BRYN MAWR, PA — Essential Utilities Inc. (NYSE: WTRG) announced recently that its Pennsylvania wastewater subsidiary has signed an asset purchase agreement (APA) with Willistown Township, Chester County to acquire the municipality’s wastewater assets for $17.5 million. The pending transaction is subject to Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission approval.
Willistown serves approximately 2,300 customer-equivalents including residential and commercial connections with a system that includes about 30 miles of gravity and force mains and eight pump stations as well as a small wastewater treatment plant at Penn’s Preserve.
“The Willistown wastewater system is the second municipal wastewater system with which we’ve signed an asset purchase agreement in the last month,” said Essential Chairman and CEO Christopher Franklin referring to the company’s recently signed APA with East Whiteland Township. “Having also recently completed our acquisition of the New Garden Township wastewater system, we are looking forward to the positive impact we will have on multiple wastewater systems in Chester County.”
In December 2018, Essential’s unregulated subsidiary, Aqua Resources, purchased the Valley Creek Trunk Sewer which includes more than 9 miles of sewer main and two pump stations that receive sewage from several communities, including East Whiteland and Willistown townships, and conveys that waste to Valley Forge Sewer Authority where it’s treated. Aqua Pennsylvania President Marc Lucca said, “We look forward to begin operating the wastewater collection systems in East Whiteland and Willistown, which will improve operational efficiencies including those of the Valley Creek Trunk Sewer line.”
On December 22, 2020, Aqua Pennsylvania wastewater took ownership and started operations of the wastewater system at New Garden Township.
Willistown is the second APA executed by Aqua Pennsylvania in 2021. Including Willistown, Essential Utilities has six acquisitions currently under APA pending close representing approximately $438 million of rate base and approximately 227,000 equivalent retail customers or equivalent dwelling units. In 2020, Essential closed five acquisitions representing approximately $63 million of rate base and approximately 12,000 customer-equivalents.
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