A successful first public-private water management partnership in Italy at Arezzo city

The Arezzo region in Tuscany is renovating its water management thanks to a public-private partnership. With a 25-year public service contract, SUEZ operates in the region’s 37 municipalities and has restored coherence to the water distribution system. An in-depth approach which has made it possible to convert new users and develop a quality-water management culture to the benefit of all.
The mission

Renovate and organize an efficient water distribution service in Tuscany, Italy

Since 1994, Italy's water sector has been governed by the Galli law which encourages public-private partnerships and public service delegations. 
The town of Arezzo in the region of Tuscany lies within one of the six zones divided into Optimal Territorial Zones ( ATO - Ambio Territoriale Ottimale). 
In addition to suffering excessively sparse sources, irregular water distribution networks, non-compliance with regulatory and sanitary standards, along with a contaminated environment, the Arezzo community found itself alone and unable to do anything about its over-indebted water service.
deprived of water during more than 12 hours in 1999
different water distribution systems
wastewater discharge points direct into natural environments
Our solution

Win the trust of the inhabitants with a professional water service

The new ATO organisation gave rise to a mixed sanitation, drinking water management and distribution company: Nuove Acque SpA. SUEZ is responsible for the concession for 25 years alongside 32 municipal authorities in the Arezzo region and five others from the Siena province. Priority is given to improving water quality, security of distribution and customer relationships.

SUEZ structured its mission in several phases in order to introduce a genuine culture of industrial management of drinking water and wastewater treatment:  

Plan work and optimise interventions to develop services 
The quality of the water services delivered was a matter for special attention. 300 sites were switched to remote monitoring and all operational processes were revised. Rates of connection within one week rose from 60 % in 2001 to 94 % in 2007. 

Secure and develop distribution systems to win clients
SUEZ performed a large amount of work to upgrade and maintain the network. Innovative processes were used, such as gas leak searches with trace gases. To the immense satisfaction of isolated users, 36 km of networks were added. Non-conformities concerning water quality were cut by 90 %. 

Protect the environment using innovative wastewater treatment technologies
€36 million was invested in modern and efficient wastewater treatment technologies such as phytopurification, sludge drying by heat or energy co-generation. SUEZ assisted in the construction of 27 wastewater plants in just a decade.

The results
With a network extending 4,429 km across 37 different municipalities and 1,697 facilities, SUEZ successfully created the first ever ATO, since then becoming a reference in Italy. 

Optimum water quality, modern, enlarged networks, water management culture from an industrial and environmentally-conscious standpoint; Arezzo and its region regularly win over new users, at a rate of 1 % per year. 90.2 % of customers are satisfied with the services delivered (regional average: 86 %). A success to match the development of customer relations: call centres, online services, local bill payment points (supermarkets etc.). 

million litres of water
are delivered every day through the new infrastructure
the rise in the number of families drinking tap water since 10 years ago
saved according to estimates, through energy savings and other cost reductions