The signs show the local opposition to a hostile takeover effort by Aqua Water, one of the country’s biggest private water companies, against the public utility Chester Water Authority (CWA), which owns the reservoir and bordering woodland.

The CWA relies on the watershed to provide drinking water to about 200,000 people in Delaware and Chester counties. It’s an award-winning public utility that is financially robust and delivers safe, clean and affordable water. It does not need a bailout.

Campaigners say the battle here, which started in 2017, should be a wake-up call for residents around the US, as privatization often means higher bills.

“This takeover is about putting money over people’s needs – it’s corporate greed,” said Delaware county resident Santo Mazzeo.

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