Drinking Water Week Highlights the Vital Role of Water


By Aqua President and Chief Executive Officer Christopher Franklin

Every day of the year, the Aqua team works to ensure the drinking water we provide in the communities we serve is clean and safe. That responsibility is something we take extremely seriously.

Water is a precious resource that plays a critical role in sustaining life. This year, American Water Works Association’s annual Drinking Water Week serves to highlight the vital part drinking water plays in our daily lives.

According to the EPA, the United States has one of the most reliable and safest supplies of drinking water in the world. While this is something to be proud of, we must be mindful that as a nation, we are facing significant challenges to our aging water infrastructure, much of which needs to be upgraded or replaced. Cracked pipes, water main breaks and other age-related issues, including lead service lines, can impact water quality and increase the risk for contamination.  

 

Aqua actively works to replace our mains to ensure we maintain our customers’ water quality and reliable service. In fact, just last year, we replaced about 150 miles of aged water mains throughout our eight states.  

Similarly, the types of service lines on our customers’ property can impact the quality of the drinking water inside. Homes built before 1986 are more likely to have lead pipes, fixtures and solder, and this can cause lead exposure in a homeowner’s water supply. It is important that homeowners understand their individual situation.

We invest millions of dollars each year to improve our plants, tanks, distribution systems and other infrastructure, including removing Aqua-owned lead service lines when present, so that we can better provide quality, reliable drinking water to all of our customers.

I hope you’ll take a few moments to watch our lead education video to help you better understand this national issue, and also, to reflect on just how essential water is in your daily lives, on the occasion of Drinking Water Week, and every week.

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“Water You Drinking” for Drinking Water Week?

We have one question for you: Water you drinking?

May 7–13 is Drinking Water Week, and to celebrate, we’re serving up some refreshing and tasty ways to stay hydrated as the summer season inches closer every day.

Enjoy a tall glass of water like never before with these tasty (and healthy!) recipes for fruit-flavored treats. We're interested to hear which recipe you'd most likely try! Read through these and vote for your favorite! 

  • 16 ounces of prickly pears
  • 48 ounces of water

Juice prickly pear fruit with a juicer, or scoop the insides of the prickly pear and add to a blender or food processor and puree. Pour mixture into an ice cube tray. Once frozen, add a few cubes into a glass of water and enjoy!

  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 cups of blackberries
  • ½ cup of mint leaves

Mash blackberries into a pitcher. Rub mint leaves to release the oils and place in pitcher with the blackberries. Add water and let the ingredients infuse for at least two hours, or overnight for more flavor.

  • 1 lime
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 4 cups of water
  • Ice

Slice limes and add to a pitcher. Add mint leaves to pitcher, followed by water and ice. 

  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 mandarin oranges, sliced into wedges
  • Handful of blueberries
  • Ice

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher, and refrigerate up to 24 hours for full flavor. To intensify flavor, squeeze the oranges and blueberries.

Which of these delicious, watery concoctions sounds best to you? We want to hear! Head to our Facebook and Twitter pages to select the Aqua fan-favorite water flavor. Let the voting begin!

 

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Aqua Wants You to Know the 411 on Lead Exposure

Aqua is committed to informing and educating our customers, communities and employees. This is why we created a video on the important issue of lead exposure. Lead can be found in the air we breathe and the water we drink, but it is possible to prevent exposure. Watch this video to learn more about lead in your water and ways to prevent potential health risks of exposure to protect your family and loved ones. More information about lead exposure can be found on the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website.

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5 Timely Tips to Celebrate Water Safety Month

Did you know May is recognized as National Water Safety Month? With summer right around the corner, we want to highlight a few of the most valuable tips for keeping yourself and loved ones safe by the pool, lake or ocean this swim season.

Here’s how to stay safe around the water—and what to do in case of an emergency.

Safety First and Foremost

Before venturing into any body of water, ensure that you are well prepared with the proper swimming safety gear—especially if you’re with someone with little to no trained swimming skills. Goggles, water wings, inflatable rafts and body boards can all be utilized for safety and a more relaxing experience in the water. Keep some or all of these tools readily available, and remember to never leave an inexperienced swimmer in the water without attentive supervision.

