Sep 17, 2020 : Aqua and DELCORA will ensure quality service at affordable rates. Chris Franklin, Essential Utilities Chairman and CEO discusses acquisition and merger of operations.
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Aqua and DELCORA will ensure quality service at affordable rates. Chris Franklin, Essential Utilities Chairman and CEO discusses acquisition and merger of operations.
Sep 17, 2020
By Chris Franklin, Essential Utilities Chairman and CEO
Aqua and DELCORA are continuing to make progress toward the completion of an acquisition and merger of operations that will ensure continued reliable wastewater service at the most affordable rates for thousands of Delaware County and Chester County wastewater customers, despite opposing efforts.
Unfortunately, the efforts of Delaware County Council to thwart the transaction are costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and frivolously postponing the opportunity for DELCORA ratepayers to receive future rate relief through a trust specifically set up to benefit customers of DELCORA. Today, I wanted to reiterate why this acquisition and merger of operations is so beneficial to ratepayers.
What first prompted the decision by DELCORA to seek a partner is the forthcoming tidal wave of mandated environmental improvements and capital costs. The primary driver of these costs is a requirement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that all combined (sanitary and storm water) sewer systems, like those in Chester and Philadelphia, be dramatically reduced or eliminated. As a result, DELCORA faces capital improvements costs to upgrade the combined sewer system in Chester and a large portion of the system in Philadelphia with a price tag of almost$700 million. In addition, through 2042, DELCORA projects the need to spend another$520 million in capital upgrades. These staggering costs total approximately $1.2 billion.
Staring at this forthcoming tidal wave of costs, the DELCORA board voted to seek a partner who could help manage this work and associated costs, was knowledgeable about the local community, and was committed to maintaining its existing work force. After an exhaustive and transparent process that included community open houses, public meetings with Delaware County Council and numerous meetings with local municipal sewer authorities, DELCORA chose to partner with Aqua.
Our company is proud to partner with DELCORA because we have a long and deep history in Delaware County, where we were founded. We know the county and its people, having served the county first as Springfield Water Company beginning in1886 and where we now serve approximately 500,000 Delaware County residents.
The merger has other significant benefits. The DELCORA/Aqua merger of operations includes the creation of a trust fund from the net proceeds of the sale price, expected to be about$200 million. This trust will keep rates at a steady 3% annual increase while also allowing all the mandated improvements to be made. Without this trust, rates were expected to spike to10% annually. Unfortunately, some politicians, in an attempt to get control of the$200 million, are mischaracterizing the use of the trust. To be clear, if Aqua/DELCORA makes the necessary capital improvements, and the PUC deems the expenditures to be prudent, those costs will be recovered in rates. The $200 million would be used to offset those rate increases, capping them at no more than 3% a year for the next decade. It is important that Delaware County Council does not raid this trust and use it for other projects or programs.
We must act quickly, since DELCORA’s contract with the City of Philadelphia to manage a part of its wastewater treatment expires in 2028 and the improvements are expected to take eight years to complete. Time is running out.
Today, I encourage all customers served by DELCORA, including those served by Darby Creek Joint Authority, Muckinipates Authority, Central Delaware County Authority, Chester Ridley Creek System, Southwest Delaware County Municipal Authority, and Southern Delaware County Authority to contact Delaware County Council and tell them to stop blocking this acquisition and merger of operations, which will bring rate relief to customers. This acquisition and merger of operations benefits customers. It brings necessary upgrades to the wastewater system. It preserves jobs. It is good for Delaware County.
Aug 21, 2020 : Sunoco Mariner East Pipeline Drilling Fluid discharge update
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Sunoco Mariner East Pipeline Drilling Fluid discharge update
Aug 21, 2020
Aqua continues to monitor our water quality and source water supplies relative to the August 10 discharge from Sunoco’s drilling operations. There are no new updates, and no concerns about our water quality delivered to customers or ability to serve. Unless new developments occur, this will be the last update.
- People Served
- 1.4 mil
- Water Connections
- Wastewater Connections
- Water Treatment Facilities
- Wastewater Treatment Facilities
- Miles of Main
- Public Water Systems (PWSIDs)
Aqua Pennsylvania Service Territory
Aqua Pennsylvania, an Essential Utilities Company, serves more than 1.4 million residents in 32 counties across the Keystone State. Pennsylvania customers can pay their Aqua water bill online through WaterSmart e-billing or any number of convenient ways to pay. For those in need of water bill assistance, our Pennsylvania Helping Hand program is designed to help low-income customers make manageable monthly payments.
Chloramines are a commonly used disinfectant in drinking water. This is used in many water systems across the U.S., including some of Aqua Pennsylvania’s systems. You can learn more about chloramines here.
Please visit our Waterfacts.com site for information, test results and more relating to PFOA and PFOS.
Learn more about lead and drinking water: Lead Fact Sheet
Recent news articles have created interest in chromium, a naturally occurring metal found in the Earth's crust and in untreated water. It's important to note that all of Aqua's water is within the EPA's limits for this contaminant. Click here for facts about chromium and its impact on drinking water.
For any questions or concerns relating to customer service, please call 877.987.2782
Southeastern Division: Parts of Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties.
Roaring Creek/Susquehanna Division: Parts of Adams, Bradford, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Northumberland, Schuylkill and Snyder counties.
