The York Water Company (the "Company") is the oldest investor-owned water utility in the United States and is duly organized under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Company has operated continuously since 1816. The primary business of the Company is to impound, purify to meet or exceed safe drinking water standards and distribute water. The Company also owns and operates three wastewater collection systems and two wastewater treatment systems. The Company operates within its franchised water territory, which covers 39 municipalities within York County, Pennsylvania and nine municipalities within Adams County, Pennsylvania. The Company's wastewater operations include portions of four municipalities in York County, Pennsylvania. The Company is regulated by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, or PPUC, for both water and wastewater in the areas of billing, payment procedures, dispute processing, terminations, service territory, debt and equity financing and rate setting. The Company must obtain PPUC approval before changing any practices associated with the aforementioned areas.
Water service is supplied through the Company's own distribution system. The Company obtains the bulk of its water supply from both the South Branch and East Branch of the Codorus Creek, which together have an average daily flow of 73.0 million gallons. This combined watershed area is approximately 117 square miles. The Company has two reservoirs, Lake Williams and Lake Redman, which together hold up to approximately 2.2 billion gallons of water. The Company supplements its reservoirs with a 15-mile pipeline from the Susquehanna River to Lake Redman which provides access to an additional supply of 12.0 million gallons of untreated water per day. The Company also owns seven wells which are capable of providing a safe yield of approximately 366,000 gallons per day to supply water to its customers in Carroll Valley Borough and Cumberland Township, Adams County. As of December 31, 2018, the Company's average daily availability was 35.4 million gallons, and average daily consumption was approximately 19.5 million gallons. The Company's service territory had an estimated population of 199,000 as of December 31, 2018. Industry within the Company's service territory is diversified, manufacturing such items as fixtures and furniture, electrical machinery, food products, paper, ordnance units, textile products, air conditioning systems, laundry detergent, barbells and motorcycles.
The Company's water business is somewhat dependent on weather conditions, particularly the amount and timing of rainfall. Revenues are particularly vulnerable to weather conditions in the summer months. Prolonged periods of hot and dry weather generally cause increased water usage for watering lawns, washing cars, and keeping golf courses and sports fields irrigated. Conversely, prolonged periods of dry weather could lead to drought restrictions from governmental authorities. Despite the Company's adequate water supply, customers may be required to cut back water usage under such drought restrictions which would negatively impact revenues. The Company has addressed some of this vulnerability by instituting minimum customer charges which are intended to cover fixed costs of operations under all likely weather conditions.