Aqua's Commitment to Affordability and Access

Aqua passionately believes that every customer deserves safe and affordable access to water, as expressed in our Human Right to Water policy. We strive daily to operate efficiently to keep costs down, encourage water conservation and invest wisely in aging infrastructure to help support affordability and access.

Understanding Costs

There are many factors that influence water rates across our 1,500-plus systems, each of which has different infrastructure needs that may contribute to different costs of operation.

Common factors include the condition of the infrastructure and work that has been done in the system of a given area, the ability to utilize single tariff pricing, weather, irrigation, and household usage or the potential of a leak. Generally, the cost of providing water service is a main driving factor behind water rates, which impacts the cost-of-service customer bills.

While proposed rate increases can be surprising at first glance, we want to assure you that these prices are carefully considered based on the actions we must take to secure our water infrastructure for future needs.

Infrastructure Improvements

We are dedicated to renewing and improving water and wastewater infrastructure through strategic capital investment. As laid out in our 2020 ESG report, we have invested approximately $3.5 billion in infrastructure improvements and replaced more than 1,300 miles of aging water main since 2012.

Our ongoing investment in water infrastructure has proven to be a very successful method of reducing water main breaks and water loss. For example, in 2000, we experienced nearly 25 main breaks per 100 miles on the pipe we own in southeastern Pennsylvania. Since then, we invested more than $3 billion in infrastructure in the same region.

As a result, in 2020, we experienced fewer than seven main breaks per 100 miles on that system. This not only reduced water loss, but reduced the volume and cost of emergency repairs, reduced service interruptions and improved water service for you, our customers.

We are committed to replacing hundreds of miles of water pipes each year to continue to address water loss, as well as improve reliability and service for customers.

Assistance Programs

Despite our efforts to minimize the cost of our operations, we know that some of you still struggle to pay your bills. We work proactively by offering payment plans and recommending conservation tips, and we also operate or administer various assistance programs.

Most recently, we began participating in the federally administered Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP), which was initiated in December 2020 and received additional funding through the American Rescue Plan of 2021. This federal funding will provide an important resource to low-income customers seeking assistance with their water bills. LIHWAP funds are currently available for our customers in Indiana, Illinois, New JerseyNorth Carolina, Pennsylvania and Ohio. The program will ultimately expand across our footprint of eight states. In any state, you can recieve more information about LIHWAP by contacting your local Community Action Agency.

We also locally operate low-income assistance programs in several states:

  • Helping Hand in Pennsylvania is a low-income assistance program designed to enable manageable monthly payments. Customers who make timely payments through Helping Hand receive a monthly credit to their accounts. The program also provides customers with water conservation kits offering information and tools to help reduce water usage.

  • Aqua Aid, available to customers in Illinois and New Jersey, is similar to the Helping Hand in Pennsylvania program, operating through partnerships with Salvation Army and NJ SHARES.

We encourage those of you experiencing financial hardship to visit the links above for more information on the specific assistance programs in your area. You can also contact our Customer Operations Center, which provides tips on how to understand your bill along with contact information should you have additional questions. We want to assure you that you will be speaking with someone who is understanding and empathetic to your individual situation.

We also want to encourage you to share this information with a friend, family member or neighbor. You never know who might benefit from receiving this information. We are wholeheartedly committed to keeping rates as low as possible and working with our customers who may have trouble paying their bills, as we strive to ensure safe and reliable access to water for all.