Grupo Águas do Brasil
Grupo Águas do Brasil – Saneamento Ambiental Águas do Brasil (SAAB) is a leading private pool of water supply and sewage collection and treatment utilities in Brazil. With an experienced staff and massive investments in innovation and new facilities, the company brings better quality of life and health to millions of people.
Operating since 1998, the Group is 100% Brazilian and focuses on facing the challenge of offering sanitation in Brazil on a universal basis.
Through successful partnerships with private companies, local governments and other public authorities from each city where it operates, the Group stands out among the leading utilities in Brazil.
Workforce with over 4,000 people
15 cities served
Total population assisted of over 6 million people
Long-term concession contracts with over 25 years of duration
Production of treated water: 15,000 l/s
Number of units with water connection: 1,250,000
Number of units with sewage connection: 1,100,000
Number of water treatment plants: 60
Number of wastewater treatment plants: 125
Attentive to its mission of delivering sanitation solutions, the Group does a complete job when it comes to water and wastewater: it collects, produces, treats and distributes treated water, and collects, transports and treats household wastewater and industrial effluents. With expertise in this industry, the Group has overcome the challenges of expanding systems, and regularizing and upgrading the pipeline systems available in the cities where its utilities operate.
A commitment that was made in 1998 now extends to 15 cities through 14 utilities. Based on total or partial management, they are distributed across the states of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Amazonas. In the private sector, it manages and treats water and industrial effluents.
Grupo Águas do Brasil has an extensive experience in the management and operation of utilities in cities with different geographical, economic and social conditions. It is now present in several areas across the state of Rio de Janeiro, in the cities of Petrópolis, Araruama, Saquarema, Silva Jardim, Campos dos Goytacazes, Niterói, Resende, Nova Friburgo and Paraty. In collaboration BRK Ambiental, it delivers sanitation services to 22 districts in western Rio de Janeiro. In São Paulo, the Group operates in the cities of Jaú, Araçoiaba da Serra and Votorantim. In the capital of Amazonas, Manaus, it works with Manaus Ambiental, in partnership with Solvi. In Minas Gerais, the Group operates in the city of Pará de Minas. The companies controlled by the holding assist more than six million people.
At a time when the world is paying attention to and is concerned about environmental issues and the quality of life of the populations, Grupo Águas do Brasil stands as a smart option in the pursuit of sanitation solutions.
Grupo Águas do Brasil believes and experiences successful public-private partnerships, allowing thousands of people to have access to top-of-the-range water and wastewater treatment services. The Group is part of a larger nationwide effort that combines different alternatives and ways to foster the population’s development and welfare.
1998 — On January 1st, the Group took over the management of water and wastewater services in the city of Petrópolis through the utility Águas do Imperador.
In March, the utility Águas de Juturnaíba kicks off operations in the cities of Araruama, Silva Jardim and Saquarema.
1999 — In September, the Group expands its operations through the setup of Águas do Paraíba, in Campos dos Goytacazes.
On November 5th, the utility Águas de Niterói starts operations.
2000 – 2007 — Due to poor regulatory arrangements, the concessions market was frozen until 2007. On January 5th, Federal Law 11445 was enacted to establish national guidelines for sanitation services, setting the ground for the development of this industry in Brazil.
2008 — In January, the Group begins to operate in Resende through the utility Águas das Agulhas Negras.
2009 — That year witnessed the creation of the holding Saneamento Ambiental Águas do Brasil (SAAB) and the acquisition of shares from the U.S. company Earth Tech.
In January, the Group starts operations in the city of Nova Friburgo through the utility Águas de Nova Friburgo and makes inroads into new businesses in the state of São Paulo.
The utility Sanej begins to deliver wastewater treatment services in the city of Jaú.
In December, the Group sets out to manage the operations of water supply and wastewater collection and treatment in the city of Araçoiaba da Serra in São Paulo by setting up the utility Águas de Araçoiaba.
2012 — Grupo Águas do Brasil sets out to develop concession projects with shared management, expanding its operations into new states.
In Rio de Janeiro, the greatest public utility of Brazil is born: Zona Oeste Mais Saneamento, responsible for operating the sewage system and for managing water sales in the AP-5 area, which includes 22 suburbs in the west of Rio de Janeiro.
In May, the Group starts operations in the state of Amazonas through the utility Manaus Ambiental. The utility starts to conduct water distribution and wastewater collection and treatment in the city of Manaus.
In June, the Group starts serving the city of Votorantim, in São Paulo, through the utility Águas de Votorantim, by managing the services of water supply and wastewater collection and treatment.
2014 — In February, Águas de Paraty is tasked with supplying water and providing wastewater treatment services in the urban area of the city of Paraty. The concession is a public-private partnership (PPP) that is run with the company’s own funds, as well as public funds from the city, from the State Fund for Environmental Conservation and Urban Development (FECAM) and from Eletronuclear.
Over the concession period, the company will be responsible for collecting, producing and distributing treated water and for collecting, transporting and treating wastewater.
2015 — In April, the Group starts operations through the utility Águas de Jahu, commissioned to supply water and provide wastewater treatment services in the city of Jaú, in São Paulo.
In the same month, the holding landed in the city of Pará de Minas, in the state of Minas Gerais, through the utility Águas de Pará de Minas. The company was charged with the water supply and sewage operations in the city.
Mission: To supply treated water and provide sewage collection and treatment, placing our customers at the top of our priorities, appreciating our workforce and the interests of our shareholders, with operational excellence, while growing in a sustainable manner and contributing to the quality of life of the population.
Vision: To be recognized for providing top-of-the-range sanitation services based on the quality and efficiency of all of its businesses, with an uncompromising social and environmental responsibility, contributing to the health and well-being of the population.
