Posts Tagged ‘wastewater’

Largest Private U.S. Water Utilities Exchange Subsidiaries

May 1, 2012

Aqua America, Inc. has announced  that it has completed the purchase of all of American Water Works Company, Inc. (NYSE: AWK) regulated operations in Ohio and simultaneously sold its regulated operations in New York to American Water. Aqua America is the largest investor-owned water utility in Ohio.  The purchase, for $101 million in cash plus assumed debt of $11 million, yielded Aqua America eight additional water systems and one wastewater system in Ohio, which serve approximately 50,730 water and approximately 6,550 wastewater connections. The systems serve parts of nine counties primarily in central and northeast Ohio. The acquisition increases Aqua Ohio’s customer base by approximately 66 percent and adds approximately $95 million in additional rate base. The transaction is expected to improve operating efficiency at Aqua Ohio as it spreads fixed costs over 57,280 more customers in that state, which should have a positive impact on future rates for customers. In a separate agreement, Aqua America sold its seven New York water systems, which serve approximately 50,520 customers to American Water’s New York subsidiary for approximately $39 million in cash plus assumed debt of $23 million. The New York systems had approximately $46 million of rate base. The sale of Aqua America’s New York operations will conclude its operations in that state. The purchase prices for both the Ohio and New York transactions are subject to certain post-closing adjustments. This is the latest of five successful transactions Aqua America has completed in a one-year period to grow and consolidate its customer base in fewer states, improving its operating efficiency, while pruning assets in areas that do not present those opportunities. Since May 2011, Aqua America has sold its Missouri operations to American Water; purchased American Water’s Texas operations; and sold its Maine operations to Connecticut Water.  “This transaction is the latest and the largest of several acquisitions and purchases we have completed to transform the company by maximizing efficiencies and concentrating our efforts in states where we have critical mass,” said Aqua America Chairman and CEO Nicholas DeBenedictis. “Additionally, Ohio and Texas are energy-rich states with growth opportunities for the water-energy nexus that could have a positive impact on the future of our company.”  DeBenedictis said the company is prepared to take a responsible and active role in what is becoming the next energy boom in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and some other states—natural gas drilling. “Shale drilling for natural gas is a very water-intensive business that can provide an economic boost well into the future if it’s done right environmentally.”  The acquisition of American Water’s Ohio operations and the sale of its New York operations are consistent with Aqua America’s strategy to concentrate its customer portfolio in states that demonstrate a positive regulatory environment, while leveraging greater economies of scale and customer growth opportunities. Priority is given to states that provide a regulatory opportunity for capital investment surcharges and consolidated rates, which help the company to maintain water quality and reliable service for its customers.  Aqua America is one of the largest U.S.-based, publicly-traded water utilities and serves almost 3 million residents in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, and Georgia. Aqua America is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol WTR.  This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that address, among other things, the size of the transactions, the effect of the acquisition of the Ohio operations and other transactions on the Company and the anticipated benefits of these transactions, the Company’s strategy to focus its growth efforts in certain states, and the potential efficiencies from focusing on those states and potential business opportunities in those states. There are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements including: the risk that the acquired company’s business will not be successfully integrated; the costs related to the transaction; the risk that anticipated benefits will not be obtained or will not be obtained within the time anticipated; and other key factors that we have indicated could adversely affect our business and financial performance discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Neither Aqua America nor American Water is under any obligation (and each expressly disclaims any such obligation) to update or alter its forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

News Courtesy A-1 Plumbing Newswire www.a1ly.com/news/

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Earth Day 2012 Water Conservation Tips Save Money

April 21, 2012

 

