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January 12, 2010
     
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United Water And Infilco Degremont Establish Water Research Center

United Water jointly launched a unique collaborative effort with its sister company, Infilco Degremont Inc., establishing a Water Environmental Research Center (United WERC) to spearhead innovative efforts in providing safe drinking water and state-of-the-art wastewater treatment.

The launch of the center was kicked off by corporate executives of both businesses at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Degremont’s North American research and development facility in Richmond, where four major research projects already are underway. The companies plan to invest more than $1.2 million in 2010 in the projects, which include two projects focused on improving drinking water supplies and two dealing with wastewater treatment issues.

“These investments will help us continue to provide safe and affordable drinking water to our many clients and customers throughout the United States, and will ensure the best technology is used to protect the environment,’’ said Bertrand Camus, chief executive officer of United Water’s nationwide water and wastewater operations.

The research center is accredited by the R+i Alliance, an organization created in 2005 by SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT, the parent of both companies. It is designed to promote collaboration between United Water, which brings a history of operational excellence, and Infilco Degremont, which offers the industry’s best products and equipment in water treatment services.

The initial projects include innovative management techniques to recharge groundwater aquifers without causing naturally occurring contaminants in the rock to migrate into the water, testing of treatment processes to remove pharmaceutical and personal care product contaminants from drinking water, improved wastewater treatment methods to remove certain contaminants from methane gases used for energy production, reducing energy consumption for applications of advanced membrane bioreactor technology in wastewater plants, and finding better and less expensive methods to transmit customer water usage data central control.

While the initial projects were awarded by the R+i Alliance, United WERC will also pursue research funded by and in collaboration with other industry organizations, universities and government entities.

New Jersey American Water Teams Up with NJ Shares

New Jersey American Water has chosen New Jersey Statewide Heating Assistance and Referral for Energy Services (NJ SHARES) to administer its two payment assistance programs for low-income customers.

NJ SHARES will accept and process payment assistance applications on behalf of New Jersey American Water and determine each applicant’s eligibility, and administer grants according to the program guidelines. Eligibility guidelines are established by New Jersey American Water and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. Over the last two years, New Jersey American Water has assisted more than 1,500 customers with more than $300,000 in grants.

“New Jersey American Water and NJ SHARES are concerned with assisting our customers in need, especially now, as many are feeling the effects of these difficult economic times,” said John Bigelow, president of New Jersey American Water. “NJ SHARES will be an efficient and effective administrator of our programs for those with low incomes and will be responsive to our customers’ needs.”

For more than eight years, New Jersey American Water has offered its low-income customers the following payment program options.

H2O Help to Others Program

H2O Help to Others helps to pay a portion of the bills of those who demonstrate a true need within a defined income level. A grant from the H2O Help to Others program may not cover a recipient’s entire water bill. In some cases, recipients must cover a portion of their bill, based on their ability to pay. In order to qualify for this program, customers must have annual incomes at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty guidelines.

Low Income Payment Program (LIPP)

LIPP takes the H2O Help to Others program one step further by providing aid to New Jersey American Water’s most economically challenged customers through rate reductions amounting to approximately 15percent of a customer’s monthly bill. In order to qualify for this program, customers must have annual incomes at or below 175 percent of the Federal Poverty guidelines.

Aqua America PA Subsidiary Acquires Athens Township Authority Assets as Part of Public-Private Partnership

Aqua America Inc., announced that its Pennsylvania subsidiary, Aqua Pennsylvania Inc., has acquired the assets of the Athens Township Authority in Bradford County, which will enable Aqua to complete a public-private partnership that will include approximately $1 million of additional transmission main being contributed by the local economic development agency, the potential for additional customers outside of those already served by the Authority, the revenues from a bulk water sales contract to a new distribution center being built across the state border in New York, and a 20-year professional services agreement.

Aqua Pennsylvania paid $70,000 for the assets, which include 17,000 feet of transmission main and a 433,000-gallon tank. Concurrent with the acquisition, Aqua Pennsylvania has executed a new bulk water sales contract with a New York municipal corporation, Chemung County Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA), to provide water service to a new commercial pharmaceutical warehouse in Chemung Township, Chemung County, N.Y., via a $1.2 million, 9,650-foot pipeline extension that will connect the newly acquired Athens water system to the metered connection for the bulk water sales agreement with CCIDA, which is subject to approval from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. The new main, currently being installed within Athens Township, Bradford County, will be donated to Aqua Pennsylvania by CCIDA. Aqua's non-regulated subsidiary, Aqua Resources Inc., has also entered into a 20-year professional services agreement with CCIDA to provide operational services for CCIDA's New York system.

The route of the new main will benefit the owners of approximately 75 residential properties that abut the main by affording them the potential to obtain public water from Aqua Pennsylvania. The new main might also allow residents of a nearby housing development the opportunity to access public water service for their community, which is currently served by private wells.

"We are very pleased with this public-private partnership as it provides Aqua Pennsylvania with growth opportunities and allows us to partner with the CCIDA to help stimulate economic development in a neighboring area," said Aqua America Chairman and CEO Nicholas DeBenedictis.

American Water Names Kellye L. Walker Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

American Water Works Company, Inc. has named Kellye L. Walker its senior vice president, general counsel and secretary. Walker will be replacing George Patrick, who is retiring after serving the company for more than a decade.

"It was important for us to fill this vital position in our company in a timely manner and we are pleased to be able to bring someone with Kellye's experience to American Water," said Don Correll, president and CEO of American Water. "Kellye's knowledge in regulatory and enterprise compliance, corporate governance and many other legal matters makes her an excellent fit for our company."

Walker most recently served as senior vice president and general counsel at Diageo North America Inc., which is part of the multinational Diageo, Plc, a NYSE- and LSE-listed company with revenues of $20 billion. Her responsibilities included corporate and commercial legal matters such as mergers and acquisitions, human resources and labor relations, procurement and regulatory compliance.

Walker also served as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary at BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. One of her major accomplishments at BJ's was to design and create an enterprise-wide compliance program shortly after the enactment of Sarbanes-Oxley. Prior to joining BJ's, Walker was a partner with the law firm of Hill & Barlow in Boston, Mass. She also was a partner and/or an associate with the firms of Chaffe, McCall, Phillips, Toler & Sarpy in New Orleans, La., and Boult, Cummings, Conners & Berry in Nashville, Tenn.

Walker is a graduate of Emory University School of Law, where she was named the 1992 Outstanding Woman Law Graduate, and of Louisiana Tech University. She also is the chair of "Stakeholder 100," which mentors top-performing law firm associates across the country to help them achieve their fullest potential.

Walker is replacing George Patrick, who has decided to retire. Patrick joined American Water in 1999 and led its law department since 2007.

"George led our Law Department during a critical and historic time for our company, as we conducted our initial public offering and eventually were divested by RWE," said Don Correll, president and CEO of American Water. "There was an enormous legal aspect to that process and George, along with his team, provided excellent counsel throughout that period. I sincerely thank him for his service to American Water and wish him all the best."