Honesdale/White Haven Division: Parts of Carbon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties.
Shenango Division: Parts of Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Forest, Lawrence, Mckean, Mercer, Venango, and Warren counties.
Water Sources:Surface water from the Crum, Pickering, Brandywine, Perkiomen, Neshaminy, Ridley and Chester creeks, Schuylkill and Delaware rivers and the Upper Merion Quarry and the Shenango River in western Pennsylvania and groundwater from more than 100 deep wells.
- Current Water Tariff - Rules and Regulations
- Current Wastewater Tariff - Rules and Regulations
- Twin Lakes Utilities, Inc. Water Tariff
- North Heidelberg Sewer Company Tariff
Aqua Pennsylvania Leadership Team
Vice President, Distribution
Vice President, Production (plants)
Director of Chester County Operations
Director of Delaware County Operations
Director of Montgomery and Bucks Operations
Northeastern, Northern, Central and Western Pennsylvania
Director of Operations
Western Area Manager
Northeastern Area Manager
Central and Northern Area Manager
Thomas F Rafferty
Director, Business Development, Aqua Pennsylvania
Helping Hand: PA Low-income Water Bill Assistance
What Is Helping Hand?
Helping Hand is Aqua Pennsylvania’s low-income assistance program designed to enable low-income customers to make manageable monthly payments on their water and wastewater bills.
Customers who make timely payments through Helping Hand receive a monthly credit to their accounts. The program provides customers with water conservation kits that provide customers with information and tools on how to use less water (this is mentioned below in blue).
Am I eligible for Helping Hand?
Customers who meet all three criteria below are eligible to participate in Helping Hand.
- Household income is less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level
- Account is more than 21 days past due
- Customer has at least $110 in unpaid Aqua bills
How do I sign up for Helping Hand?
If you think you might be eligible for Helping Hand call 800.360.2998 or the agency listed on the back panel of this brochure that is closest to your residence. If you are unsure which agency to call, please call Aqua at 877.987.2782.
If you are eligible for Helping Hand, Aqua will work with the referring agency to develop a payment plan for you. In this plan a customer would pay:
- A fixed monthly payment based on average bills for the preceding 12-month period.
Helping Hand rewards customers who make timely payments with a credit to their account. First-time Helping Hand customers also receive a complimentary water conservation kit with information about how to detect and fix leaks and identify and make minor plumbing repairs that can help reduce consumption. The kit includes:
- Leak detection tablets and tips on detecting and fixing leaks
- A low-flow shower head
- Faucet aerators
How can I give others a Helping Hand?
If you don’t need the assistance of Helping Hand, but want to help others who do, please print and complete this form (PDF document) with the amount of your tax-deductible donation and include it in the envelope along with your regular Aqua water/sewer bill payment. Your donation will go towards water/sewer bill credits for customers who are less fortunate.
Helping Hand Agencies
After Aqua Pennsylvania has determined your eligibility, you will be directed to one of the following agencies that will continue processing your enrollment.
Community Action Agency of Delaware County
1414 Meetinghouse Road
Boothwyn, PA 19061
Community Action Development Commission
113 East Main Street
Norristown, PA 19401
Central Susquehanna Opportunities, Inc.
2 East Arch Street
Shamokin, PA 17872
All Other Pennsylvania Counties
EBO Solutions, LLC
A Division of NRA Group, LLC
2491 Paxton Street
Harrisburg, PA 17111
Aqua Pennsylvania History
Aqua Pennsylvania was founded as the Springfield Water Company on January 4, 1886, when a group of Swarthmore College professors received a charter to supply water to the residents of Springfield Township, Delaware County. They built a small pumping station and laid pipes to their homes. Initially, new customers were welcomed openly, but as the number of potential customers increased, so did the association’s operating responsibilities. It was then that the association made the decision to incorporate.
By 1925, the company had grown to meet the needs of 58 municipalities in three counties, and shareholders changed the name to Philadelphia Suburban Water Company.
In 1968, the water company board voted to create a holding company, Philadelphia Suburban Corporation (PSC). By July 1971, Aqua America, Aqua Pennsylvania’s parent company, was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Growth slowed between 1985 and 1990, but then the company purchased three Chester County water systems. These acquisitions gave birth to the company’s “growth-through-acquisition” strategy, which began to accelerate at the end of 1992. Between 1992 and 1999, it purchased 29 water systems and three wastewater systems — a business it entered in 1996. The company also completed several other growth ventures, including main extensions to pick up additional customers, bulk water sales, and operating and management contracts. Together, these acquisitions added approximately 56,000 customers to the system.
In March 1999, Aqua America acquired Consumers Water Company and the utility’s operations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey and Maine, adding more than 225,000 customer connections in five states, including 41,000 in Pennsylvania.
January 1, 2002, Philadelphia Suburban Water Company merged into Pennsylvania Suburban Water Company. Two years later effective January 16, 2004, Pennsylvania Suburban Water Company changed its name to Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc. to reflect its statewide presence. The parent company name was changed from PSC to Aqua America, reflecting its national presence.
Aqua Pennsylvania continued to grow the company and by year-end 2015, provided water and wastewater service to more than 445,000 customers (approximately 1.4 million people) in 32 counties.