October 2019 Vol. 74 No. 10


Aqua Pennsylvania Acquires Delaware County Wastewater Assets

The municipal water authority for Delaware County, Penn., has agreed to sell its wastewater assets to a subsidiary of publicly traded water utility Aqua America for $276.5 million, the company said.

The transaction between Aqua Pennsylvania Wastewater and the Delaware County Regional Water Quality Control Authority (DELCORA) still must be approved by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. The deal is the latest in a string of acquisitions by Bryn Mawr, Penn.-based Aqua, which completed five municipal acquisitions in Pennsylvania and Illinois last year and has seven other water and wastewater agreements expected to close by 2020.

DELCORA assets included in the deal include 168 miles of combined and separate sewer mains, 14 miles of large-diameter force mains, and a 50-million gallon-per-day wastewater treatment plant that serves the western part of its service territory. It serves a population of approximately 500,000 people in 42 municipalities in Southeast Pennsylvania, with an estimated 165,000 retail customers. Wastewater from the eastern part of the territory is treated by Philadelphia Water Department.

Prior to the agreement, DELCORA faced substantial capital investment costs to comply with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mandates to resolve combined sewer overflow problems. The cost of these projects, and other capital investments, is estimated to be approximately $1.2 billion through 2041.

“Rather than stay the course and undertake significant projects that are expected to have high costs and dramatically increase customer rates, DELCORA decided to partner with Aqua to address these challenges,” said Aqua President Marc Lucca.

Following closing, Aqua said, it will hire all 136 current DELCORA employees and honor all of its union contracts.

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