Essential Utilities to invest $1.4 billion annually through 2028 to upgrade critical infrastructure nationwide

(UI) – Essential Utilities Inc. announced a “robust” $1 billion capital improvement program, in honor of National Infrastructure Week.

Essential plans to invest an expected $1.3 billion in 2024, and an annual average of approximately $1.4 billion through 2028. These strategic investments directly address the need for modernization and sustainability across Essential’s nine-state service area, ensuring compliance, reducing outages and safeguarding the environment.

Planned initiatives directly benefit customers by enhancing service reliability, mitigating the risk of pipeline failures and ensuring compliance with evolving environmental standards.

Additionally, these investments will prevent water main breaks, address lead contamination and manage emerging contaminants like PFAS. The company plans to invest $450 million in PFAS research and state-of-the-art remediation solutions, aligning with the recent EPA regulations.

The utilities’ planned 2024 work includes the following:

Peoples will continue its Long-Term Infrastructure Improvement Plan (LTIIP) to replace more than 3,000 miles of critical pipelines, with 186 miles of new lines targeted for installation this year. With $1.5 billion allocated between 2021 and 2025, Peoples’ LTIIP is the leading mile replacement program in Pennsylvania.

Aqua is investing $765 million for capital improvements in 2024 alone, including the replacement of 130 miles of water main.

Since uniting under Essential in 2020, the company has allocated over $4 billion toward critical infrastructure enhancements. In 2023, the company invested $1.2 billion on more than 7,000 individual projects, including approximately 220 projects over $1 million. Some of those key projects include:

  • Valley Forge (PA) National Park Pipeline Replacement, an expansion project to deliver water to 670,000 people
  • Western Hancock (IN) Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion, doubling the plant’s capacity to support the region’s growth
  • Peoples’ Over-Pressure Protection Program, which increases natural gas safety through improved detection and response times

“One of the greatest challenges facing the United States is the rehabilitation of our nation’s infrastructure,” said Christopher Franklin, chairman and CEO of Essential Utilities. “As a significant water, wastewater and natural gas provider in the country, Essential has a responsibility and opportunity to proactively address this for future generations. Through our expertise and resources, we’re infusing capital into vital systems, driving innovation and improving service reliability for our communities for generations to come.”

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