Earth Day 22 April is the perfect moment to take several simple steps which consumers can take to help conserve the water supply and lower monthly water and sewer bills while helping the environment, respecting and protecting our drinking water supply. “Earth Day 2012 reminds us of the essential role we each play in respecting and protecting our drinking water supply,” according to Environmental Plumbing Consultant  Ricky Jones of Plumbing Parts Depot® www.plumbingpartsdepot.info a leading plumbing supply warehouse distributor in New York City. Water your lawn early in the morning or at night to avoid excess evaporation. Do not over water your lawn. Fully load the dishwasher and clothes washer before running. Defrost frozen food in the refrigerator or in the microwave instead of running hot water over the food. When washing dishes by hand, do not let the water run. Use a broom, rather than a hose, to clean sidewalks and driveways. If you have a swimming pool, use a cover. You will cut the loss of water by evaporation by 90 percent. Repair dripping faucets and leaky toilets. Dripping faucets can waste up to two thousand gallons of water each year in the average home. Leaky toilets can waste as much as two hundred gallons per day. Do not leave the sink running while you brush your teeth.  Check faucets for drips or leaks. Make repairs to save water. Check toilets for hidden leaks. Add six drops of food coloring to the toilet tank.  If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes. Inspect tank and bowl for cracks or leaks. Make sure toilets flush properly.  If the handle must be held down for a thorough flush or jiggled to stop the water from running, you may need to replace worn tank parts. They’re inexpensive and you’ll notice a lower water bill from eliminating the running water. Consider a dual-flush converter for older toilets, which saves water with four out of five flushes since a full flush isn’t needed most of the time. An easy and chemical-free way to clean mineral deposits from the showerhead, vinegar.  Unscrew it and soak in vinegar or fill a plastic baggie with vinegar; place it over the showerhead and hold in place with a rubber band.  Soak overnight then remove and gently scrub with an old toothbrush to remove deposits. Showerheads also have retrofit options for maximum water pressure and high-efficiency options. Check the temperature setting on the water heater.  It should be set no higher than 120° F to prevent scalding and reduce energy use. Carefully drain several gallons from the water heater tank to flush out corrosion causing sediment, which reduces heating efficiency and shortens the life of the heater. Consider replacing a water heater more than 15 years old with a newer, more energy efficient model. Life expectancy for water heaters is only 11 years so if yours is older, you’re on borrowed time. Check dishwasher, washing machine and icemaker supply hoses for bulges or leaks, yet another source of waste and inefficiency. Replace hoses showing signs of weakness or older than ten years. Stay away from environmentally unfriendly, quick-fix drain solutions and instead make drain maintenance a monthly habit by utilizing a nontoxic bio-based pipe shield product. Clean out washing machine lint trap, if equipped. You can reutilize an old pair of pantyhose to replace a wire trap over the end of the hose that drains the washer. Check exposed pipes under sinks and in the basement for signs of leaks. If your home has a sump pump, make sure it operates properly by pouring a few buckets of water into the sump pit. The pump should quickly turn on, discharge the water then shut off without any problems. In the case that you need to replace, energy-efficient models are available. Install a backflow valve in the floor drain if you live in an area where sewers sometimes back up into homes. This device will prevent future backups which wreak havoc on your home environment, are hazardous to health and require harsh cleaning agents to remedy. Inspect for slow leaks in your home by taking a reading on your water meter before bedtime. The next morning, without using any water overnight, take another reading.  If the reading has changed you have a leak that should be repaired. Install flood alarms. Like a smoke alarm, a flood alarm is an inexpensive battery-operated device that sounds an alarm when it comes in contact with water. It alerts you to potential flooding or leaks. Make sure yard drains, gutters and downspouts are cleaned out, open, and free of debris. Check for bird nests in plumbing vent pipes. Check faucets and hose bibs to make sure water flows freely.  If an outdoor faucet drips or if there is leakage inside your home the first time the hose is turned on for the season, you may have had a frozen pipe that cracked and needs to be replaced. Install inexpensive aerators on all of your faucets for water and water bill savings. “We are all stewards of the water we drink and use for other purposes,” Jones  said. “By taking these simple steps, we can feel confident that we are doing our part. Do not wait a week to fix that leak Plumbing Parts Depot has the devices to stop leaks and make you environment friendly.”

News Courtesy A-1 Plumbing Newswire www.a1ly.com/news/

American Standard Brands Awarded Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grant For Hygienic and Sustainable Toilet

April 12, 2012

 

One of the world’s best known toilet brands has taken up the challenge to improve safety and sanitation in developing world countries. American Standard Brands has partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop and test a low-cost, prefabricated toilet system. Lack of adequate sanitation facilities affects around 40 percent of the world’s population, and around 1.2 billion people worldwide practice open defecation. An estimated 1.6 million people, mostly children under the age of five, die each year from water and sanitation related diseases. “A majority of these deaths are preventable through access to proper sanitation, safe drinking water and improved hygiene,” said Jay Gould, American Standard Brands president and chief executive officer. In collaboration with the Gates Foundation’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Strategy, and the International Development Enterprises (iDE), American Standard engineers will work to develop a prefabricated toilet system that is more hygienic, easier to install, easier to maintain and clean, and can be economically mass-produced.  “Our goal is to develop a safe, affordable, latrine for the developing world that does not require a water and sewer based infrastructure,” explained project director, Jim McHale, Ph.D., American Standard Brands vice president, engineering. McHale notes that improved sanitation will help achieve the United Nations’ 2015 Millennium Development Goal of reducing by half the proportion of people who lack safe drinking water and basic sanitation by the year 2015.  ABOUT AMERICAN STANDARD BRANDS – American Standard Brands is a leading North American manufacturer of a wide range of high-quality building products, including faucets, fixtures, furniture, vitreous china fixtures, cast iron sinks, whirlpool tubs and other wellness products for the bath and kitchen as well as decorative panels. The company currently offers total project solutions for residential and commercial customers; employs more than 5,000 people in the United States, Canada and Mexico; and markets products under well known and respected brands, such as American Standard®, Jado®, Porcher®, Safety Tubs®, Crane Plumbing®, Eljer®, Fiat® and Decorative Panels International®. American Standard Brands is an affiliated portfolio company of Sun Capital Partners.

