Colleen Arnold, President of Essential Utilities’ Aqua Water and Wastewater Division, Named Woman of Distinction by Philadelphia Business Journal

November 16, 2020

BRYN MAWR, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 16, 2020-- Essential Utilities Inc. (NYSE: WTRG) announced today that Colleen Arnold, president of its water and wastewater utilities across the eight-state Aqua footprint, has been named one of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Women of Distinction for 2020.

“I congratulate Colleen on this well-deserved honor,” said Essential Chairman and CEO Christopher Franklin. “Colleen is an incredibly talented engineer and executive with a deep knowledge of water and wastewater operations, water distribution and environmental compliance. She’s also a respected advisor to her colleagues at Aqua and throughout the water industry. Colleen’s extensive expertise and profound commitment to our mission make her uniquely qualified to lead Aqua as we deliver life-sustaining resources to our customers and communities.”

Arnold is the first woman to lead Aqua’s water and wastewater utilities since the creation of the company in 1886. Essential appointed her as president earlier this year.

“I’m honored to be recognized among so many remarkable and accomplished women,” said Arnold. “This award is a tribute to the teams at Aqua and Essential and their dedicated efforts on behalf of the customers we serve.”

Arnold reports to Rick Fox, chief operating officer of Essential. “Colleen took the helm at Aqua during an incredibly challenging time when schools and businesses were beginning to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, she has worked with Essential’s pandemic response team to create and execute policies and procedures designed to keep the company’s water and wastewater employees safe as they continue to ensure the reliable delivery of water and wastewater service to our customers,” Fox said.

Before assuming her current role, Arnold was deputy chief operating officer for Aqua, a role she held since September 2015. Before then, Arnold held the role of director of water quality and environmental compliance, where she organized and oversaw Aqua’s program to ensure compliance with environmental regulations and permits for all operations. Earlier, Arnold served as manager of treatment and water quality for Aqua Pennsylvania.

Arnold has more than 25 years of experience in environmental engineering and utility operations management and an extensive background and education in water quality. She began her career as a consultant engineer with two top-tier firms, where she provided services to water and wastewater utilities in New York City, Philadelphia and throughout the country. She also served as water quality manager and assistant water director for more than eight years with the City of Wilmington, Delaware. There she established an asset management program, implemented a work order management system and an enhanced long-term control plan for the combined sewer program, and managed a $40 million energy performance contract with Honeywell.

Arnold earned her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Massachusetts, her master’s degree in environmental engineering from Manhattan College, and her executive MBA from Villanova University. Villanova awarded Arnold its Bartley Medallion, the highest distinction the Villanova School of Business presents to a graduating student, reflecting her significant contributions to the school community.

Arnold’s professional memberships include more than 25 years with the American Water Works Association, where she currently serves on the Partnership for Safe Water steering committee and the Technical & Educational Council. She is also a member of the Water Environment Federation and has been a board member for the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary since 2016.

The Philadelphia Business Journal’s Women of Distinction award honors women in the business community who are blazing a trail in their business, are respected for accomplishments within their industries, give back to the community, and are sought out as respected advisors and mentors within their field of influence.

About Aqua

Aqua’s water and wastewater utilities serve more than 3 million people in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana and Virginia. Visit Aqua online at,, and

About Essential

Essential is one of the largest publicly traded water, wastewater and natural gas providers in the U.S., serving approximately 5 million people across 10 states under the Aqua and Peoples brands. Essential is committed to excellence in proactive infrastructure investment, regulatory expertise, operational efficiency and environmental stewardship. The company recognizes the importance water and natural gas play in everyday life and is proud to deliver safe, reliable services that contribute to the quality of life in the communities it serves. For more information, visit


Gretchen Toner
Communications and Marketing

Source: Essential Utilities Inc.