Aqua America’s predecessor, Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc., was founded as the Springfield Water Company on January 4, 1886 when a group of Swarthmore College professors were granted a charter to supply water to the residents of Springfield Township, Delaware County. The professors were previously part of an association that included Swarthmore residents who had abandoned their wells in favor of nearby spring water. They built a small pumping station and laid pipes to their homes. Initially, new customers were welcomed openly, but as the number of potential customers increased, so did the association’s operating responsibilities. It was then that the association made the decision to incorporate.
By 1925 the company had grown to meet the needs of 58 municipalities in three counties and shareholders voted to change the name to Philadelphia Suburban Water Company.
In 1968, the water company Board voted to create a holding company, Philadelphia Suburban Corporation (PSC). In July 1971, PSC was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
In the 1980s, after the growth within some parts of the territory had slowed, the company purchased three Chester County water systems. These acquisitions gave birth to the company’s 'growth-through-acquisition' strategy. From 1985 through November 1998, PSW purchased 27 water systems. Together, these acquisitions added approximately 56,000 customers to the system.
In 1996, the company entered the wastewater business when it acquired a system in Chester County. The following year, the company purchased a second wastewater system in Bucks County.
Also in 1996, PSW began providing operations and management services to other water utilities, winning a two-year contract to help improve the customer service and operations areas of a municipal water system in New Jersey. The following year the company was awarded a five-year contract for the operations and management of a water authority in Montgomery County as well as a contract to operate and manage a wastewater system in Chester County.
In 2003, the company bought the investor-owned water and wastewater utilities, formerly owned by AquaSource expanding the number of people served by nearly 400,000 with customers in Florida, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana and Missouri. Following tremendous growth and expansion into 13 states, PSC announced plans to change the corporation name to Aqua America, Inc., and the ticker symbol to WTR. As a result the company's state subsidiaries changed their names and PSW became Aqua Pennsylvania the following year on January 16, 2004.
The company continued its growth in 2004 with its North Carolina subsidiary purchasing Heater Utilities in North Carolina (150,000 people) and Florida Water Services (40,000 people) in Florida.
Today, Aqua provides water and wastewater services to approximately 3 million people in 13 states and continues to grow its operations through acquisitions.