News Courtesy A-1 Plumbing Newswire www.a1ly.com/news/

Aqua Completes Major Expansion in Texas with Purchase of Water Systems from American Water

July 19, 2011

Aqua Completes Major Expansion in Texas with Purchase of Water Systems from American Water. Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE: WTR), the largest publicly traded water utility in the state of Texas, has announced that its Texas subsidiary has completed the purchase of American Water Works Company, Inc.’s (NYSE: AWK) regulated Texas operations, significantly expanding its customer base in one of its fastest growing and energy-rich states. Aqua Texas has added 51 water and five wastewater systems, which serve 4,200 water and 1,100 wastewater customers (approximately 16,000 people) from Texas American for approximately $6 million—the approximate book value of the assets. The systems, which will be run as a single unit out of Aqua’s Houston office, serve parts of Brazoria, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda and Montgomery counties in the greater Houston metropolitan area. The acquisition follows Aqua’s December 2010 acquisition of water and wastewater system assets of Gray Utility, which served approximately 6,300 people in Chambers, Jefferson and Liberty counties along the Gulf Coast near Baytown, which is about 40 miles from downtown Houston. Collectively in 2010, Aqua Texas purchased 10 systems and increased its customer base by approximately six percent, nearly 90 percent of which was from acquisitions. Since entering the state in 2003, Aqua will have grown its customer base by 50 percent upon closing the Texas American transaction. “These transactions demonstrate the success of our growth-through-acquisition strategy,” said Aqua America Chairman and CEO Nicholas DeBenedictis when the deal was announced last year. “We are proud to be investing while strategically planning and executing our growth efforts in states like Texas where our operations already have critical mass, and is one of the fastest-growing states in the nation. Texas is also one of our areas of operations that offers opportunities for the water-energy nexus that could have a positive impact on the future of our operations.” In addition to customer growth, energy-rich Texas with its natural gas and energy resources, offers other potential business opportunities for Aqua America. Speaking before the Citi Climate Change and Water Conference last week in London, England, DeBenedictis said that the water-energy nexus will play a larger role in the future of the company with respect to environmental and business opportunities. “We are prepared to take a responsible and active role in what is becoming the next energy boom in Texas, Pennsylvania and some other states—natural gas drilling,” said DeBenedictis. “Shale drilling for natural gas is a very water intensive business that can provide an economic boost well into the future if it’s done right environmentally,” said DeBenedictis. “We are currently focusing on the ‘clean water’ aspects of the drilling business and will pursue the growth opportunities provided by the shale drilling industry, which is thought to be at the dawn of its life.” Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE: WTR) has announced an agreement with American Water Works Company, Inc. (NYSE: AWK) to purchase all of American Water’s regulated operations in Ohio and to simultaneously sell Aqua’s regulated operations in New York to American Water. Both companies are now the largest investor-owned water utilities in each of the two respective states. As a result of this transaction, Aqua will acquire approximately $98 million in additional rate base and grow its customer base in Ohio by approximately 57,280 additional customers. The transaction will allow Aqua to spread its fixed costs over more customers in Ohio, which should provide more cost efficiency to help address future rates. Under the agreement, Aqua America will purchase from American Water 8 water systems and 1 wastewater system in Ohio, which serve approximately 50,730 water and approximately 6,550 wastewater connections for approximately $120 million. The systems serve parts of nine counties primarily in central and northeast Ohio. The acquisition will increase the customer base of Aqua Ohio by approximately 66 percent. In a separate agreement, Aqua America has agreed to sell its 7 water systems, which serve approximately 50,520 customers in New York to American Water’s New York subsidiary for approximately $71 million, making Long Island American Water the state’s largest investor-owned water utility. Aqua America’s sale of its New York operations will conclude its regulated operations in that state. Both companies commended this agreement as a way to strengthen operations in their respective states, creating better economies of scale and providing additional opportunities to improve customer service. The closing on each transaction is subject to the closing on the other transaction and the purchase price in each transaction is subject to certain adjustments as of their respective closing dates. The transactions are subject to certain regulatory approvals and Aqua America and American Water expect both acquisitions to close during the first quarter of 2012.  In addition to customer growth, energy-rich Texas with its natural gas and energy resources, offers other potential business opportunities for Aqua America. Speaking before the Citi Climate Change and Water Conference June 2011 in London, England, DeBenedictis said that the water-energy nexus will play a larger role in the future of the company with respect to environmental and business opportunities. In 2010 alone, Aqua replaced 180 miles of main with a focused effort to restore its distribution network, which enhanced water quality and service reliability for its customers and provided economic and job growth in the areas where the company operates. Chairman and CEO Nicholas DeBenedictis rang the closing bell 14 June 2011 at the New York Stock Exchange signifying the end of the day’s trading and marking Aqua’s 40th year on the NYSE and the company’s 125th anniversary. “It is an honor to commemorate Aqua’s 40-year NYSE anniversary as well as our 125th year of operations by ringing the closing bell today,” said DeBenedictis. “Historically, many prominent leaders of economically and culturally relevant companies ring the bell, and I am humbled to continue to be among this elite group.” “Aqua has grown to become a leader in providing people with life’s most valuable necessity – quality drinking water – because of our unwavering commitment to excellence and service combined with a sound investment strategy for 125 years,” said DeBenedictis.  2011 also marks DeBenedictis’ 20th year leading Aqua America. Since DeBenedictis, a former Pennsylvania secretary of environmental resources and Environmental Protection Agency official, joined the company, Aqua has: completed more than 250 acquisitions and growth ventures since embarking on its growth-through-acquisition strategy, more than quadrupled its customer base from 236,000 in 1991 to 962,000 in 2010, increased its market cap from $125 million in 1991 to $3 billion in 2010, increased its total stockholder return by 900 percent since 1991, increased its dividend more than 200 percent, 20 increases over last 19 years. Last year, 2010, was a record year of revenue and net income, and it was Aqua America’s 11th consecutive year of net income growth. Aqua’s success continues in 2011 as it reported record first quarter earnings 2011. Established in 1886 by Swarthmore, Pa. college professors concerned about local water quality, 125 years later, Aqua America is still an innovation leader and is now one of the largest U.S.-based, publicly-traded water utilities, delivering clean water to more than three million people in 13 states. Aqua America is one of the largest U.S.-based, publicly-traded water utilities and serves almost 3 million residents in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Maine, Missouri, New York, and Georgia. Aqua America is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol WTR.

