State lawmakers are weighing a bill that would require public water systems to develop detailed asset management reports.
It’s called the Water Quality Accountability Act. Supporters of the bill include Pennsylvania American Water and Aqua America—two companies that have been purchasing municipal sewer and water systems over the past couple of years.
“It is about creating and executing a plan that is designed to inspect, maintain, repair and renew the drinking water and wastewater utility assets consistent with federal and state laws,” Aqua America President Marc Lucca said at a Senate hearing.
However, detractors of the bill say this could force the hand of some municipalities to sell their water system. They argue it would require unnecessary projects—leading local leaders to consider selling the system instead of investing.
The bill passed the State Senate by a 27-23 vote. Republican Sen. Scott Hutchinson voted against the bill, while Republican Sen. Joe Pittman voted in favor of proceeding.
The bill now sits before the state house.