Social and environmental responsibility
Grupo Águas do Brasil serves industrial facilities and provides a full range of solutions to the treatment of water, effluents, wastewater and industrial waste using dedicated units installed at the client’s premises or in treatment facilities set up in industrial districts.
All operations in industrial facilities are properly licensed and supervised by local, state and federal environmental agencies. Industrial effluents and treated solid wastes are analyzed before, during and after the treatment, to make sure they are in line with the standards of treatability and waste dumping required by the law and in contracts with clients.
At factories and plants, Grupo Águas do Brasil runs BOT (Build, Operate, Transfer) projects aiming at a greater amount of transfer of environmental, investment, engineering, operation and maintenance risks to make sure the clients will focus on their businesses without worrying about the treatment of water and effluents from their units. In this business model, the clients do not invest their own funds and receive, upon the contract expiration, the asset designed, implemented and financed by the Group. This model is applicable to both greenfield units and to applications or upgrades of existing brownfield units.
In areas of high industrial concentration, Grupo Águas do Brasil operates through treatment centers that focus on the supply of industrial water and treatment of industrial effluents and solid and organic waste.
The industrial effluents received through dedicated piping systems or trucks, to be treated at these units, come from different industrial sectors. In general, these effluents go through highly complex treatment procedures, which may contain oils and greases, heavy metals, high organic contents and other organic and inorganic contaminants. At the treatment facilities, these effluents receive physical, chemical and/or biological treatment, according to their specific needs.
Organic solid waste, mostly consisting of sludge from biological treatment and green waste, is transformed into organic fertilizer at organic waste composting centers of Grupo Águas do Brasil.
Grupo Águas do Brasil supports projects that bring benefits to society, either by generating income, promoting education, and especially by promoting quality of life.
Through its utilities, it takes some of its services to the most distant locations of the cities where it operates, promoting a closer and healthier relationship with the households. The Group appreciates initiatives geared to the development of young people and children, and projects aimed at supporting social inclusion and improving the quality of life of communities.
Discover the projects carried out in some cities where the Group operates:
Grupo Águas do Brasil conducts and supports community-oriented campaigns, especially on significant dates. The holding promotes the Winter Campaign, in which the utilities collect and donate warm clothes and other items to low-income communities; the Christmas Charity Campaign, where companies encourage their employees to donate food staples and toys, and to organize and support Christmas celebrations in underprivileged communities or charity institutions.
The Community Services team was put together to fill a gap and address the main problems faced by the low-income communities located in the cities where the Group’s utilities operate. The purpose is to maintain a good relationship with the representatives of these communities and to develop targeted projects and initiatives.
The Touring Customer Service is a good example of this. The project provides specialized services in many suburbs and is run by a few different company teams. The communities that are the farthest away from the service centers are prioritized. The plan is to get closer to the population and provide them with information, receive suggestions and experience their reality.
Grupo Águas do Brasil supports programs and projects by carefully analyzing the areas where it operates.
In support of Paraty’s local government, the Group sponsors the Program Paraty Cultural at the town’s cultural center, Casa da Cultura. The program promotes music, drama and visual arts courses for local children, adults and seniors. The Cultural Center also hosts, free of charge, visitors and tourists attending events and exhibitions. Each year, about 90,000 people visit the cultural center, including 20,000 students from public schools.
The educational activities that attract some 1,000 participants per year include:
Music (singing, playing instruments, sound techniques, deejaying, rhythmic reading)
• Drama workshops;
• Drawing, painting, comic books;
Another initiative is a collaboration with the government and third sector companies to maintain the EcoFibras project facilities in Araruama. The facilities are home to handicraft workshops using the umbrella papyrus plants that come out of the wetland in Araruama, ensuring generation of income to the population.
Grupo Águas do Brasil runs an Environmental Education Program that is called “Olhar Ambiental”, or Environmental Look. It plans and manages the environmental education activities carried out by the Group. In collaboration with different sectors of society, the initiative promotes and supports environmental education activities, including: transmission of knowledge about water supply and sewage processes; diffusion of environment protection practices, especially focusing on efficient use of water; waste management and the universalization of sanitation services.
Every year, the utilities have goals to achieve to raise the awareness of as many people as possible. The scope of the Program includes a whole range of activities targeted at the company’s workforce and students from educational institutions (schools and the academia), clients, communities and suppliers.
According to each audience, the project is conducted with the support of materials and activities, such as brochures, educational games, gifts and leaflets packed with useful information.
Below are the activities related to the Program “Olhar Ambiental”:
The Group’s utilities offer guided tours to students from public and private schools. The tours are guided by a Program Facilitator or the unit’s teams, who speak about the water and sewage treatment processes, efficient use of water and environmental protection. The initiative is also promoted for the company’s workforce.
Throughout the year, some utilities organize competitions to promote a culture of sustainability with local society. The competition “Amigo da Água,” or the Friends of Water, is an environmental awareness project promoted in partnership with the Department of Education of Nova Friburgo for students of public schools. Also, other competitions are organized to engage the company’s teams to encourage the creation and participation in social, environmental, cultural, health and safety issues.
On special dates such as the World Water Day (March 22nd) and the World Environment Day (June 5th), the Group’s utilities offer environmental education activities for the population and the company’s employees. Lectures, exhibitions and workshops are organized in partnerships with the government, the third sector, educational institutions, and other members of society.
The utilities promote lectures, video presentations and interactive games in schools, institutes, communities, and other places, and hand out educational materials on water and sewage treatment and protection of the environment.
In 2017, the program “Olhar Ambiental” was awarded the 2nd Sustainability Award of Sindcon (National Union of Private Utilities of Water and Sewage Services), ranking first in the institutional category. The award is given to the best projects and initiatives promoted by private sanitation utilities, which prioritize or promote sustainable practices.