 
News Courtesy A-1 Plumbing Newswire www.a1ly.com/news/

Cheap Toilet Lids Replace Tornado Destruction

July 9, 2011

The Great American Dream shattered when your guest broke the toilet tank lid cover. You worked hard all your life, made prudent investments and now part of your biggest investment, your home, is now broken. Typically, we expect to see a toilet tank lid on the toilet when we visit our bathroom. The saga of the toilet lid often goes unnoticed when we take the toilet lid for granted, we expect to see it proudly sitting on our toilet tank to complete the traditional wholesome look of our toilet. Unprotected toilet water tanks with no lid are a serious hazard for both safety and health. Rough broken tank lid edges can cut one, the curious kitten may decide to take a swim and drown, the old hair dryer and water shock, someone with little fingers may tinker with the exposed flush parts and you may have the River Jordan greet you when you return from vacation and the list goes on. Your house guests trashed your home including the toilet tank lid top cover besides eating you out of house and home. Just when you thought you would have to replace your existing toilet because the toilet lid broke you discovered Cheap Toilet Lids www.cheaptoiletlids.com which can spare you the expense of professional installation and buying another toilet just because the toilet tank lid cover top has been broken. Many will say the butler done it, but you say it was your house guest’s friend being nasty, others tell the story of a toilet bowel off the casino gaming floor at Resorts International in Atlantic City, NJ. The odds are good of finding a genuine American Standard, Kohler or other major brand factory replacement toilet tank lid cover, Cheap Toilet Lids claim 50,000 to one to have the plumbing part you need. Suzie Jackson of Cheap Toilet Lids in a recent interview related the story of a customer who ripped thru Resorts International Hotel and Casino Atlantic City public bathroom like a tornado destruction destroying every thing in the bathroom including the toilet lid. Water was everyone, flowing onto the casino gaming floor, people thought the ocean had overflowed, there were a couple of slip and falls, lost revenue from the areas having to be closed and more money spent to repair the water damage, the end of the story was when the customer walked away like nothing happened. The moral of the story is to have staff know where the water shut off valves are located. In the case of another client, Jackson reports Cheap Toilet Lids has repeat customers in a toilet lid of the month club where popular toilet lid inventory is stocked and ready for immediate shipment to the motel or condo who can not rent a unit because a toilet tank lid has been broken or is missing. Jackson noted behind every broken or missing toilet tank lid there is always a good story and while you have the toilet tank lid removed drop some food color in the tank let it sit a few hours and if the color makes it to the bowl you have a small leak which can be costing more money; often the cost of replacing a tank lid can be offset by repairing a faulty toilet valve which will save water and sewage costs. When you order the toilet tank lid from Cheap Toilet Lids you may also include plumbing parts and devices to save money which makes a story with a happy ending.

News Courtesy A-1 Plumbing Newswire www.a1ly.com/news/

 

Aqua America Subsidiaries Buy Four Water and Wastewater Systems in North Carolina and Virginia

May 26, 2011

Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE: WTR) has announced that its North Carolina and Virginia subsidiaries have purchased water and wastewater systems in their respective states.  Aqua North Carolina, Inc. purchased the water and wastewater system assets serving approximately 400 people in Colvard Farms Subdivision for $184,000. Colvard Farms Subdivision, located in Chatham County, is approximately 25 miles from the Company’s Cary Operations Center. Aqua Virginia, Inc. purchased the water system assets of the Brookwood Manor public water system, which serves approximately 225 people in New Kent County for $50,000 and the Cedarbrooke Subdivision public water system, which serves approximately 150 people in Culpeper County for $50,000. Both systems, which are in the immediate vicinity of other  Aqua Virginia systems and will be managed from the Company’s Rockville Virginia Operations Center, are slated for capital additions including treatment system improvements and the installation of a radio frequency metering system. “Each of these tuck-in acquisitions maximizes our economies of scale by expanding our operations to areas within, or just outside, of our existing footprint,” explained Aqua America Chairman Nicholas DeBenedictis. “The cumulative impact of tuck-in acquisitions on our customer growth has helped us maintain a growth rate that is generally greater than that of the water industry.” Aqua America, Inc. has announced that it has sold the bulk of its regulated Missouri operations to American Water Works Company, Inc. (NYSE: AWK) for $3.2 million, completing the first step of a unique transaction the two companies first announced last December. Aqua America noted that it has a separate agreement to sell its eight remaining small regulated wastewater systems to the City of Taos., which is expected to close during the third quarter 2011. The sale to American included more than 60 small water and wastewater systems, which serve approximately 3,700 customers in Missouri. The sale is indicative of Aqua America’s desire to focus the company’s regulatory relationships in states where it already has a critical mass of customers and can capitalize on economies of scale for the benefit of its customers. Still pending is the sale of American Water’s regulated operations in Texas to Aqua America’s Texas subsidiary, which is expected to close during the second quarter. Under that agreement with American Water, Aqua America will purchase 51 water and five wastewater systems in Texas, which serve nearly 4,200 water and nearly 1,100 wastewater customers (approximately 16,000 people) for approximately $6 million. The systems serve parts of Brazoria, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda and Montgomery counties in the greater Houston metropolitan area. The acquisition, which requires approval by the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality, will increase the customer base of Aqua Texas by approximately 8 percent. When the deal was announced last December 2010, Aqua America Chairman and CEO Nicholas DeBenedictis said, “This transaction makes perfect business sense for both companies as Aqua America is better suited to own and operate the American systems in Texas and American Water is better equipped to own and operate our systems in Missouri,” said DeBenedictis. “This opportunity will enable each of these professional companies to maximize their ability to deliver quality water and wastewater service to customers in both Texas and Missouri.” Aqua America is one of the largest U.S.-based, publicly-traded water utilities and serves almost 3 million residents in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Maine, Missouri, New York and Georgia. Aqua America is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol WTR. The Board of Directors of Aqua America, Inc. has declared a quarterly cash dividend payment of $0.155 per share payable on June 1, 2011, to all shareholders of record on May 17, 2011.  The June dividend payment of $0.155 per share is 6.9 percent higher than the dividend the company paid in June 2010 of $0.145 per share. Aqua has paid a consecutive quarterly dividend for 65 years. This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that address, among other things: benefits from the acquisition of the acquired systems and the impact the company may have on the acquired systems, the continuation of the company’s strategy to pursue the acquisition of water and wastewater systems, the expected timing of the acquisitions, and planned investments in the acquired systems. There are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements including: the risk that the acquired company’s business will not be successfully integrated; and other key factors that we have indicated could adversely affect our business and financial performance discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Aqua America is not under any obligation—and expressly disclaims any such obligation—to update or alter its forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

News Courtesy A-1 Plumbing Newswire www.a1ly.com/news/

Aqua America CEO Nicholas DeBenedictis Commencement Address Misericordia University

