedule deadlines for capital improvements. The basic tool to implement these partnerships, whether a design-build or a private management project, is the service contract. The service contract sets forth not only the legal provisions but also the technical requirements that describe the scope of services as well as the utility owner's expectations for performance. A successful partnership is most likely to result when the scope of services and the performance expectations are clearly defined and understood by both contracting parties such that contract disputes are eliminated down the road.

It is important for a utility manager to understand the technical information that is needed to support the legal provisions of a service contract. These technical requirements can seem overly complex and burdensome during the development and negotiation of a service contract but are more easily understood and dealt with when looked at on an individual basis. This discussion will describe the objectives in developing certain technical information in order to result in a successful public-private partnership.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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