Utility Partners, LLC | City of Gulfport – Case Study
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American Public Works Association Reporter – February 2019 – City of Gulfport, MS

City of Gulfport, MS – Case Study



The economical, sustainable and efficient delivery of essential services to a community is the main objective of any successful public-private partnership (PPP). Utility Partners and the relationships established through our dozens of PPPs ultimately allow for a boost in performance of services, as well as a local government’s ability to pursue creative approaches to its community’s specific needs.

The following Case Study details our innovative and strategic partnership forged with the City of Gulfport, Mississippi that has brought both financial and infrastructure improvements.


-Utility Partners has worked with the City of Gulfport since 2006

-Gulfport is the FIRST nationally accredited PPP by the APWA and the ONLY accredited city in all of Mississippi

-Customer satisfaction improved

A true PPP means there is accountability on both sides.  In an effort to accomplish this goal, Utility Partners and the City of Gulfport devised a retention plan where our performance is evaluated at the end of each year.  Factors including our quality of work and response times are taken into consideration and if there are concerns/problems, the City retains a percentage of the contract price.  If the performance auditing process determines our work to be successful then Utility Partners is paid the full amount of the contract price.


  • Inflow and infiltration (I&I) is a common concern for cities and municipalities, especially those with aging infrastructures. Gulfport is no exception to this issue.
  • Overcoming inflow and infiltration in the City’s sanitary sewer system. This can lead to an increase in sewer treatment costs and result in higher scrutiny from
    regulatory agencies. I&I can ultimately hinder development and future growth for the City.



  • Establish a team dedicated to evaluating the sewer system, using a variety of detection tests.
  • Identify inflow and infiltration problem areas at the earliest stage possible and remedy the issue immediately.
  • Work closely alongside City of Gulfport officials to streamline efforts and maintain constant, open communication.



Inflow and infiltration is introduced into a community’s sanitary sewer
from one of two sources; either rain water or groundwater penetration.
The most dramatic effects are seen primarily during rainfall events when
sewer flow tends to increase at a faster rate.

Gulfport was plagued with I&I issues for several years. In an effort to
remedy the ongoing problem, in 2015 the City assigned a crew with the
sole purpose of conducting evaluations of the sewer system.
These evaluations included video recording, smoke testing
and dye testing to help pinpoint problem areas.

With the creation of this crew, the City of Gulfport became the first and
only city on the Gulf Coast to have a team solely dedicated to I&I investigation.

Since its inception, the UP crew has performed 23 smoke tests, effecting
2,658 homes and businesses. Nearly 700 point repairs were also completed with
the team notified 86 sewer customers of seer issues on their privately owned sewer lines.

The City has approximately 2,650,560 linear feet of sewer lines and thus far,
the I&I crew has inspected 203,527 linear feet, or nearly 8% of the entire system!

To date, the UP crew has been very successful in identifying and eliminating I&I. We
continue to evaluate pumping trends of sewer lift stations and have noticed a
significant reduction in the amount of water pumped during heavy rainfall events.

We have found over the last decade, this innovative plan created a stronger relationship
with the City and the community as a whole.

Our client, the City of Gulfport, has been so pleased with the efforts and success
of the crew, they nominated this crew and Utility Partners for a Mississippi
Municipal League Excellence Award.