May 26, 2011

Nicholas DeBenedictis, Chairman, CEO and President of Aqua America, presented the commencement address at Misericordia University’s 85th graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 21 2011. A baccalaureate Mass was celebrated before the ceremony. During the Commencement ceremony, Misericordia University presented Mr. DeBenedictis, Charles “Rusty’’ Flack, Jr., chairman and CEO of Diamond Consolidated Industries and a former member of the Misericordia University Board of Trustees; and Father Thomas O’Hara, C.S.C., Ph.D., retiring president of King’s College, with honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees. The institution also bestowed the Catherine McAuley Medal on Margaret Neff Burke in recognition of her significant service to her community and Misericordia University, and the values to which it aspires. Prior to joining Aqua America, Mr. DeBenedictis spent three years (1989-1992) as senior vice president of corporate and public affairs for PECO Energy, a $4 billion nuclear utility. He was responsible for government relations, economic development and environmental policies, plus implementation of the utility’s public policy positions. From 1986 to 1989, he was president of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. Mr. DeBenedictis successfully designed and implemented various economic and business development programs to service the chamber’s growing membership, which dramatically increased to more than 5,500 businesses, putting it among the five largest in the nation. Mr. DeBenedictis also held two cabinet positions for Pennsylvania Gov. Dick Thornburg, serving as secretary of the Department of Environmental Resources from 1983-86 and director of the Office of Economic Development from 1981-83. Before joining the cabinet, he spent eight years with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, first as the assistant regional administrator for Region 3, based in Philadelphia, before being transferred to serve in Washington, D.C., from 1980-81. He has received numerous awards for public service and civic leadership, including the 2010 Ellipse Award for Improvement of Quality of Life Through Infrastructure, the 2009 Heart of Philadelphia Award, the 2008 Man of the Year Award, the 2007 Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the 1995 Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award. Mr. DeBenedictis was elected chairman of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau’s board of directors in 2004 and chaired former Philadelphia Mayor John Street’s 21st Century Review Forum Regional Cooperation Committee. He currently serves on the policy committee of the Pennsylvania Business Council and on the board and executive committee of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the board of directors for many regional businesses and, economic and environmental organizations. Mr. DeBenedictis received both his bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in environmental engineering and science from Drexel University. Misericordia University’s commencement guests also know how to make a positive impact on the world and on people. Nicholas DeBenedictis has spent his entire career leaving an environmentally-friendly stamp on his work for the betterment of today and tomorrow. “I’ve made a career out of fixing or filling holes,” Mr. DeBenedictis said during his keynote speech. “I’ve fixed holes in environmental policy, holes in economic plans, holes in the ozone, in environmental laws, holes in safety measures and the for last decade at Aqua America, we’ve been busy fixing holes in water pipes beneath the ground.” During the commencement ceremony, Misericordia University also presented Mr. DeBenedictis, Charles “Rusty’’ Flack, Jr., of Dallas Township, Pa., chairman and CEO of Diamond Consolidated Industries and a former member of the Misericordia University Board of Trustees; and Father Thomas O’Hara, C.S.C., Ph.D., retiring president of King’s College, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., with honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees. The institution of higher education also bestowed the Catherine McAuley Medal on Margaret Neff Burke of West Pittston, Pa., in recognition of her significant service to her community, Misericordia University and the values to which it aspires. Mr. DeBenedictis’ career began at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during its infancy and at the height of uncertainty about the world environment. The United Nations had issued a report that there was only 10 years left to act before Earth’s environment suffered an irreversible environmental disaster. A year later the first Earth Day was held and a brand new government agency known as the EPA was also formed shortly after this troubling news was delivered to world leaders. “I learned early on at the EPA that every good environmental policy begins and ends with the value of a human life,” he told MU graduates, as he recounted the history of Northeastern Pennsylvania fueling the nation with timber to oil to coal — and now natural gas. “Not simply the philosophical value, but the actual monetary value of one human life. You’ll be happy to know that this year, the value is $9.1 million.” There are real consequences for the environment based on the EPA’s and other government agencies’ life-value calculations, according to Mr. DeBenedictis. When government agencies consider new regulations, they first compare the economic cost of any new law against the benefit of the lives it could save. “So the less value a government agency places on human lives, the less need for regulation to protect and preserve those lives,” he related. The scars of anthracite mining still pollute the landscape of NEPA from the last energy boom in the region. Mr. DeBenedictis believes many people did not know any better and if modern environmental policies had been in place a century ago, the region would look a lot different. “Had we had this calculation at hand when the first coal boom hit, we would be in a very different economic and ethical place,” he believes. “It was our chance to show the world how to use this land in a way that was good for people and the earth. We largely failed. I don’t think we knew any better.” The Marcellus Shale is Pennsylvania’s and NEPA’s second chance at the “energy boom.” The first was met and mined with dirty, brute labor while this generation’s opportunity is being greeted with ideas and innovations. “This is your new world, your Italian Renaissance, your Detroit, your Silicon Valley,” Mr. DeBenedictis said. “It’s ripe with jobs and money and power — and enormous responsibility. “Your state, your economy, your environment, your families — have all been given a second chance. A chance not just for economic prosperity, but also for environmental stewardship. A chance to show the world how to do it right,” he added. The most valuable natural resource, according to Mr. DeBenedictis, does not lie beneath the ground or in the harvesting of wind or water, but rather the “real energy’’ is the people who work to make the world a better place for everyone and everything. “It’s in the people,” he said. “It’s sitting right here in front of me in caps and gowns. It’s in the hearts, minds and hands and wills and souls of each of you. It’s the personal energy you bring to this world that is our most precious natural resource — and one that can make or break this region’s future. “I’ve always said, the harder you work, the luckier you get in life,” Mr. DeBenedictis added. Mr. DeBenedictis acknowledged that his generation has left its stamp on the world — some good and some not so good. Since the 1980s, though, his generation has worked on being sustainable so they would not compromise the needs of future generations, like the Class of 2011 and beyond. “We have left our human stamp on the natural environment and our moral stamp on our laws, on our lives and on our land,” he said. “And now you will begin to leave your stamp on your environment. Your stamp on your world. “Don’t waste your stamp!” Mr. DeBenedictis concluded. Founded and Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Pennsylvania Luzerne County’s first four-year college and offers 32 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs in three colleges in full- and part-time formats. Aqua’s history dates back to January 4, 1886  when a group of Swarthmore College professors were granted a charter to supply water to the residents of Springfield Township, Delaware County Pennsylvania. The professors  were previously part of an association that included Swarthmore residents who had abandoned their wells in favor of nearby spring water. They built a small pumping station and laid pipes to their homes. Initially, new customers were welcomed openly, but as the number of potential customers increased, so did the association’s operating responsibilities. It was then that the association made the decision to incorporate. This company was known as  Springfield Water Company. Aqua America is one of the largest U.S.-based, publicly-traded water utilities and serves almost 3 million residents in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Maine, Missouri, New York and Georgia. Aqua America is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol WTR.

