Our customers count on us to provide safe, reliable water service. By continually upgrading our infrastructure, we plan to keep it that way. From source to tap and back to the source again, our team of professionals works hard to maintain and improve our facilities to keep them operating efficiently, meeting regulatory standards and delivering high quality water and wastewater service. In fact, we invested $373 million in 2021 alone to improve our water and wastewater treatment and pipeline systems across Pennsylvania - proof of your water bill at work.
Over the past five years, Pennsylvania American Water has funded more than $1.8 billion in capital construction with expenditures expected to range from $450 to $600 million annually over the next several years. This includes improvements to treatment plants, wells, tanks, pump stations, pipes, valves, fire hydrants and metering equipment to sustain current operations while supporting resiliency for the future. For example, we replaced more than 65 miles (345,244 feet) of aging water and sewer pipelines last year.
Our engineering and operations teams work closely to identify problem areas and put plans into action to upgrade our systems and infrastructure. These projects benefit our customers through enhanced service reliability, water quality and fire protection. Improving system resiliency is also a major focus to help protect plants, underground systems, and other crucial infrastructure from extreme weather events, natural hazards and malevolent threats.
Where Your Dollars Flow
The Ripple Effect of Water Investment to the Economy
Infrastructure upgrades are not only important investments in public health and safety, they also help support the economic health of the communities we serve. Economic impact studies show that for every $1 million invested in water infrastructure, upwards of 15 jobs are generated throughout the economy.
Through our continued investments, Pennsylvania American Water’s 2021 and 2022 infrastructure upgrade projects will support more than 3,700 jobs each year.
Prioritizing Water/Sewer Main Replacement Projects
With more than 11,400 miles of water and sewer main, you might wonder how we decide which lines to replace and when? Many factors contribute to the decisions on where to upgrade our systems, such as hydraulic capacity, water quality and regulatory requirements. Our Operations team reviews online maps created by Geographic Information System (GIS) experts to develop lists of proposed projects, which are then analyzed by our Engineering group. Our engineers consider other factors, such as type of pipe material, age, and history of breaks/leaks, to make informed decisions and prioritize when and where to replace aging infrastructure.