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June 22, 2010

     
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American States Water Company Announces Agreement to Sell Arizona Utility

American States Water Company announced that it has entered into a Stock Purchase Agreement (the "Agreement") with EPCOR Water (USA) Inc. to sell all of the common shares of Chaparral City Water Company for an estimated total purchase price of $35 million, including the assumption of approximately $6 million of long-term debt. Approximately $29 million in cash will be paid to AWR at closing. The purchase price is subject to certain adjustments for changes in retained earnings. The consummation of the transaction contemplated by the Agreement is subject to customary conditions including, among other things, regulatory approval by the Arizona Corporation Commission ("ACC"), which is anticipated to be received in 2011. New Harbor Inc., a boutique investment bank based out of New York, is representing AWR in this transaction.

Chaparral is an Arizona public utility company serving more than 13,000 customers in the town of Fountain Hills, Ariz., and a portion of the City of Scottsdale, Ariz. The majority of Chaparral's customers are residential and the ACC regulates Chaparral.

EPCOR Water (USA) Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of EPCOR Utilities Inc. ("EPCOR"). EPCOR builds, owns and operates water and wastewater treatment facilities, and electric transmission and distribution networks. It provides water and wastewater services to more than one million people in more than 70 communities in Western Canada.

Robert Sprowls, CEO of AWR and Chaparral, said, "As we go through the approval process for this sale, Chaparral customers will continue to receive the same excellent customer service and quality water as they have been receiving all along. We will work with EPCOR to ensure the most seamless transition possible for customers."

 

Don Correll Honored for Lifetime Achievement at Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2010 Awards in Greater Philadelphia

American Water Works Company Inc., announced that President and CEO Don Correll was honored with the Lifetime Achievement award at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2010 Awards in Greater Philadelphia. According to Ernst & Young LLP, the awards program recognizes chief executives who demonstrate extraordinary success in the areas of innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

Correll was recognized for his more than 30 years of leadership in the water industry and his most recent accomplishments as American Water's chief executive since 2006. Correll has led American Water through its initial public offering and re-introduction to the communities it serves; the subsequent divestitures of stock by a single exiting stockholder; and his leadership in the areas of customer service, innovation, efficiency, company growth, industry expertise, employee development and the launch of the company's corporate responsibility program.

As a regional award winner, Correll is automatically entered into the Ernst & Young LLP Entrepreneur Of The Year national program. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the overall national Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala on November 13, 2010. The awards are the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum, the nation's most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year awards program celebrates its 24th anniversary this year. The program has expanded to recognize business leaders in over 135 cities in 50 countries throughout the world.

 

Connecticut Water’s Kevin Walsh Receives New England Water Works’ Leadership Award

Kevin T. Walsh, Connecticut Water’s director of technical and environmental services, recently received the New England Water Works Association’s (NEWWA) State Leadership Award. Presented at the Joint Conference of the Connecticut Section American Water Works Association (CTAWWA) and the Connecticut Water Works Association (CWWA) in Lenox, Mass., the award recognizes outstanding leadership and contributions to the advancement of excellence in the water works profession.

A Connecticut Water employee for 22 years, Walsh manages the personnel, operation and maintenance of the company’s five water treatment plants, as well as the technical management of 19 reservoirs, more than 200 wells and 62 distribution systems in 55 Connecticut towns. He has served on several association committees since beginning his career in the water industry in 1976, including a term as chair of the CT AWWA board of trustees. A Registered Licensed Professional Engineer, Walsh has served on several AWWA Standards Committees for National AWWA and NEWWA to address critical regulatory issues with the State Agencies including Water Operator Certification, Activated Carbon Treatment and Water Treatment Plant Filtration.

In addition, Walsh continues to serve on the Performance Evaluation Assessment Committee (PEAC) for the Partnership For Safe Water Program. This is a National USEPA Program for Water Treatment Plant Optimization that includes a rigorous review of treatment practices developed by national experts, and also includes a four-step, self-assessment and peer-review process.

“It’s important for our employees to give back and participate in our water industry organizations,” said Terry P. O’Neill, Connecticut Water’s vice president of service delivery. “Kevin has made significant contributions to further the water supply profession and the quality of service provided to customers.”

A resident of Middletown, Conn., Walsh received master’s degrees in management and engineering science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Hartford. He earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental biology from Southern Connecticut State University.

 

Illinois American Water Receives Central Region Groundwater Protection Committee’s Company Groundwater Award

Illinois American Water was recognized by the Central Region Groundwater Protection Committee during their awards dinner on June 8, 2010. The company was presented the 16th Annual Company Groundwater Award for their work on the Pekin pharmaceutical disposal program.

Illinois American Water partnered with Senator David Koehler, the Tazewell County Health Department and the Pekin Police Department to implement a pharmaceutical disposal program in Pekin. Since the program’s kick off in November of last year, more than 50 gallons of unwanted medications have been collected and properly disposed.

“By disposing of unwanted medications properly, we are able to keep them out of the hands of our children and our water supply,” said Anthony Hall, operations superintendent for the Pekin District. “We are protecting two of our most valuable resources.”

Illinois American Water is a member of the EPA’s pharmaceutical disposal task force called Medication Education Disposal Solutions (MEDS). Through this partnership and collaboration with local pharmacies, police departments and government officials, Illinois American Water has implemented and supported several pharmaceutical disposal programs across the state.

“Our goal is to establish a greatly expanded network of secure pharmaceutical collection centers throughout the state,” said Hall.

 

Middlesex Water Company to Invest $4 Million to Upgrade Water Infrastructure in Port Reading,Sewaren

Middlesex Water Company plans to invest approximately $4 million in 2010 in its RENEW Program, a rehabilitative effort to clean and cement-line previously unlined water mains, and to replace water mains, valves and fire hydrants, where necessary, in targeted areas.

