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212014AnnualReportLOOKINGFORWARDPlanningAheadWecontinuetomoveforwardwithourstrategicplanaswelookforwaystobetterserveourcustomersandinvestininitiativesthatbenefitourcommunityandtheenvironment.PartofWSSCscoremissionistoprovideworld-classservicetothecustomersweserve.Recognizingourneedforimprovementinthisareawebroughtinanationallyrecognizedexpertincustomerservicetoconductanassessmentofourcontactcenter.Someoftherecommendationsaresweepingandrequiremajorinitiatives.SomewilltaketimebutourcustomerswillnoticesomechangesinFY15.Wealsohavearesponsibilitytoupdateandupgradethewayweconductbusinessinanefforttocontrolcostsinastrategicmanner.Cost-cuttingdoesnotmeansacrificingahighqualityofworkandwewillcontinuetomaintainindustrystandards.AsmentionedpreviouslyinFY14WSSCbeganimplementationofSupplyChainManagementSCMandearlyresultsindicatesignificantsavings.InFY15WSSCwillmovetowardfullimplementationofSCMwithanexpectationofalargereturnonourinvestmentbetterefficiencyandmorevalueforourcustomersdollars.Whilewevecomealongwaytowardrebuildingandsecuringourundergroundwaterinfrastructurewestillneedamorepredictableandreliablewaytofinancetheseefforts.Likemanyutilitiesacrossthenationwefacelowerwaterconsumptionandinturnlowerrevenueyetcostscontinuetoincreaseandtheneedtorepairandreplacetheaginginfrastructureremains.Wehaveproposedchangestoourbillingstructuretoensurethatwecanpayforinfrastructurerepairsandmaintenancethatarecriticaltoourabilitytoprovidewatertoourcustomers.GuidedbyrecommendationsoftheBi-CountyInfrastructureFundingWorkingGroupthiswillcontinuetobeapriorityfortheCommissioninthecomingyear.WSSCexpectsratestocontinuetorisebuthopefullyatalowerrate.TohelplessenthefinancialburdenonourcustomersinFY15wererequestingpermissionfromtheMarylandGeneralAssemblytoenactaCustomerAssistanceProgramforcustomerswhomightneedassistance.Treatingwaterandwastewaterconsumesatremendousamountofenergy.Infactat2millionpermonthitsoneofourlargestoperatingexpenses.Controllingenergycostsisamajorfactorincontrollingrates.SoWSSCisalwayslookingforefficienciesandotheremergingtechnologiestouselessenergyandfuel.Aspartoftheseeffortsweremovingforwardonaprojectutilizinganaerobicdigestiontoreduceenergyandbiosolidsmanagementcostsatourwastewaterplants.ThisprocesscouldallowWSSCtoloweritsdependenceoncarbon-basedfuelswhilereducingtheamountofsolidsproducedattheplants.Wellessentiallybeabletorepurposeandsellbiosolidsaswellasusemethaneproducedduringtheprocesstoprovidefueltopowertheplant.Weareproudtobeamongthefirstutilitycompaniestousethistechnology.MaintainingandenhancingthehealthoftheChesapeakeBayremainsafederalstateandlocalpriority.Bytheendof2015WSSCwillcompleteonefourmajoreffortstowardscleaningupthebaywhenthelastofourwastewatertreatmentplantswillbeequippedwithEnhancedNutrientRemovaltechnology.Waterisnotonlythenumberonedefenseagainstdiseaseitsaprimaryrequirementtofueleconomicdevelopment.Theconstructionofthe146millionBi-CountyWaterTunnelisalmostcomplete.Thistunnelhousesanew5.3-milewaterpipelinetomeetfuturewaterrequirementsforMontgomeryandPrinceGeorgescounties.ThepipelinewillconnecttwoexistingwatermainsthefirstnearI-270andTuckermanLaneandanotherinRockCreekParkatStoneybrookDriveandBeachDrive.Thenewpipelinescapacitywillbe100milliongallonsofwateradayanditwillbeginflowinginthecomingyear.InvestmentslikethesemakeabigdifferenceinthefuturebyupdatingourinfrastructurewereensuringthatwellbeabletocontinuetoprovideMontgomeryandPrinceGeorgescountieswithsafereliablewaterandwastewaterservicesforgenerationstocome.TheviewfromthebottomofanaccessshaftfortheBi-CountyWaterTunnelwhichrunsfromI-270intoPrinceGeorgesCounty.