HERSHEY, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--When the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) issued its latest Report Card for America’s Infrastructure (www.infrastructurereportcard.org) last week, it gave the nation’s water systems a D grade, and wastewater systems a D+ grade. Pennsylvania American Water reacted to the poor scores by urging an increased sense of urgency for action to turn around the condition of this critical infrastructure.
“Once again, the ASCE grades on drinking water/wastewater infrastructure clearly illustrate the national need to upgrade, repair and maintain a vast system responsible for our most precious water resources,” said Pennsylvania American Water President Jeffrey McIntyre. “The nation’s water systems have received a grade of D, which is among the worst of the infrastructures studied in the report, issued every four years since 2001. We see the findings as more evidence to move quickly and rebuild the nation’s water and wastewater systems to protect public health, safety and local economies.”
Water system breakdowns often result in service outages, impediments to emergency response and damage to other types of infrastructure. The price tag for the upkeep and replacement of the nation’s outdated water systems is at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years, according to the American Water Works Association.
McIntyre said Pennsylvania American Water proactively invested about $309 million in needed system improvements last year, and its capital investments totaled more than $2.5 billion between 2005 and 2016.
“With projects ranging from the replacement of water mains, valves and hydrants to treatment plant upgrades to improve efficiency and reliability and ensure environmental compliance,” said McIntyre, “the investments we have made show our commitment to continuing to meet customer needs in the communities we serve.”
He added, “One of the reasons that we want the public to be aware of the ASCE Report Card is to highlight the critical nature of these issues. In fact, our customers already play an important role in system renewal and future reliability when they pay their monthly bill, because 49 cents -- or almost half of every dollar they pay -- is reinvested back into Pennsylvania American Water’s infrastructure.”
Pennsylvania American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.3 million people. With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly-traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,800 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 47 states and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.