Veolia Water North America is the largest private operator of municipal water and sewer systems in the United States, serving an estimated 10.5 million people in 32 states. Veolia Water North America is a fully owned subsidiary of Veolia Environnement, the world’s largest water corporation, which provides drinking water to more than 101 million people and sewer service to 71 million people worldwide.
Veolia Environnement, based in Paris, has been in the water business since 1853, originally under the name Compagnie Générale des Eaux and later as Vivendi Environnement. In 1999, after expanding in the U.S. water sector over the previous two decades, Vivendi greatly bolstered its presence in the United States with the multibillion-dollar purchase of U.S. Filter (or USFilter); at the time, it was the largest French acquisition of a U.S. company in history. Vivendi Environnement adopted the name Veolia Environnement in 2003 as it was being spun off by former parent company and media conglomerate Vivendi Universal. The following year, it rebranded its U.S. water operations as Veolia Water North America. Vivendi completed its divestment of Veolia in 2006.