Aqua America’s Record on Rates, Labor, and Water Quality

Aqua America is the 2nd largest private water corporation in the US. After merging with Peoples Gas, they are the latest corporation looking to privatize Pittsburgh’s water system.

Poor Labor Record

  • In 2016 in PA, Aqua was penalized after being sued for racial harassment of black employees and even promoting one of the employees accused of racial harassment after they had received several complaints.
  • In 2016 in Ohio, Aqua was cited by OSHA for unsafe working conditions that led to the death of a utility worker on the job, which was deemed “a preventable death.”
  • In 2014 in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio, Aqua aqua cut utility workers benefit plans across the board to save money.

Poor Water Quality

  • In 2018 outside of Philadelphia, Aqua was cited for dangerous chemicals in their water connected to liver damage and potentially cancer.
  • In 2018 in North Carolina, hundreds of residents turned out to a public hearing to complain about brown water.
  • In Florida, many of Aqua’s customers complained that their water was smelly, discolored, contaminated, and undrinkable.

Higher Water Rates

  • In PA towns that Aqua took over in the last 2 decades, water rates have gone up about 10% every year for almost 20 years.
  • In the last 5 years, after continuing to increase rates on customers, Aqua gave away a total of over $600 million to its shareholders. Our water rates should go towards clean, safe water, not to shareholders.
  • In Florida, water systems owned by Aqua charged twice as much as comparable publicly owned systems – Aqua was eventually run out of the state by thousands of customers that were unhappy with their water service.