St. Michael, MN (March 27, 2017) – Al Bly today announced his retirement from the water treatment industry after 31 years. In a letter to current U.S. Water CEO LaMarr Barnes, Al expressed his gratitude to those that were part of his journey with U.S. Water.

“I would like to thank U.S. Water employees, customers, vendors and industry professionals for what has been an incredible ride. Thank you to my partners in starting and building U.S. Water: Stacey Bly, Randy Meyer and Mike Bertrang. The vision was to create a great company consisting of chemistry, equipment and engineering in support of the customer – to change the water treatment industry in a positive way, to create opportunities for those who wanted to improve the environment in which we live in a positive way, and to create a company where an employee’s passion and energy could be harnessed for a great outcome for the customer. I think we accomplished that,” stated Bly.

In the letter, Al also expressed appreciation to LaMarr Barnes, Kent Herbst, Jim Merritt and those who were instrumental in growing U.S. Water through 10 acquisitions, and to ALLETE Chairman, President and CEO Al Hodnik and the ALLETE team for continuing the vision to grow U.S. Water into a distinctive and dominant force, to be the “Future of Water” and the best place to work in water, stating that “I believe ALLETE is a great home for the U.S. Water platform.” Duluth based ALLETE Inc. (NYSE:ALE) acquired U.S. Water in 2015.

Lastly, Al thanked the customers of U.S. Water and his friends in the water treatment industry. “I would like to thank Terry Loso, Jim Stahl, and Clay Watson for helping us and propelling us forward; Ron Fagen and Dave Vandergriend for putting faith in us during the ethanol industry buildout that helped push us to another level; and Bruce Ketrick, Steve Dumler, Dennis Clayton, Andy Weas, Greg Gehrke and my many friends at Associated Labs and AWT. I could not have not succeeded without your help and guidance,” said Bly.

In response, Barnes stated, “All of us at U.S. Water thank Al for his vision, his passion for the company and the water treatment industry, and his leadership in developing our company into the national platform we have become. We wish Al and Stacey the best in their next phase of life. I know Al will continue to celebrate our wins as we move forward in fulfilling his original vision for the company.”

Headquartered in St. Michael, Minnesota, U.S. Water has a national footprint and serves a growing and diverse mix of about 4,800 industrial customers, including a significant number of Fortune 500 companies. U.S. Water provides integrated water management for industry, combining chemical, equipment, engineering and service for customized solutions to reduce water and energy usage and improve efficiency.

U.S. Water helps customers achieve efficient and sustainable use of their water and energy systems, and is a leading provider to industries such as biofuels, power generation, oil and gas, and health care.

ALLETE, Inc. is an energy company headquartered in Duluth, Minnesota. In addition to U.S. Water Services, ALLETE owns two electric utilities, Minnesota Power and Superior Water, Light and Power of Wisconsin; ALLETE Clean Energy, based in Duluth; and BNI Energy in Bismarck, North Dakota; and has an eight percent equity interest in the American Transmission Co. More information about ALLETE is available at www.allete.com.