Robert M. Ross, president of Pennsylvania American Water and regional managing director of the Southeast Region of American Water, retired on Thursday, March 31, after 45 years of service.
Ross, a native of Wilkinsburg, PA, and a graduate of Robert Morris College, began his long career with American Water in Pittsburgh in 1959, when he was hired as an accounting distribution auditor. After holding a variety of positions, he was elected president and chief executive officer of Pennsylvania American Water in 1991; in 2003, he was additionally appointed regional managing director of American Water's Southeast Region.
In those roles, Ross oversaw operations of the largest regulated water and wastewater utility in Pennsylvania, as well as water and wastewater operations in twelve other states and Puerto Rico. Pennsylvania American Water provides service to approximately two million people in 368 communities in 35 of the state's 67 counties.
After being named a director to the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) in 1978, Ross was instrumental in securing passage of the 1984 Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act and the Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act in 1989.
Ross assumed the lead role for the Pennsylvania Chapter NAWC in formulating and securing regulatory approval of the Collection System Improvement Charge (CSIC) in 2003 and the Distribution System Improvement Charge (DSIC) in 1996, and securing passage of the public utility provisions under Acts 67 & 68 (Growing Smarter) in 2000, the determination of public fire hydrant rates through passage of Act 23 of 1995 and Act 7 of 1995 which provides greater incentives for the acquisition of water and sewer utilities deemed nonviable in the absence of the acquisition.
In his more than 45 years of experience in the management and operation of water and wastewater systems, Ross advanced the protection of public health through treating and monitoring drinking water, encouraged the protection of sources of drinking water and provided consumers with more information regarding their drinking water quality and rates for service.
Ross has been actively involved in politics, community service and religious and family activities. He has been a mentor to many of his colleagues within the water supply industry, as well as the business community in general.
American Water has announced that Daniel Warnock will succeed Ross as president of Pennsylvania American Water and regional managing director.