Aqua America Partners with Villanova University College of Engineering on International Water Infrastructure Projects

Aqua America, Inc. today announced a partnership with Villanova University’s College of Engineering to provide mentorship opportunities, hands-on water quality expertise and foundation support for the college’s international service work. As part of this partnership, Aqua leadership and engineers will travel with Villanova faculty and students to various projects internationally to provide engineering and water infrastructure expertise.

Aqua’s on-site engagement with Villanova begins with a trip to Nicaragua on August 4 and a visit to Panama on August 11. Members of Aqua’s leadership team will accompany the Aqua team that includes engineers and water quality experts. They will travel with Villanova Engineering Service Learning (VESL) representatives to inspect water project sites, meet with community members and connect with local nongovernmental organization (NGO) partners. The partnership reflects Aqua’s greater initiative of partnering with community-based nonprofit organizations that advocate for the environment.

An important part of the success of the Villanova program has been working with in-country partners who have the capacity to implement these projects. In the Alto Bayano region of Panama, VESL has been providing engineering support on water-related infrastructure projects for 25 years. In collaboration with local NGO’s, they have helped to develop one of the largest rural water supply systems in Central America. Similarly, over the past decade, the college has worked with local partners in Waslala, Nicaragua to design and implement water supply networks that provide safe drinking water for rural communities. Through the Aqua America partnership, VESL hopes to improve the sustainability of water delivery services in these areas, while creating unique learning opportunities for its local partners and student participants.

“We are excited about the opportunity to work with Aqua America in what is a true partnership,” said Villanova’s Dr. Gary A. Gabriele, Drosdick-Endowed Dean of Engineering. “Aqua is VESL’s first corporate partner to put boots on the ground, and we look forward to the continued growth of this partnership.”

Aqua’s President and Chief Executive Officer Christopher Franklin highlighted that the company has a long history of demonstrating commitment to the communities it serves.

“Because this commitment has become part of our culture, it will continue long into the future,” Franklin said. “When we consider how fortunate we are to live in the United States where clean drinking water is almost taken for granted, we must consider what other human beings in other countries endure each day to find clean water for their children to drink.”

Franklin noted that with this in mind, Aqua made the decision to take a small portion of the Aqua foundation budget and combine it with the talents its employees possess to make a meaningful difference for those who live in these countries.

He added, “As one of the nation’s leading water companies, our mission is to protect and provide Earth’s most essential resource. In our own small way, we will demonstrate our commitment in a few communities outside the U.S. where clean, safe drinking water is so desperately needed. We look forward to leveraging our expertise and partnering with Villanova’s distinguished College of Engineering faculty and students on this program.” 

Aqua supports environmental projects through the Aqua Charitable Trust and forming important partnerships with community-based nonprofit organizations within the company’s territory. This partnership with Villanova marks the first time Aqua will be taking its commitment internationally.

Villanova is highly regarded in the area of water resource management and sustainability. In addition to offering graduate degrees in sustainable engineering and water resources and environmental engineering, the university is home to the Villanova Center for the Advancement of Sustainability in Engineering and the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership. Given this area of expertise, in addition to Panama and Nicaragua, VESL water projects are underway in Ghana, Honduras, India and Madagascar. The college’s other service projects include robotics for unexploded ordnance removal in Cambodia, and mobile health programs in Nicaragua. More than half of Villanova’s engineering undergraduates participate in service-learning projects or experiences.

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Top Songs to Sing in the Shower

 

On average, a person spends roughly eight minutes in the shower. Do you know what a person does during those eight minutes? They sing. Yes, we all do it, or have done it.

Do you ever feel like your voice sounds better in the shower? And then you get this overwhelming confidence that you should go on The Voice because you could potentially be the next big thing?

Yeah, us too. That’s because the shower is on our side. With its size and shape, our voices create the most perfect sound waves (or so we think).

So, tell us, what are some of your favorite songs to sing? We created a list of the top 10 songs to sing in the shower and we promise they will not disappoint. Plus, they’re all pretty short songs, so they’re perfect for timing a nice, short shower that gets you clean and conserves water. Start those vocal exercises because after reading this, you’re going to want to get singing. 

“I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”

Who: The Proclaimers 

Why we sing along: It is definitely easier to sing about walking 500 miles than actually doing the action itself. So, pretend to put on your walking shoes and get ready for a crazy adventure of belting notes ranging from E to B. 

“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”

Who: Elton John and Kiki Dee

Why we sing along: OK, singing a duet is so much fun because you get to change characters in the midst of all the excitement. One minute you’re Elton and the next you’re Kiki. What else could you want? 

