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Aquarion To Buy United Water In Newtown



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Aquarion To Buy United Water In Newtown

By Andrew Gorosko

Aquarion Water Company of Bridgeport intends to buy for approximately $38 million United Water Connecticut, Inc, including the central public water supply system which United now operates in Newtown.

The planned acquisition also would include United’s public water supply systems in Bethel, Brookfield, New Milford, and Woodbury.

 “The purchase of United Water’s Connecticut operations is consistent with our strategy of growth through acquisition,” Aquarion President and CEO Charles V. Firlotte said in a statement.

“We are well-positioned to serve the residents of these towns with safe, high-quality water and a level of customer service that has been rated the highest among all Connecticut utilities for five years in a row,” he said.

Aquarion has been following a strategy of growth through acquisition by purchasing water companies throughout Connecticut, with the goal of creating, wherever possible, an integrated and unified system, according to the statement.

Aquarion recently started supplying safe water to a United Water system which serves the 238-home Greenridge residential development in Brookfield. Through the corporate acquisition, Aquarion will be responsible for all aspects of water delivery to Greenridge residents.

The previous Greenridge water supply was contaminated with naturally occurring radioactive minerals and was considered unsafe to drink.

The corporate sale, which is scheduled to close later this year, is subject to approval by the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, the agency formerly known as the state Department of Public Utility Control.

In 2011, Aquarion purchased about 27 water systems in Connecticut.

In a statement, Michael Pointing, vice president of United Water’s New York division, said that Aquarion has an excellent record and extensive operations adjacent to United Water’s service territory in Connecticut. Because Aquarion has a large customer base in Connecticut, it can take advantage of “critical mass” which will help minimize future water rate impacts on customers, according to Mr Pointing.

“I’m confident that Aquarion will continue to provide high quality water and service to their new customers. In the interim, United Water remains fully committed to serving its customers and to working closely with Aquarion to ensure a seamless transition,” Mr Pointing added.

United Water will maintain its presence in Connecticut through its public-private partnerships with the municipalities of Newtown, Weston, Ridgefield, Sharon, Killingly, and Stonington.

A United Water operating company, known as United Water Suez, operates Newtown’s sewage treatment plant on Commerce Road, and also operates the town-owned Fairfield Hills water supply system.

Fred Hurley, town public works director, said that United Water Suez would not be affected by Aquarion’s planned acquisition of United Water’s central public water supply system in Newtown.

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