PA American Water marks completion of $101M Pittsburgh water treatment project

Pennsylvania American Water marked the completion of $101M in upgrades to Pittsburgh water treatment plants to improve service and public safety.

PITTSBURGH, PA, May 17, 2013 -- Pennsylvania American Water officials today hosted the Department of Community and Economic Development Senior Advisor Mike Cortez, Public Utility Commissioner Wayne Gardner, Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Secretary Kelly Heffner, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and other dignitaries to mark the completion of major improvements to the Hays Mine Treatment Plant and Becks Run Pumping Station.

The upgrades are part of the company"s approximately $101 million investment to improve service and public safety at its Pittsburgh area water treatment facilities. The project also included renovations to the E.H. Aldrich Treatment Plant in Elrama, Washington County, and the Arlington Booster Station in the city of Pittsburgh, which supply drinking water to approximately 500,000 people.

"These upgrades represented one of the largest capital improvement projects in Pennsylvania American Water's history," said Kathy L. Pape, president of Pennsylvania American Water. "With these improvements to treatment processes, our Greater Pittsburgh facilities fully comply with new regulatory standards. We're also proud that our investment provided an economic boost to southwestern Pennsylvania."

The upgrade was partially funded through the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority's (PEDFA) tax-exempt debt, which helped to reduce its cost of capital.

"The successful results of this project represent what can be achieved when state agencies, local government, companies and markets work together in a way that benefits all Pennsylvanians," said Mike Cortez, senior advisor for the Department of Community and Economic Development. "Today is a win for everyone -- tremendous improvements to service and public safety as a result of this $101 million project."

Built in 1894 when Pennsylvania American Water was known as the South Pittsburgh Water Company, the Hays Mine Water Treatment Plant and Becks Run Pumping Station are capable of delivering 60 million gallons of water per day to communities in southern Allegheny and northern Washington Counties.

In addition to enabling the Hays Mine Treatment Plant to comply with new regulatory standards and improve treatment processes, the upgrade enhances public safety by replacing gas chlorine with liquid chlorine to address concerns associated with chlorine gas storage.

The upgrades also provided significant economic development opportunities for labor and suppliers in southwestern Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania American Water and Kokosing Construction enlisted local suppliers, such as Pittsburgh-based McKamish and Peter J. Caruso & Sons, Canonsburg-based Lighthouse Electric, All Crane Rental of West Elizabeth, and other local lumber and hardware stores to support the project.

The company worked closely with local trade unions, including the Construction Association of Western Pennsylvania, CIO Cement Masons Union, and Laborers Local 1058. The coordination with these groups ensured 120 workers, or 80 percent of the project workforce, were from southwestern Pennsylvania.

About PA American Water

Pennsylvania American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.2 million people. Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 6,700 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 14 million people in more than 30 states and parts of Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.

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