Third-Party O&M for Water and Wastewater Utilities: Contracts, Competitive Landscape, and Trends

30 Nov 2021
44 pages
Available with corporate subscription

Private participation in water & wastewater takes many forms, from system ownership and concessions to third-party operations & maintenance (O&M) contracts. Enabled by lower barriers to entry across a fragmented addressable market, O&M providers represent the lion’s share of private participation in the U.S.

The third-party O&M services segment has garnered significant attention in recent months in the wake of pandemic-related workforce disruption (e.g., remote work, rising labor rates), regulatory calls for advanced treatment solutions, and shifts in the competitive landscape―headlined by recent M&A by New Mountain Capital, Inframark, Veolia, Suez, ESG Operations, and H2O Innovation.

This changing market environment presents an opportunity for third-party service providers to capitalize on their applications of technology experiences, geographic coverage, and scale, particularly at the lower end of the utility scale (i.e., very small to medium- sized systems).

Bluefield has identified 2,066 O&M contracts from the 1970s to present day. These contracts represent the foundation to a new market sizing based on historical O&M contract trends, systems sizes by population, and contract values. At the same time, this Insight Report zeroes-in on the top O&M service providers.

Report Scope


Overview of private participation and the O&M landscape is based on three Bluefield databases:

  • O&M Contracts (1970-2021)
  • M&A Deals (2015-2021)
  • Military Contracts (2003-2021)

Market sizing & forecast:

Bluefield has recorded 2,066 third-party operations & maintenance contracts from 1970s to present.

  • Of the 2,066 contracts, Bluefield captured start-date information for 1,098 contracts; these contracts were used to construct a historical O&M model that tracks the number and dollar value of the active contracts each year between 2000-2021.
  • Calculated CAGRs were then used to forecast the market by contract size between 2022-2026.

Company profiles:

The top 24 O&M companies by total current population served (2021).

Report Features

Section 1: Private Participation and O&M Landscape
Section 2: Market Sizing & Forecast
Section 3: Strategic Player Profiles

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