Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

October 19, 2023

Class-action lawsuits against Aquarion, CT Water say utilities sold contaminated water

Contributed A crew installs a water main for Aquarion.
Click below to read the complaints.
More Information

Stamford law firm Silver Golub & Teitell has filed class-action suits against public water supply companies Aquarion and Connecticut Water Co., alleging the companies knowingly sold unsafe drinking water containing PFAS to customers.

PFAS, or perfluorinated alkylated substances, also known as “forever chemicals,” are used in the manufacturing of many consumer products and are resistant to biodegradation. 

The lawsuits each name three plaintiffs, Connecticut residents who were customers of the utilities during times at which elevated levels of PFAS were detected. 

“Instead of removing these harmful chemicals, Connecticut Water and Aquarion have chosen to pass on PFAS-contaminated water to their customers, putting the health of hundreds of thousands of people at risk and contaminating their bodies and their property,” said Ian Sloss, a partner at Silver Golub & Teitell, who is representing the plaintiffs.

According to the lawsuits, peer-reviewed studies show that any amount of exposure to PFAS in drinking water is hazardous to human health.

“In fact, negative health effects may occur because of exposure … at levels near zero, and below most laboratories' ability to detect at this time," the lawsuits state.

Adverse health effects from exposure include reproductive harm, developmental delays in children, increased risk of cancer, reduced immune system function, interference with natural hormones, changes in liver enzymes, high cholesterol and obesity.

The companies supplied drinking water in several towns that contained PFAS levels higher than 10 parts per trillion, according to laboratory test results cited in the complaints.

In March, the EPA proposed maximum contaminant levels of 4 parts per trillion. Those limits aren't expected to be finalized until late this year or in early 2024.

Water systems will have three years to comply with the new standards, according to Aquarion. Currently, there are no enforceable federal or state standards, Aquarion said in response to a request for comment about the case.

Aquarion and Connecticut Water both began testing for PFAS in 2019.

"Aquarion Water Co. takes the quality of its water very seriously to ensure that it meets or exceeds all state and federal water quality standards," the statement said.

In an emailed statement, Connecticut Water said the water it provides customers is in compliance with all current and state and federal regulations for drinking water, including PFAS.

The company said it has notified customers in locations where PFAS chemicals were detected. Test results are also included in its annual water quality reports.

“Connecticut Water is closely following the U.S. EPA’s proposed standard for PFAS in drinking and will treat the water to the standard set by EPA to remain in compliance with drinking water standards,” the statement said.

While effective treatment methods to eliminate PFAS exist, Aquarion only implemented an effective solution in one town, Woodbury, according to the suit.

Also, the suit against Connecticut Water says the company demonstrated that it knew about the presence of PFAS because, in 2021, it filed a lawsuit against the manufacturers of several PFAS seeking compensation for damages and remediation costs. However, it continued to sell and market its water to customers, the complaint alleges.

Both suits accuse the companies of violating the Connecticut Product Liability Act and Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, saying they harmed customers by overcharging them for contaminated water. 

Also, the complaints say the plaintiffs have been harmed due to PFAS that have accumulated in their bodies, putting them at increased risk for health problems.

The lawsuits were filed in Bridgeport Superior Court and Hartford Superior Court on Wednesday. The water companies have until Oct. 31 to respond.

Aquarion and Connecticut Water are both investor-owned utilities.

Bridgeport-based Aquarion, a subsidiary of Eversource Energy, serves about 750,000 people in 72 municipalities in Connecticut.

Connecticut Water, based in Clinton, serves about 350,000 people in 60 Connecticut towns and cities.

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF