Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) announced yesterday that its Pennsylvania subsidiary has acquired water assets serving 1,300 residents and 175 businesses for $3.4 million.

The utility had previously acquired the local township's water system in 1996, but up until now, its actual assets had remained under public ownership. The new purchase from Bristol Township is a drop in the bucket compared to Aqua America's $5.5 billion in assets, but the decision comes as part of the utility's larger strategy to continue to grow its business. This is the eighth acquisition for Aqua America subsidiaries this year.

Chairman and CEO Nicholas DeBenedictis noted in a statement, "We've served the majority of the Bristol area for nearly 20 years now and with two treatment facilities and an expansive distribution system in lower Bucks County, this acquisition makes perfect sense for Aqua and the township." Aqua America serves almost 3 million residents in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana, Virginia, Florida, and Georgia.