Chester County, Pa., water systems in line for $13.8 million upgrade

Aqua Pennsylvania Inc. will embark on a 2006 capital improvement program that totals more than $13.8 million for its Chester County water treatment facilities, reservoirs, storage tanks, pumping stations and pipes that deliver drinking water to customers' homes and businesses. The amount is part of the $136 million that the company will spend statewide this year to maintain and improve its water infrastructure...

Industrial development bonds to help finance key projects

BRYN MAWR, PA, March 8, 2006 -- Aqua Pennsylvania Inc. announced yesterday that it will embark on a 2006 capital improvement program that totals more than $13.8 million for its Chester County water treatment facilities, reservoirs, storage tanks, pumping stations and pipes that deliver drinking water to customers' homes and businesses. The amount is part of the $136 million that the company will spend statewide this year to maintain and improve its water infrastructure.

"Our 2006 capital program is a continuation of Aqua's track record of investing in the infrastructure improvements that are needed to meet environmental standards for water quality and to provide customers with reliable water service," said Aqua chairman and CEO Nicholas DeBenedictis. "We believe in taking a proactive approach to capital spending, because it helps avoid the type of public health issues that are facing many communities that can't or won't invest the necessary funds."

He added that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recommended that water utilities need to invest $277 billion over the next 20 years to upgrade and maintain the nation's water infrastructure. "Aqua is committed to doing its part to meet this challenge, especially when it comes to replacing old, leaking mains with new pipes to help conserve our precious water resources," he said.

In Chester County, Aqua's 2006 capital improvement plans include:
• Water treatment plant upgrades and process improvements, including pumping, filtration and aeration upgrades, for the Pickering Creek East and West plants in Schuylkill Township, Ingrams Mill plant in East Bradford Township and Fern Hill plant in West Goshen Township. Estimated cost is $10.5 million.
• Water main replacement in Easttown Township on Leopard Road. Estimated cost is $1.3 million.
• Water main replacement in West Goshen Township on Kingsway Road. Estimated cost is $680,000.
• Water main replacement in West Chester Borough on Adams Street. Estimated cost is $320,000.

DeBenedictis also noted that the company has successfully secured low-interest financing from a county industrial development authority (IDA) to help fund capital improvements across southeastern Pennsylvania. In December 2005, the company closed on $25 million in tax-exempt financing issued by the IDA at yields of 4.82%. "One of major advantages of the tax-exempt financing is that we're able to significantly reduce our interest expenses, meaning we can invest those savings in additional infrastructure projects that benefit our customers," he said.

Aqua Pennsylvania (www.aquapennsylvania.com) provides water and wastewater services to approximately 1.4 million residents across the state, including nearly 1.3 million residents in Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Bucks and Berks counties. It is the largest subsidiary of Aqua America Inc., the largest U.S.-based water company, which serves 2.5 million residents in 13 states.

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