Member Spotlight: Aqua Ohio

Columbus Chamber
The Columbus Chamber provides connections, resources and solutions that help small businesses and Fortune 500 enterprises grow Central Ohio's economy.

Member Spotlight by David Dunn, Area Manager, Franklin Division

Provide us with a brief summary of your business’ services:
Aqua Ohio, an Essential Utilities Company, is the Buckeye State’s largest investor-owned drinking water and wastewater utility and serves approximately 500,000 residents in 19 counties across the state. In Franklin County we operate five suburban water treatment plants and distribution systems and three wastewater plants with their affiliated collection systems.

We’re an industry leader among regulated utilities, setting the standard for water quality, infrastructure investment, customer service and community involvement. Our dedicated staff includes highly skilled scientists, engineers, treatment operators and a host of other professionals across eight states.

Since the early 1990s, an increasing number of private and municipal water systems have opted to sell their assets to Aqua for various reasons. Municipal officials strive to maintain balanced budgets while faced with managing a myriad of priorities like roads, bridges, parks, libraries, police and other community needs. The decision to sell municipal utilities is often based on the challenge to maintain regulatory compliance with more stringent federal and state drinking water standards. In addition to the typically significant capital investment necessary to maintain compliance, there is the issue of accessing the engineering and technical expertise that accompanies that responsibility. With our technical expertise and resources, Aqua has become the “go to” private water company for municipal leaders who rely upon us to solve a variety of unique problems with troubled water and wastewater utilities.

Tell us about your company’s mission and values:
We protect and provide Earth’s most essential resource, water!  We are proud to be united by integrity, respect and the pursuit of excellence to be the best we can be for our customers and communities.

What are the services you use the most (or are looking forward to using) from the Columbus Chamber?
Opportunities to increase our supplier base, specifically in the area of skilled labor.  Also looking to educate and influence governmental decision makers to allow us to help communities and develop our business.

How do you stay engaged with trends that you see in your industry?
Our management team stays engaged with industry trends by networking within the business community, attending and presenting at professional conferences and remaining active in key associations such as the American Water Works Association and the National Association of Water Companies. However, the main way Aqua stays aware of developing trends is through innovation and research, both inhouse and in conjunction with regulatory and industry partners. Continual evolution helps Aqua establish the trends and best practices of tomorrow.

Please describe your company culture:
Our values (integrity, respect and excellence) drives our culture.   Our top priority is to ensure that every customer receives the highest and reliability of water while ensuring that we treat our wastewater to become good stewards of the environment.  We continually do capital investments in our infrastructure to meet that priority.

What defines a successful employee at your company?
We look for continuous improvement in our operations daily and that starts with our employees.   We want them to grow in their technical knowledge, be successful in obtaining in required licensing and be engaged with our company.   Our success starts with our employees!

What makes Columbus such a great place to do business?
Columbus is a great place to do business because of the strength of our economy thanks to the presence of the strong banking, insurance and government sectors. Also The Ohio State University helps buttress our economy, produces thousands of talented graduates each year who seek to make their mark and is a hub for innovation. For Aqua, it is also important for us to have a presence in central Ohio because, as the seat of state government, we so regularly need to interface with the decision makers in the Statehouse, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

Social Media
Twitter: @MyAquaAmerica