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California American Water Buying Bass Lake Water

BASS LAKE — California American Water has entered into an agreement to acquire Bass Lake Water Company’s potable water distribution system, which serves approximately 1,000 customer connections in the Bass Lake community.

The deal, which was announced Tuesday (Sept. 3), has been in the works for some time, according to officials from both companies.

“When we agreed to sell we wanted to ensure the operations were handed over to an organization that could provide the same great level of service our customers have come to expect,” said Stephen Welch, president of Bass Lake Water. “We are confident that company is California American Water.”

California American Water, which is headquartered in San Diego, also is currently in the process of acquiring the Hillview Water Company, which serves approximately 1,500 customer connections in Oakhurst, Coarsegold and Raymond.

“We are proud to be Bass Lake’s new water provider,” said California American Water President Rich Svindland.

Svindland vowed to “bring a robust conservation program, a 24-hour call center and an assistance program for low-income customers as well as many other benefits” to Bass Lake Water customers.

Svindland serves as the president of California American Water and Hawaii American Water, both investor-owned, regulated utilities operating water and wastewater systems.

At a Town Hall meeting hosted by District 5 Supervisor Tom Wheeler at The Pines in Bass Lake in late August, Welch said Bass Lake Water has been planning to build a new surface water treatment plant in the area for 12 years.

With a final financing agreement for the new water treatment facility expected to be approved next month, Welch said the project will be funded by a loan from the state — and is expected to add about $23 per month to most customer bills.

While Bass Lake Water’s existing treatment plant can process about 400 gallons of water per minute, the new facility, expected to begin construction next year and come online in late 2021, will be able to process more than 700 gallons per minute.

Welch emphasized construction of the new treatment plant will not result in any interruption of services to existing Bass Lake Water customers.

Bass Lake Water traces its roots to the 1930s when it began informally as an unregulated subsidiary of The Pines.

According Bass Lake Water’s website, between 1990-1996 the Pines Resort invested $540,102 into Bass Lake Water’s operational needs and system improvements.

Between 1997-2012, an additional $1,633,163 in improvements were made to the company’s water system.

California American Water, a subsidiary of American Water, provides water and/or wastewater services to more than 675,000 people across the Golden State.

With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company.

With more than 7,100 employees, American Water and its subsidiaries like California American Water serve a total of more than 14 million customers in 46 states and Ontario, Canada.

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