News Courtesy A-1 Plumbing Newswire www.a1ly.com/news/

THE AMERICAN STANDARD RESPONSIBLE BATHROOM TOUR To Visit 100 Locations Through November 2011

April 1, 2011

The American Standard® Responsible Bathroom Tour to visit 100 locations, now through November 2011. After saving 2.9 billion gallons of water last year, the 2011 American Standard® Responsible Bathroom Tour kicks off this month with visits to more than 100 plumbing wholesale locations in the United States through November. Open to the public, the walk-through mobile plumbing showroom is expected to attract plumbers, specifiers and other construction professionals, along with environmentalists, researchers, housing authorities, utility personnel and consumers. Visitors will learn about water conservation strategies and view product demonstrations. The American Standard® Responsible Bathroom Tour has also partnered with local water municipalities to promote local rebates available for water efficient faucets, toilets and showerheads. Jennifer Johnson of Plumbing Parts Depot, www.PlumbingPartsDepot.info a popular plumbing parts supply distribution warehouse, said “with the shifting tides of the economy and current events the tour is a very refreshing educational experience for consumers and plumbers look forward to the tour being a fun social informational event, networking with other professionals and their favorite American Standard plumbing supplier”. The 2010 Responsible Bathroom Tour exceeded its goal of contributing two billion gallons of annual water savings by nearly 45 percent, measured by sales of product generated through the tour. This year’s Tour will build upon these savings by convincing attendees to adopt new water conserving behaviors and replace old leaky fixtures with top-rated WaterSense®-certified toilets, faucets and showerheads. Water savings progress throughout 2011 will be tracked on the Responsible Bathroom Tour website, TheResponsibleBathroomTour.com, which also lists the tour schedule. American Standard also offers the fun and interactive ResponsibleBathroom.com website, which educates the public about simple steps that can be taken to decrease the amount of water used daily. In total, American Standard expects to save a total of 18 billion gallons of water this year, through its forecasted installations of home and commercial water-saving plumbing products, and visitors’ pledged water savings efforts via these websites. In addition to encouraging personal water saving efforts, The Responsible Bathroom website educates visitors about how conservation efforts will cut their own water costs, as well as what their communities currently must pay to treat the water everyone uses. All of these reductions will increase available freshwater resources without adding new water treatment costs to strained municipal budgets. The Responsible Bathroom Tour and website are two of several initiatives by American Standard Brands to raise awareness of practical water conservation solutions. Other efforts include a two-year, $1 million commitment to support the Nature Conservancy, a leading global conservation organization; sponsorship of the Green Building Program, a unique K-12 curriculum that teaches students about sustainability and the environment, through a partnership with the Green Education Foundation (GEF); and participation in the New Jersey Water Savers “Water Champions” pilot program, with American Standard donating more than $100,000 worth of high efficiency plumbing products to schools and other public buildings throughout New Jersey. For more information about when the tour is visiting your area, or about water efficient plumbing products from American Standard, visit www.TheResponsibleBathroomTour.com or americanstandard.com. ABOUT AMERICAN STANDARD BRANDS – American Standard Brands is a leading North American manufacturer of a wide range of high-quality building products, including faucets, fixtures, furniture, vitreous china fixtures, cast iron sinks, whirlpool tubs and other wellness products for the bath and kitchen as well as decorative panels. The company currently offers total project solutions for residential and commercial customers; employs more than 5,000 people in the United States, Canada and Mexico; and markets products under well known and respected brands, such as American Standard®, Jado®, Porcher®, Safety Tubs®, Crane®, Eljer®, Fiat® and Decorative Panels International®. American Standard Brands is an affiliated portfolio company of Sun Capital Partners. WaterSense® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

