Easton Utilities Commission
In 1923, Easton became the first municipality in the state to own all of its utilities, an arrangement that is still unique today. Easton Utilities’ gas department is also currently the only municipal gas utility in Maryland.
Easton Utilities is the community-owned, not-for-profit, utility and telecommunications company for the Town of Easton. The company currently operates the Electric, Natural Gas, Water, Wastewater, Cable Television, Internet, Digital Voice and Cable Television Advertising services for the Town and portions of the surrounding area.
The Electric Department currently provides service to more than 10,000 customers in a 54-mile service territory. Easton Utilities is connected to the PJM interconnection, L.L.C. power pool and uses this venue to purchase electricity through a combination of energy contracts and on an hourly basis. Using 16 diesel and 2 combustion turbine generators, Easton Utilities generates electricity to offset costs during times of high electricity demand. Easton’s installed electrical generation capacity is 69 megawatts, which is adequate to meet the Town’s service load.
The Water Department currently serves more than 6,700 customers through 84 miles of water mains and over 550 fire hydrants. Easton Utilities pumps water from naturally filtered underground aquifers (water-bearing sands) through six wells that are 1,000 to 1,200 feet deep. Of those wells, four are drilled 1,000 feet into the Magothy Aquifer. The final two wells are drilled 1,200 feet into the Upper Patapsco Aquifer and feed directly into a state-of-the-art water treatment plant on Glebe Road. This plant, capable of pumping over 1,300 gallons per minute, provides over half the drinking water in Easton.
Currently, the Wastewater Department serves over 6,900 customers through over 90 miles of sewer mains, six major pumping stations, and an environmentally friendly wastewater treatment facility. Completed in 2007, Easton’s Enhanced Nutrient Removal Wastewater Treatment Facility is one of Maryland’s first to meet the new, more stringent, discharge requirements. The new facility is sized to provide enough capacity to meet Easton’s needs in the coming years.
Within the State’s only municipally-owned Gas Department, natural gas is delivered to Easton via pipeline where it is distributed to over 4,800 customers through approximately 100 miles of main and services. The Gas Department distributes an average of 5 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to Easton residents living in its 8.5 square-mile service territory.
Launched in 1984, Easton Cable is one of the few municipally-owned cable systems in the United States, with its service policies and competitive prices reflecting its local ownership. More than 6,000 Easton households now receive up to 237 channels including basic cable, digital cable, premium channels, high-definition (HD), and digital music. The system was fully upgraded and rebuilt into a hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) design in 2001, which increased system bandwidth from 450 Mhz to 860 Mhz and allowed Easton Cable to offer more programming and entertainment. In 2011, Easton Cable launched Easton Cable Velocity, which includes an all-digital format and video-on-demand services. These upgrades also allow for faster internet services and future cable enchancements.
In 1998, the Cable & Communications Department lauched EastonOnline, an internet service provider featuring high-speed internet access and technical support. EastonOnline currently offers speeds up to 50 mbps making it the fastest service in the areas. Easton Cable was one of the first cable operators on the Eastern Shore to deploy high-speed cable modems. EastonOnline also offers DigitalVoice, website hosting, and advanced network services in addition to the high-speed internet.