The company plans to upgrade approximately 23,500 linear feet of 6- and 8-inch water main in the Port Reading and Sewaren sections of Woodbridge. Areas targeted for this year’s program include water mains under streets east of the NJ Turnpike and north and south of Port Reading Avenue up to the boundary with Carteret. The overall project is expected to begin in June and end in late October. Individual streets in the project area are expected to be affected for a period of two to three months.

“Our RENEW program enables us to make strategic, targeted investments in our water distribution infrastructure that result in enhanced water quality and water pressures,” said Richard M. Risoldi, chief operating officer of Middlesex Water. “As we work to methodically upgrade the 122 remaining miles of unlined main in our 734-mile Middlesex system, we are pleased to be able to access state revolving funds offered through the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust for help in funding this important initiative at a very low cost.”

The RENEW Program involves cleaning accumulated harmless mineral deposits from older sections of cast iron pipe and installing a new cement lining. The project, which involves rehabilitation, rather than more costly replacement, helps to significantly extend the life of older pipe and helps to improve overall water quality and service while strengthening the water distribution infrastructure. The company has also identified areas in the project zone where water mains, valves and fire hydrants will undergo a complete replacement. Approximately 5,000 feet of water main is expected to be replaced as part of this effort.

 

West Virginia American Water Among the Best in Annual Taste Test

Three West Virginia American Water plants placed in the top five in an annual water taste test that is open to all West Virginia water providers.

Water from the utility’s Weston treatment plant placed second in the competition, behind Putnam Public Service District. Water from West Virginia American Water’s Bluefield and New River plants tied for third place along with the city of Fairmont.

“To have placed so well in this competition is a credit to our plant operators and water quality team. They are all extremely dedicated to providing quality water that meets all regulatory standards,” said West Virginia American Water President Wayne Morgan.

There were 17 entries in the competition, held at Canaan Valley Resort during the annual joint conference of the West Virginia Section of the American Water Works Association and the West Virginia Water Environment Association. Contest organizer Angie Adams of the Clarksburg Water Board said this year’s number of entries set a new record.

Three judges rated each entry on qualities such as clarity, taste, aftertaste and overall impression.

 

Customers Give Connecticut Water High Marks for Service

Connecticut Water achieved an overall customer satisfaction rating of 89.9 percent in the company’s semi-annual Customer Satisfaction Survey, representing a slight increase over 2009’s year-end results of 89 percent. Conducted in May 2010 by an independent research organization, the Center for Research, the random phone survey measured customer satisfaction in the areas of office and field customer service, company characteristics, water quality, communication, community involvement and expectations.

Maureen Westbrook, Connecticut Water’s vice president of customer and regulatory affairs, said, “We are extremely proud of our employees and their efforts to serve our customers each and every day. It is to their credit the survey results are up from 2009, which demonstrates the continued commitment of our employees to deliver world-class customer service.”

Among the survey findings:

  • Field Service personnel were given a positive rating of 93.4 percent. High marks were given for Field Service completing the job as promised, being knowledgeable, and being courteous and treating the customer with respect.
  • Customer Service personnel received an overall positive rating of 86.7 percent. They also received high marks for being courteous, accuracy and showing an interest in the customer’s reason for calling.
  • The highest ratings in the area of company characteristics was for “maintaining an adequate water supply” at 95.7 percent; and “having trained, certified water professionals to maintain your water supply” and “responsiveness to customers” earned a rating of 93.3 percent.

“We are grateful so many of our customers are satisfied with our performance and have confidence in our abilities. We will use the customer satisfaction survey results to help us reinforce our strengths as well as identify areas where we can make further improvements to earn our customers’ trust and loyalty,” said Westbrook.

Customers who participated in the survey live within the company’s five regions and the survey’s sample size is proportional to the overall customer base and represents a statistically valid sample group. An additional customer satisfaction survey will be conducted by the Center for Research before year-end.

 

Missouri American Water Acquires Lake Tamarack Wastewater System

Missouri American Water has taken over ownership of the wastewater system serving the Lake Tamarack Residents Association in Cedar Hill. The system adds 53 customers to the company’s customer base and serves a population of approximately 140 residents.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MoDNR) and the Missouri Attorney General’s office asked Missouri American Water to work with the association and connect the Lake Tamarack wastewater system to Missouri American Water’s nearby Cedar Hill system. This allows the wastewater lagoon that previously served Lake Tamarack customers to be closed.

Missouri American Water has installed a new lift station and the connecting wastewater pipeline that connects the Lake Tamarack customers to the company’s Sand Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Cedar Hill.

“The acquisition of this system gives Lake Tamarack customers access to full-time wastewater professionals and our convenient customer service center that is available 24/7,” said Missouri American President Frank Kartmann. “Connecting these customers to our Cedar Hill plant will help improve the local water environment.”

“We had a good experience with Missouri American Water,” said Tracie Quackenbush, Residents Association trustee. “This is a better solution for our residents and for the environment.”

 

Brook the Bald Eagle is Home and Doing Well

A juvenile bald eagle found fighting for its life from lead poisoning last year, and ultimately released back into the wild, was recently spotted by one of the New Jersey American Water employees involved in its rescue. “Brook,” as the young female was nicknamed by the New Jersey American Water employees, was discovered during an environmental survey at the company’s Canoe Brook (hence the eagle’s name) Reservoir in Short Hills, N.J. Brook was spotted flying near the same spot she was found last year, unable to fly and in severe distress, by a company maintenance worker.

“I have to believe that this is indeed our Brook, and that Canoe Brook is home for her,” said Gary Matthews, environmental manager at New Jersey American Water. “She looked great, and will probably be ready to nest at or adjacent to the reservoir.”