Aqua America is a water and wastewater utility company that serves about 3 million people in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana and Virginia. The company provides drinking water and wastewater treatment infrastructure and services.
The company began in Pennsylvania and remains headquartered in Bryn Mawr.
The company began January 4, 1886 by the founding of the Springfield Water Company. The company changed its name to the Philadelphia Suburban Water Company (PSW). By 1925 the company provided water to 58 municipalities.
The company was incorporated in 1989.
The current CEO, Christopher H. Franklin, took his position in 2015.
The company partners with Penn Virginia operating subsidiaries to provide water to hydraulic fracturing operations in the Marcellus Shale formation. The company commits to transitioning its Pennsylvania vehicle fleet to compressed natural gas (CNG) within five years.
In the United States, many water utilities remain publicly owned. Water was supplied by 55,000 separate water systems in 2006. However, US and global companies have business models which involve the privatization of utilities to achieve profitability from economy of scale. Additionally, cash-strapped municipalities see benefit to selling their water supply assets.
From 1993 to 2013 Aqua America completed 300 acquisitions. In recent years the company has purchased smaller private utilities across the 12 states, gradually extending southward. Such acquisition comprises the bulk of Aqua America's stated business model.
In January 1998 Aqua America, then known as the Philadelphia Suburban Water Company (PSW) purchased the West Chester, PA municipal water utility assets. Acquisitions of large private companies included the purchases of AquaSource in 2003, Heater and Florida Water Services in 2004, and the New York Water Service Corporation in 2007.
The company's largest subsidiary is Aqua Pennsylvania, which has been a part of Aqua America since 1996 and accounts for slightly more than half of 2007 operating revenue and provides water services to 50% of the company's total customer base. Aqua Pennsylvania operates in the greater urban and suburban Philadelphia area.
The non-utility subsidiary Aqua Resources, Inc. is not regulated. They provide operations and maintenance contracts, liquid waste hauling, and water and wastewater system maintenance and repair.