News Courtesy A-1 Plumbing Newswire www.a1ly.com/news/

America on Tap – Tap For Tap – April 20 2011

January 30, 2011

America on Tap – Tap For Tap. Protecting the world’s most precious resource is what American Water does every day. Part of that commitment is to proactively look for ways to keep it – and the earth from which it flows – safe and clean. Contrary to popular belief, water is a finite resource. In order to help ensure an adequate supply of water for future generations, we must focus on sustainability and innovation today. In the U.S. alone, there is concern over the sustainability of the nation’s water supply as a result of drought, threatened supply and continued population growth. Water scarcity, which we are already experiencing in some regions of the country, and increasing water demand are challenges facing our entire nation.  American Water professionals are working hard to find solutions to these issues. Technologies such as desalination, water reuse and recycling, and innovative feats of engineering such as the new 31-mile water pipeline project completed in November, 2010, in Kentucky are examples of how American Water is actively working to meet customers’ needs today while preserving and protecting the water supply for future generations. 97% of the earth’s water is found in oceans and seas, and 2% is frozen in icecaps and glaciers. That leaves just 1% available for treatment and delivery for drinking, cooking and cleaning. Contrary to popular belief, water is a finite resource, and steps must be taken today to ensure an adequate supply for the future.  Sustainability issues, which include climate change, population growth and continued land development, are an important concern. Our professionals are working in a variety of ways to help ensure an adequate supply of water for years to come. America on Tap is our yearlong effort to make a difference for the environment by helping to reduce the consumption of bottled water. 85% of plastic bottles end up in landfills. It takes 1,000 years for the average plastic bottle to biodegrade. Reducing the amount of disposable water bottles purchased can have a direct effect on the amount of bottles that ultimately ends up in landfills.  Water is essential to life, but you have a choice when it comes to where you get your water. Pledge allegiance to the tap and do your part for the environment by promising to drink tap water instead of purchasing disposable bottles of water. – Tap for Tap – Join American Water www.amwater125.com  on April 20th to celebrate the 125th anniversary of delivering reliability, responsibility, service, innovation and excellence to our customers and our communities. On that day and over the following months we’ll be sponsoring “Tap for Tap” events. These events will showcase local and professional tap dancers performing in our communities to encourage Americans to use tap water instead of bottled water.  By drinking tap water instead of bottled water you can make big difference in a short period of time. The seemingly small decision to drink tap water rather than bottled can have a beneficial impact on the environment as well as your wallet. Every year, 1.5 million barrels of oil are used to make the plastic water bottles used in the U.S., in addition to the significant amount of fuel used to transport water to consumers. Plastic bottles are also a growing source of litter and garbage. Americans throw away 38 billion plastic bottles a year – over $1 billion worth of plastic – which could take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade in our landfills. Depending on the brand, bottled water costs 250 to 10,000 times more than what tap water costs. Tap water costs only about a penny or pennies per gallon, so if you drink your recommended eight glasses of water a day from the tap, that cost would be about $3.65 (based on a glass of water being 8 ounces) cents a year, while purchasing the same amount in bottled water could add up to $1,400 annually. Ounce-for-ounce, bottled water can cost more than gasoline or even milk.  American Water thanks you for your commitment to drinking tap water instead of bottled water.

News Courtesy A-1 Plumbing Newswire http://a1ly.com/news/

Aqua America CEO to Present At NYSSA and Gabelli Conferences

November 24, 2010

Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE: WTR) has announced that its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Nicholas DeBenedictis will present at two conferences in December. The first is the New York Society of Security Analysts’ (NYSSA) 14th Annual Water Industry Investor Conference on December 1. DeBenedictis will present at approximately 12:25 p.m. Eastern Standard Time in New York City. The second conference is the Gabelli & Company, Inc. Best Ideas Conference on December 2. DeBenedictis will speak at approximately 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time in New York City. At both of the conferences, DeBenedictis will present an overview of the state of the company and industry. The company will host live audio webcasts of both of DeBenedictis’ presentations from the investor relations section of the company’s website at www.aquaamerica.com. Archived rebroadcasts will be available on the company’s website for 60 days following the events.  Aqua America, Inc. is a publicly traded water and wastewater utility holding company with operating subsidiaries serving approximately three million people in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, New York, Indiana, Florida, Virginia, Maine, Missouri, South Carolina, and Georgia. Aqua America is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol WTR.

News Courtesy A-1 Plumbing Newswire http://a1ly.com/news/