New Jersey American Water completes acquisition of Salem City water and wastewater systems

Camden-based New Jersey American Water recently completed its acquisition of the water and wastewater systems of the city of Salem for $18 million. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approved the municipal consent allowing New Jersey American Water to provide service to Salem city customers as of the closing of the transaction.

These former municipally owned systems serve more than 2,300 water and wastewater customers.

“We are honored and grateful to the residents and elected officials of Salem city, who are entrusting us with the ownership, improvement and operation of their water and wastewater systems,” Mark McDonough, president of New Jersey American Water, said. “We are also excited to have six Salem City utility employees become New Jersey American Water employees today, joining our South Operations team and Water Workers Local 99.”

The agreement to purchase the systems follows a voter referendum that took place Nov. 7, 2023, which passed with over 60% of the voters approving the sale of the systems to New Jersey American Water. As part of the agreement, New Jersey American Water committed to invest over $50 million in improvements in the first 10 years. These investments include a robust capital improvement plan, including critical system upgrades, implementation of PFNA treatment and repairing the city’s aging water and wastewater infrastructure.

“Selling the systems to New Jersey American Water is the right decision for our community because it allows the city’s water and wastewater utilities to be managed by a professional company whose sole purpose is to focus on making appropriate, efficient investments and keeping these critical services safe, reliable and affordable for our residents,” Salem city Mayor Jody Veler said. “The sale will also eliminate $11 million in utility debt and pay off a portion of the municipal debt, as well as enable us to put over $1 million back into the city budget annually.”

This is New Jersey American Water’s sixth acquisition in the last six years.