American Water “Faces” the Challenges of Changes in Climate this Earth Day
and Every Day
VOORHEES, N.J. -- April 22, 2013
The global theme for Earth Day 2013 is "The Face of Climate Change," and
leading up to the April 22 observance, the Earth Day Network is seeking to
raise awareness about the massive challenges that climate change presents, and
about people and organizations stepping up to do something about it. American
Water (NYSE: AWK), the nation’s largest publicly traded water and wastewater
utility company, is one of those organizations.
The growing frequency and severity of extreme weather events is threatening
the U.S. water system, causing poor water quality and scarcity, putting added
strain on an already deteriorating water infrastructure, and jeopardizing
reliability. Addressing these impacts is a priority for American Water, whose
ongoing maintenance and upgrades are working to build a resilient
infrastructure that can withstand major environmental stresses, whether it’s
another Hurricane Sandy or widespread, record-breaking heat and drought.
“Delivering the water service our customers expect is our priority. This means
identifying and implementing proactive solutions to ensure that communities
have access to reliable water service year-round while continuing to be
environmentally responsible, reduce our carbon footprint and maintain
affordability,” said Dr. Mark LeChevallier, Director of Innovation and
Environmental Stewardship at American Water.
American Water invests $800 million to $1 billion annually in its systems
nationwide to ensure continued reliability and quality of service to its
customers, even during periods of extreme weather. For example, in 2012,
long-term planning and appropriate investment helped the company sustain
operations in the parts of its Southern and Midwest service areas affected by
the extreme drought in the summer, and when Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on
the East Coast, the company’s dedicated employees, preparations, and system
enhancements kept the water flowing, even through widespread and sustained
In addition to water utilities planning and ensuring water systems are built
to sustain service, consumers can also do their part.
“One of the biggest challenges facing the whole water industry is helping
people appreciate the value of reliable water service, and that continuous
system maintenance and upgrades must occur to ensure that water is available
for homes, businesses and fire protection. Earth Day is the ideal time to
convey the message that our most precious resource must not be under-valued or
wasted," said LeChevallier.
During this year's Earth Day celebrations, American Water is reminding
consumers about their important role in preserving the sustainability of the
nation's water supply, and offers the following tips to make every day Earth
Day when it comes to water:
*Think about water. Everyone can do their part by simply supporting
upgrades in water systems.
*Be conscious of your daily water use and take the necessary steps inside
and outside your home to be water smart. Simple actions like turning off
the tap while brushing your teeth or washing dishes, only running full
loads in the clothes and dish washer, and using a broom instead of a hose
to clean up outside walkways, can make a big difference. Also consider
replacing old fixtures with water efficient ones, such as those with the
EPA WaterSense label.
*Regularly check for leaking toilets, pipes and faucets — indoors and
outdoors — and repair them promptly. American Water offers leak detection
kits, which can be downloaded from the Learning Center of the company's
*Drink water wisely — keep a reusable bottle of tap water handy. Avoid
purchasing bottled water; in addition to being more expensive and less
stringently regulated as tap, it is less environmentally friendly. As many
as 85 percent of plastic water bottles — an average of 38 million bottles
a year — are sent to landfills rather than recycled, despite being made of
recyclable materials, according to the Container Recycling Institute.
*Take care in the use and disposal of garden, lawn, garage or other home
products and ensure that they do not find their way into groundwater.
*Dispose of unused or expired medicines properly. Do not pour them directly
into home drains, the sewer, street drains or the lawn, and do not flush
them down the toilet.
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 and parts of Canada. More information can be found at
Click here to subscribe to Mobile Alerts for American Water.
Denise Venuti Free
External Communications Manager
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