West Virginia American Water Completes Purchase Of Pratt Water System

West Virginia American Water announced today that it has completed a $437,000 purchase of the Town of Pratt’s water system. Residents of Pratt – a small community in southeastern Kanawha County – voted overwhelmingly in favor of the proposed sale of the town’s struggling water system in June, and the transaction received approval of the Public Service Commission in July. The Kanawha County Commission also contributed $180,000 to help the town pay off outstanding debt obligations.

Prior to completing the acquisition, West Virginia American Water constructed a 1.7-mile pipeline interconnecting Pratt’s system and the company’s existing Kanawha Valley operations. Beginning this week, residents of Pratt, Hansford, Crown Hill and Paint Creek will receive their water from the company’s award-winning Kanawha Valley water treatment plant along the Elk River in Charleston. The purchase adds approximately 450 new customers to the company’s 171,000-customer base, and Pratt’s failing water treatment plant will be permanently taken out of service.

The company also agreed to invest approximately $400,000 in the town’s existing distribution system, including high-priority improvements to fix and replace dysfunctional fire hydrants, fix prominent water leaks and replace all meters so that customers are billed accurately. The company will evaluate other system needs and address them accordingly, once these initial improvements are made.

State, county and town officials and residents will join company representatives for a valve-turning ceremony on Thursday, November 21, at 2:00 p.m. to turn one final valve, symbolizing the town’s official transition to a high quality, reliable water source.

“We are pleased to expand our operations to serve residents in and around the community of Pratt and are confident that our team’s expertise and our company’s investment will vastly improve water quality and service reliability for customers,” said West Virginia American Water President Jeff McIntyre.

“We appreciate the ongoing support of residents, town officials and the Kanawha County Commission in this endeavor,” McIntyre stated. “Without the significant financial contribution to the town’s debt obligations by the Kanawha County Commission, this transaction would not have been possible. We look forward to continued opportunities to demonstrate our role as the state’s leading water and wastewater solutions-provider.”

West Virginia American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water services to approximately 550,000 people. Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 6,700 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 14 million people in more than 30 states, as well as parts of Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.westvirginiaamwater.com .

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Copyright Business Wire 2010

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