Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities Leverage Their Competitive Advantage to Establish Environmentally Sustainable Operations

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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities (Utilities), the Carolinas’ largest water and wastewater service provider, has a documented history for competitive operations. Today, many wastewater system operators face new challenges that extend beyond being simply the lowest cost provider. Increasing environmental performance requirements in North Carolina served as the catalyst in 2005 for Utilities’ employees to initiate a management system that will allow them to operate with greater efficiency and control, while reducing the environmental impacts of their operations. This has positioned Utilities to transition into an environmentally sustainable operation. When regulatory requirements are consistently met and the organization continually enhances the environment without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, it achieves environmental sustainability. The Optimization Project Steering Team began its work in September 2005. Teams, made up of plant personnel, began their work of defining and evaluating optimization strategies in October 2005. The goal of this Optimization Initiative is to complete analysis of improvement options, plan for EMS implementation and prepare the MOU documents, and begin Optimized operations for the wastewater management services commencing at the beginning of the Fiscal Year on July 1, 2006. This paper presents the initial results of the Optimization Program.

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