New Jersey American Water announced it has completed its acquisition of the wastewater assets of the Borough of Mount Ephraim, N.J., for approximately $1.4 million. This municipal-owned sewer system serves approximately 1,800 customers, most of whom already receive water service from New Jersey American Water. The acquisition was approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities on June 21, 2019.
“As Mount Ephraim’s water company for more than a decade and a water provider to the area for over 90 years, we are pleased to expand our relationship with residents as their sewer service provider. Water and sewer is all we do, and we are deeply committed to making improvements to ensure the community’s sewer service is as clean, safe, reliable and affordable as the water service we provide,” said Cheryl Norton, president of New Jersey American Water.
The agreement to purchase the system followed a voter referendum that took place in November 2018, in which approximately 80 percent of voters approved the sale of the sewer system to New Jersey American Water. As part of the acquisition agreement, New Jersey American Water will invest more than $4 million in needed sewer system improvements in the next four years, while freezing current sewer rates for residents for two years and increasing rates no more than 3 percent annually for the three years after that.
“The sale of our sewer system to New Jersey American Water is a big win for the residents of Mount Ephraim,” said Mount Ephraim Mayor Joseph Wolk. “By selling the system, we are eliminating uncontrollable sewer costs which have been a major uncertainty in our budget, the company is committed to making $4 million in investments into necessary system upgrades, and the $1.4 million purchase price will be used to reduce the Borough’s municipal debt. This is a great outcome for our residents.”
Customers received information from the Borough about the sale in their most recent sewer bill and they will be receiving additional information in the mail from New Jersey American Water in the coming weeks. A new webpage, Mount Ephraim Sewer, has also been created on the company’s website at www.newjerseyamwater.com, under Customer Service and Billing. Employees who currently work on the sewer system are part of the Borough’s Department of Public Works and will be reassigned within the department for other critical functions.