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New Delaware Non-Profit Taps Into Private Water Excellence

Earlier this month, federal, state and local officials, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Tidewater Utilities, a subsidiary of Middlesex Water Company, announced a unique non-profit partnership to support the wastewater needs of one Delaware community. Faced with the challenge of aging wastewater infrastructure in small, rural areas, a creative solution was formulated that involves the very best of the public and private sector and, if successful, can serve as a model for other communities around the country. Country Glen II, a subdivision in Bridgeville, Del., will serve as the pilot community for the partnership in which Tidewater will manage the operations and billing for the newly created nonprofit, which U.S. Senate Tom Carper from Delaware applauded as an “innovative solution.”

Those opposed to private water involvement in drinking and wastewater services frequently fall back on the tired claim that the only thing private companies care about is profit. Yet right there in Delaware is an example of a private water company working hand-in-hand with the public sector to support communities that otherwise have very few viable options for their wastewater service. Tidewater is stepping up to operate this challenged system to help turn it around.  That’s not about profit. That’s knowing you have the expertise to help others and getting to work to make things better. In fact, Tidewater is even offering as an in-kind donation its expertise as professional water operators once the non-profit is operating.

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