Aqua America Inc. is recognizing the seventh annual Infrastructure Week, May 13-20, 2019, helping raise awareness of the critical state of infrastructure across the United States. A leading contributor to water and wastewater infrastructure repair and replacement, Aqua plans to invest more than $555 million this year across the eight states where the company operates to improve systems.
“As one of the largest water and wastewater utilities in the country, Aqua is committed to thoughtful and continuous investment in the infrastructure that delivers water and wastewater service to our customers safely and reliably,” said Aqua Chairman and CEO Christopher Franklin. “We strongly believe capital investments from private utility companies can be a large part of the solution to the country’s infrastructure problems. Infrastructure Week is an excellent opportunity to showcase how our team’s work to replace aging infrastructure improves the lives of our customers.”
The dire state of water infrastructure in the U.S. has been well documented. In a recent study published by Utah State University, researchers found water main break rates have increased 27% in the past six years alone. The EPA also reports that there are approximately 240,000 water main breaks per year in the U.S., with approximately $2.6 billion lost as water mains leak trillions of gallons of treated drinking water. These statistics quantify the need for increased investment in the nation’s water infrastructure and underscore why Aqua is so committed to this cause.
Making these improvements translates to meaningful system impacts. Through Aqua’s $1 billion investment in infrastructure in southeast Pennsylvania between 2000 and 2015, customers have seen a reduction from nearly 25 main breaks per 100 miles of pipe, to fewer than 10 main breaks per 100 miles of pipe. This reduced water loss and the volume and cost of emergency repairs, reduced service interruptions, and improved water service for customers.
Over the past five years across the company, Aqua has invested $1.5 billion in infrastructure improvements, including hundreds of miles of pipe replacement and plant upgrades. This year, infrastructure projects are planned across all eight of Aqua’s states to ensure safe and reliable water reaches each customer.
- Aqua Pennsylvania – This year, a large part of Aqua Pennsylvania’s $323 million capital infrastructure program will be spent replacing aging water mains. Aqua credits its main replacement program with a dramatic reduction in service interruptions caused by main breaks in southeastern Pennsylvania. In 2000, the number of main breaks per 100 miles of pipe was 25. By the end of 2018, following an investment of $1.2 billion, the number of breaks per 100 miles of main has been reduced by more than 60% to fewer than 10. Aqua plans to replace an additional 600 miles of water main between 2019 and 2023.