ORLANDO, Fla., March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Florida Governmental Utility Authority ( FGUA) executed the closing documents to acquire 71 water and wastewater systems scattered across 12 Florida counties from Aqua Utilities Florida, a division of Aqua America, Inc. (Aqua). Last December the FGUA Board approved an Acquisition Agreement for the systems adding approximately 22,270 new connections to the FGUA systems, pushing their total connections in Florida to more than 112,000. The Aqua systems being acquired by the FGUA are located in Alachua, Citrus, Hardee, Lake, Lee, Marion, Orange, Pasco, Polk, Putnam, Seminole and Volusia counties. Click here to view map. The systems were purchased for $50 million through three separate bond issues for the Pasco County, Lake County and Unified (all other) systems. "After a year of careful evaluation, analysis and negotiation of a complex transaction, we successfully secured bond financing at rates favorable to customers to purchase and improve these systems," said Robert Sheets, System Manager for the FGUA. "Today, we executed the documents that will put these systems into governmental ownership and management. There will be a brief operational transition period when Aqua will continue providing interim services, but we're confident that customers will notice a public service difference very shortly." Anticipated customer benefits include improved customer service, improved water and wastewater operations and reliability, and more. There will be no rate increases upon acquisition and subsequent changes will be limited to inflation adjustments for the next five years, unless unforeseen circumstances arise.