Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Steelton sells water assets to PA American Water; company also being interviewed by Harrisburg

Capital Region Water at work. File Photo

A company that has expressed preliminary interest in Harrisburg’s water system has purchased the water assets of a neighboring municipality.

Pennsylvania American Water announced today that it has bought Steelton’s water system for $21.75 million. The system serves nearly 2,400 customers.

“The purchase not only provides financial benefits and rate stability for Steelton, but it also aligns perfectly with our existing water service territory here in the midstate,” said company President Mike Doran, in a statement.

The Hershey-based company, a subsidiary of American Water, serves customers in numerous municipalities in the area, including in Camp Hill, New Cumberland and Lemoyne, and is one of the largest water providers in the state.

Last month, Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse said that PA Water was one of four companies that responded to a city-issued request for information (RFI) and that the administration planned to interview. The other three companies are Aqua America, Suez North America and Veolia American Water.

Papenfuse has repeatedly stressed that the city has reached no decision on whether to privatize its system, but is in an information-gathering stage. Currently, the municipal utility Capital Region Water (CRW) serves 20,300 water customers and 17,000 wastewater connections in and around Harrisburg.

The Steelton sale included only drinking water, not wastewater or sewer, assets, said Maggie Sheely, PA American Water’s external affairs manager. CRW treats wastewater from Steelton.

“Pennsylvania American Water’s investment in our system brings Steelton into the 21st century and ensures customers will have reliable, high-quality water service into the future,” said Allan Ausman, chair of the Steelton Water Authority.

With the sale, the authority’s seven workers are now employees of PA American Water, according to the company. In addition, the company said that it has adopted the borough’s existing water rates.

For more information on Pennsylvania American Water, visit the company’s website.

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