Courtesy Citizens Energy Group.
Public Works was responsible for the
collection and treatment of wastewater
within the Indianapolis/Marion County
boundaries. In 1994, the city began contracting with United Water to operate,
maintain and manage its two advanced
wastewater treatment facilities and more
than 3,200 miles of sanitary, storm and
combined sewers. United Water is a
subsidiary of French multinational Suez
An ultraviolet germicidal irradiation system was installed in 2011 at Citizens Water’s T. W. Moses Water
Treatment Plant to ensure the safest, highest-quality drinking water for the people of Indianapolis.
Today, this trust lives on as Citizens
Energy Group, which provides safe, reliable energy services to customers in
and around Marion County. The trust is
governed by the five-member Citizens
board of trustees and the nine-member
Citizens board of directors whose sole
focus is acting in the interests of the
trust and its beneficiaries.
The primary businesses of Citizens
Energy Group include
•;Citizens Gas, a natural gas distribution company;
•;Citizens Thermal, which supplies district energy to downtown Indianapolis
buildings and operates the nation’s
second-largest steam and chilled-water distribution system (for more
on this system, see the Second
Quarter 2010 District Energy cover
story on Citizens Thermal);
• Citizens Resources, a wholly owned
subsidiary engaging and investing in
various energy-related businesses;
• Citizens Oil, a producer of oil in
Greene County, Ind.; and now also
• Citizens Water.
Utilizing the assessment tools of
the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality
Program, Citizens Energy Group has
become an industry leader for safety,
operational excellence, system reliability
and customer satisfaction, according to
independent studies by organizations
including J.D. Power & Associates.
The City’s Water, Wastewater
Like the city gas utility’s public
trust, the Indianapolis water utility also
dates back to the 19th century. In 1871,
the Indianapolis Water Co. began serving
Indiana’s capital city. At different times
throughout its long history, it has been a
municipal utility as well as a shareholder-owned and privately held company. In
2002, the city of Indianapolis purchased
the Indianapolis Water Co. from its parent company, NiSource, when it was
ordered to divest its water utility assets.
The city had always retained a legal right
to purchase the water assets because
the water company was originally per-mitted to operate under a franchise
from the city.
The city feared the sale’s impact
on the community and decided the best
option would be to enter into a public-private partnership – with the city owning the water utility but contracting
its operations to Veolia Water North
America, a Chicago-based subsidiary of
the multinational Veolia Environment,
based in France. The city also created
the Department of Waterworks to oversee water utility operations and the
contract with Veolia.
Indianapolis’s wastewater system
was owned by the city from its construction in 1870 right up until its acquisition by Citizens. The Department of
The city decided to sell the water
and wastewater systems after political
control of the assets resulted in high
levels of debt and operational problems.
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard argued
that transferring the systems to Citizens
would keep the utilities in public hands
while ensuring professional, not-for-profit ownership.
Upon the transfer of the city’s
water and wastewater assets to Citizens
last August, the company took over the
operations of the water utility from
Veolia Water Indianapolis. Citizens also
assumed the city’s contract with United
to operate the wastewater system. The
water and wastewater systems are now
operated as an integrated utility known
as Citizens Water.
Nearly all Veolia employees became
Citizens employees, and a number of
employees also transferred to the company from the city’s Department of Public
Works and Department of Waterworks.
As a result, approximately 400 new
employees joined the Citizens family.
Months of planning and cooperation
from Veolia and United Water has led
to a very smooth transition for customers, who have seen few changes as the
utility gradually implements various
service enhancements and efficiencies.
The most noticeable change for customers is simply the name on their monthly
water bill. They now see Citizens Water
instead of Indianapolis Water.
“The focus of our integration
planning is to ensure safe and reliable
service, with a seamless transition for
customers. Initially, the most noticeable change has been the name Citizens
Water on customers’ water and sewer
bills and on company vehicles and