The Erie County Water Authority (ECWA) is an independent public benefit corporation created in 1949 by a special act of the New York State Legislature known as Title III Article V of the Public Authorities Law to ensure a safe and plentiful water supply for the people and industry of Erie County.
In 1953, the it acquired the property owned by the Wester New York Water Co. which had been the largest privately owned system supplying water in Erie County.
In operation since 1953, ECWA is not an agency of New York State nor Erie County government. It operates as a self-sustaining business enterprise and pays for all operating expenses out of revenues generated from the sale of water to its residential, commercial, and municipal customers.
In 1960, workers were given the right to collective bargaining. The workers as part of this agreement included "all hourly rated production and maintenance employees on the distribution department and stores payroll, except office, professional and supervisory employees." Also excluded were "engineers, executives, chemists, assistant chemists, senior water treatment plant and senior pump operators and foremen."
Since its inception, ECWA has enhanced the quality of life throughout Erie County and Western New York by providing an abundant supply of safe, high quality drinking water at an affordable rate. We look forward to continuing our efforts on behalf of the more than 540,000 people that rely on ECWA water everyday, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.