Aqua America, Inc. announced that its New Jersey subsidiary acquired the water system assets of the Berkeley Water Co. for approximately $4.2 million. The system serves nearly 12,000 residents in Berkeley Township, Ocean County. The transaction is the company's first acquisition in Ocean County, N.J.
"This acquisition not only adds another large community system to our national footprint," said Aqua America chairman and CEO Nicholas DeBenedictis, "but it also marks Aqua's first inroads into New Jersey's vibrant shore communities and resort areas."
The company plans to invest approximately $1 million in capital improvements for the Berkeley system through 2006. This amount includes upgrading the existing well to improve water quality as well as installing radio frequency (RF) meter reading devices for all of the system's customers.
"The RF devices offer greater efficiency and convenience because they allow us to read the meters remotely from the curb. This high-tech system also increases reading accuracy while eliminating the need for estimated bills," said Aqua New Jersey president and CEO Sharon Schulman, noting that the company expects to complete the RF installations in April 2006.