Follow Signs, Guidelines and Rules

Once you’ve got your safety gear covered, it’s important to keep an eye out for any signs surrounding the swimming area. If you’re at a pool, signage indicating water depth, diving policies and lifeguard duties are common. Larger bodies of water such as oceans and lakes tend to have signs indicating whether a lifeguard is on duty, how tall waves may be and daily water temperatures. Always remember to take note of these factors before entering the water!

Get the Low-Down on Swimming

This one seems obvious, but the very best way to ensure water safety is to learn how to swim! Invest in a few swimming lessons to build a level of skill and comfort in pools and any larger bodies of water. Regardless of age, safety and basic swim skills are essential for a positive experience in or near the water.

What to Do in a Water Emergency

In the instance of an emergency, acting fast is absolutely crucial. Is there a lifeguard on duty? Call for help immediately, whether from an on-duty guard, a bystander or 911. If CPR is required, ask if anyone nearby is certified and able to provide help. CPR certification is simple to acquire via local courses and is highly recommended as a general life skill in case of any emergency. Most importantly, get any individual in need out of the water as quickly as possible and ask questions to determine their level of consciousness while you call for help.

Better Protected with Buddies

Buddy up! Venturing into the water on your own puts you at higher risk of falling victim to a dangerous situation. Even the most highly skilled swimmers can encounter an unsafe situation in the water, so having people nearby is always a major safety net. Plus, swimming is much more fun with friends.

Memorial Day is only a few weeks away, which means pools are opening and people are growing eager to hit the beach. Keep the above safety tips in mind this summer for a stress-free, safety-first swim season.

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A Message of Thanks to Aqua Volunteers


Caption: Kim Joyce volunteering in Panama via a partnership between Aqua America and Villanova University.

By Aqua Vice President of Regulatory, Government and External Affairs, Kim Joyce

April is National Volunteer Month. In recognition of this month, organizations, companies and individuals in cities all over the nation make an extra effort to thank volunteers, sign up new ones and contribute to causes that matter.

As someone serving on the committee to help roll out and oversee our Community Volunteerism Program, I’m proud to acknowledge our employees’ commitment to volunteerism. This dedication is what inspired us to launch the program last year.

Aqua’s volunteerism program organizes community outreach events that allow our employees to connect with one another. Plenty of Aqua employees and their families can be found serving communities across the eight states we serve.

Some examples that highlight the wide array of volunteer activities in which Aqua employees have participated and continue to participate include:

In line with our mission to supply communities with clean water, Aqua Illinois has participated in the state’s Adopt-a-River program for 15 years. As part of the program, volunteers have worked to clean up the Kankakee River, which sources one of our water treatment plants.

In North Carolina, our crews responded quickly when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asked Aqua to supply clean drinking water to more than two dozen homes with contaminated wells. We were proud to expedite this process in order to minimize the negative impact on the Wake Forest community.

By planting more than 620 new trees in one day, volunteers from Aqua Pennsylvania connected with local conservationists and residents to bring plenty of fresh air to the Perkiomen Creek Watershed.

To help promote fire safety, something we care about deeply at Aqua, our Ohio employees help to install fire alarms and teams across our states have focused on fundraising for various local fire department. It makes us proud to support brave men and women who often volunteer to risk their lives protecting our communities.

In New Jersey, our team biked from “City to Shore” for several years to raise awareness and funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Our employees in Virginia took their love of water to a bass fishing tournament to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.

Hats off to Aqua Indiana employees who participated in South Haven’s Team Up to Clean Up event on Earth Day. Several Aqua employees volunteered to ready the community parks for the new season. They helped install bike racks, benches and grills at the parks, and re-installed fencing and a gate.

Finally, Aqua Texas sponsored and took part in the Wimberley Village Library summer reading program, which provides families an opportunity to discover and develop the joy of reading.

Whether as part of a company event or due to a personal dedication to a cause, every volunteer effort made by our Aqua employees is an effort that matters.

Why We Volunteer

Providing exceptional water service to our customers includes all aspects of making their communities better places to live. At Aqua, we strongly believe that volunteerism is a vital part of that commitment to each and every community.

As National Volunteer Month comes to a close, please join me in thanking our employees—and all the other volunteers in your lives—for their service both in and outside the office. Together, they create a positive impact that not only benefits our communities, but also inspires us all to continue giving back to the people we serve.

 

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