NBMA is among the founding authorities that formed the Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Association 74 years ago.
Formed in 1940, NBMA provides water service in the Boroughs of Northampton and North Catasauqua and Allen Township in Northampton County, and the Borough of Coplay, Whitehall Township and North Whitehall Township in Lehigh County.
NBMA has approximately 15,000 service connections, 175 miles of pipeline, over 1,000 fire hydrants and serves an average of 3.5 millions gallons of water per day to a population of approximately 50,000. Of NBMA's 15,000 customers, almost 13,700 are residential, and the remaining are commercial, industrial, public and bulk sales customers.
Northampton Borough Municipal Authority has two surface water sources, the primary source is the Lehigh River with additional supply available from the Spring Mill Reservoir.
Northampton was once a global center for the manufacturing of cement. The Atlas Portland Cement Company was based there, until it was closed in 1982, due largely to foreign competition. Northampton was created from the villages of Siegfried, Newport and Stemton, which together were formed into an alliance in 1902. In 1909, Atlas petitioned county courts to change the alliance into a borough, reportedly because the change would make it easier for the company to send and receive mail. The Atlas Portland Cement Company plant closed in 1982, but city residents many of them former Atlas employees or their descendants — still identify strongly with the company and its history. The Atlas Portland Cement Company supplied most of the cement used in the building of the Panama Canal.
Historical community events included the Northampton Jack Frost Parade every October right before Halloween, celebrating the onset of winter and including marching bands and floats.
Another event that occurred during the 1940s and 1950s was the Northampton County Fair, which was held every year and was spread out across the Lappawinzo Fish & Game Club property North of Northampton (off the Kreidersville Road). There were huge numbers of vendor stands, fair rides, animals, shows/performances, 4-H Club judgings, as well as Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey shows. Visitors came from all over the East Coast during the two-week event and hourly buses ran from downtown Northampton and nearby cities to the Fair.
Part of the opening sequence of the 1992 film School Ties was filmed in downtown Northampton due to the town's preservation of older buildings, which fit with the 1950s setting of the film. The Borough is mentioned in the Heavy Metal Song "Four Dead Northampton PA" Written by Heavy Metal Group Ovlo.