Document And Entity Information - shares
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2017
Oct. 20, 2017
Document And Entity Information [Abstract]    
Document Type 10-Q  
Trading Symbol wtr  
Amendment Flag false  
Document Period End Date Sep. 30, 2017  
Document Fiscal Year Focus 2017  
Document Fiscal Period Focus Q3  
Entity Registrant Name AQUA AMERICA INC  
Entity Central Index Key 0000078128  
Current Fiscal Year End Date --12-31  
Entity Filer Category Large Accelerated Filer  
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding   177,690,598