“I Wanna Dance with Somebody”

Who: Whitney Houston

Why we sing along: Um, it’s Whitney Houston. There are no other reasons necessary.  

“Billie Jean"

Who: Michael Jackson

Why we sing along: Other than the fact that it’s the King of Pop, this song tells a story and it’s one that we all know well. We dare you to try and not sing or dance to this tune.  

“I Will Survive”

Who: Gloria Gaynor

Why we sing along: Bad breakup? Nothing Gloria Gaynor can’t help with. Be the survivor she sings about.  

 “Dancing Queen” 

Who: ABBA

Why we sing along: You cannot resist ABBA. We love this song because not only can you sing it, but you can also dance along because — drum roll please — you are the dancing queen, baby! 

“Don’t Stop Believin’" 

Who: Journey 

Why we sing along: Journey said it best: Don’t stop believin’ and definitely don’t stop singin’! This is the ultimate tune to play “rock star,” so don’t hold anything back. If you’re destined to win The Voice, you have to nail all of the ranges of these notes. 

“Sweet Caroline"

Who: Neil Diamond

Why we sing along: Ahhhh. “Sweet Caroline.” One of the best. We’ve all tried replacing “Caroline” with our own names. Unfortunately, it just isn’t the same. Sweet Caroline it is, and that’s all it’ll stay Thank you, Neil! 

“I Want to Know What Love is”

Who: Foreigner

Why we sing along: Do you want to know what love is? Because we sure do and this classic song is going to help us. It’s easy to let go and put your entire heart and soul into this jam…so do it. The steamy shower won’t mind. 

 “Can’t Stop the Feelin’" 

Who: Justin Timberlake  

Why we sing along: Yes, we had many of the classics above, but this song was necessary. It is all over the radio right now and it’s so catchy, you can’t help but sing along with the ever-soulful JT. Don’t even try to stop that feeling. Get in the shower and belt your heart out! 

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Road Trip! Aqua's Eight Best Water Parks

 

Road trip! It’s finally summer and that means we’re putting on our water wings, hiking up our trunks and getting ready for the best water park experience ever. Whether you only visit one, or are able to swing by all eight parks below, you’re sure to have an incredible time.

Water you waiting for? Dive in!

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

Santa Claus, Ind.

Three words: Mammoth Water Coaster. This 7-story attraction is the longest water coaster in the world, as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. Its sister coaster, Wildebeest, hasn’t broken any records, but it has been voted the #1 Water Park Ride on the Planet by readers of Amusement Today magazine.

 In addition to their award-winning water coasters, Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari boasts everything from lazy rivers to racing slides. For guaranteed family fun this park is a must see for the summer. 

Water Country USA

Williamsburg, VA.

Cow-A-Bunga, H2O UFO and Jet Scream are just a few of the many cleverly named rides and slides Water Country USA has to offer. Need something for the kids? No problem! Want something more thrilling for yourself? They’ve got you covered. This park is also owned by the same people who bring you Busch Gardens, so you know you’ll be getting the best quality attractions. Williamsburg has a lot to offer, and we highly suggest making your way down there this summer.

NRH2O Family Water Park

North Richland Hills, Texas

The slogan says it all: The Formula for Family Fun! Whether you want some single slide action, or to share the day with your loved ones, this park has just what you’re looking for, without breaking the bank. These prices are seriously hard to beat. With the more pricey tickets coming in around $27, this park is half as expensive as some of their major competitors. And did we mention that residents of NRH2O Family Water Park’s hometown get an additional discount?

Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park Resort

Erie, Pa.

Did someone say indoor water park? Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park Resort houses a world of fun inside one building. In addition to traditional water slides and pools, this indoor paradise also contains land activities. After they’re done playing in the water, laser tag and the arcade are sure to keep your little ones entertained for the entire day.

Don’t forget to check out their social media. On June 24th @SplashLagoon attempted to break the World Record for World’s Largest Swim Lesson!  

Morey's Piers and Beachfront Water Parks

Wildwood, N.J.

OK, so we cheated a little bit and decided to give you both awesome water parks from Morey’s Piers. The first, Raging Waters Water Park, provides a day full of excitement and adventure. Head to the activity pool to take a whack at the family friendly obstacles, then take a trip to Shotgun Falls for a heart racing good time. Ocean Oasis Water Park + Beach Club is labeled as a “tropical island getaway.” Lounge in a private cabana or get your surf on at Bonsai Beach. No matter which park you visit you’re sure to have a blast.

Soak City Water Park at Cedar Point

Sandusky, Ohio

Ohi-oh yeah. Soak City Cedar Point has everything you could possibly want. From thrills ranging from mild to aggressive your summer just got a whole lot more interesting. Personally, we think their Eerie Falls slide is the best. However, it’s not for the faint of heart. Three winding tunnels in complete darkness makes for one unforgettable ride. So what are you waiting for? Try it out, if you dare.

Wet ‘n’ Wild Emerald Pointe

Greensboro, N.C. 

Five pools and 12 slides: This park packs some serious punch when it comes to attractions. Our favorite is Raging Rapids, because who doesn’t love a 450-foot white water rafting experience?

Starting to get hungry from your day of play? Along with the various in-park eating areas, you have the good fortune of being smack dap in the heart of Greensboro. With tons of local restaurants nearby you’ll be getting the best food experience in town. 

Raging Waves Waterpark

Yorkville, Ill. 

Welcome to Illinois’ largest water park. If you’re from the area we’re sure you’ve heard about the brand new Wonambi. This four-person tube ride twists and turns for some ultimate thrills. But if that’s not really for you then Raging Waves Waterpark offers many other kick-butt rides. Your kids are sure to love Kangaroo Falls and Koala Kove. This adorable Australia-themed park is sure to make your summer an awesome one. 

There’s no better way to keep cool in the scorching summer heat than at a water park. And now that you know where to go for an awesome summer, all you need to remember is the sunscreen. We hope you enjoy your vacations and remember to stay hydrated!

Visit our blog for tips and tricks on how to conserve water and for other ways you can have fun this summer.

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Crockett Joins Aqua as Chief Environmental Officer

 

Aqua has welcomed a 20-year planning and environmental services expert to its ranks as the company’s new chief environmental officer. Christopher S. Crockett joined Aqua America June 15, reporting directly to Chief Operating Officer Rick Fox. 

Crockett was previously deputy commissioner for planning and environmental services at the Philadelphia Water Department, where he has worked since 1995.

In his new role, Crockett is responsible for overseeing water quality and environmental compliance for all of Aqua's drinking water and wastewater systems in eight states. Crockett will also manage Aqua's in-house water and wastewater laboratory as well as the company's water quality services and water resources engineering departments.

“We are excited to have someone with Chris’ depth of experience and knowledge join our team,” said Fox. “In addition to his experience in the water, storm water and wastewater industry, he is a well-known thought leader.  He has led many innovative projects that improve the environment and have a positive impact on water quality and operations performance, and we are certain his experiences will have benefits across our states.”

Crockett, a licensed professional engineer in Pennsylvania, is a Drexel University alumnus who earned his Bachelor of Science in civil engineering, and his Master of Science and Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the university where he is also an adjunct professor.

Crockett is an active member of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and is a member of the organization’s Journal AWWA Peer Review Editorial Board. He is chairman of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies’ Climate Change and ResilienceCommittee and a board member of the Water Resources Association of the Delaware River Basin.

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Have No Fear, Aqua Is Here - Hurricane Preparedness

Did someone say hurricane?Have no fear, Aqua is here. From June 1 to Nov. 30, you can expect to see the most storm activity. Don’t worry, there are many simple precautions you and your family can take to help withstand a hurricane this season. You have questions, we have the answers.

 

Will my water service be affected?

There is a chance that your water service may be temporarily interrupted. To help prepare for this possibility, we recommend saving water in advance. Empty pitchers, pots and even your bathtub (recommended that you boil before use) are excellent containers for storing your reserve water.

 

My water is back on. Is it safe to drink?

Whether or not what you experienced was a true hurricane, the storm may have caused some complications. If this is the case we will issue a Precautionary Boil Water Advisory. Aqua will notify you through phone, text message or email. We may also reach you through:

 

1.     Door hangers

2.     Signs

3.     Radio broadcasts

4.     Newspapers

5.     Television broadcasts

 

I received a Precautionary Boil Water Advisory. What do I do now?

To ensure your water is clean enough to drink, cook or brush your teeth with, Aqua suggests boiling before use. For guaranteed purification follow these steps:

 

1.     Bring water to a rolling boil

2.     Boil for 1-2 minutes

3.     Let it cool down

 

Now that the storm has passed and your water has been restored, Aqua will notify you when your water is OK to drink without boiling. If you have any additional questions or concerns our customer service representatives are available to take your calls – 877-987-2782.

You can also visit us at AquaAmerica.com to sign up for WaterSmart alerts on your phone and other devices.

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