Tennessee American Water rate increase set for November 1st - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Tennessee American Water rate increase set for November 1st

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- In accordance with the terms of the settlement agreement approved by the Tennessee Regulatory Authority (TRA) on Oct. 15, 2012, Tennessee American Water has implemented new water rates for customers in the company's Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain, Lakeview, Suck Creek and Lone Oak service areas.  The new water rates will be effective November 1.

"Periodic rate adjustment are necessary in order to pay for the ongoing maintenance and enhancements of the pipes, pumps and treatment plants that are critical to delivering high-quality, reliable water service to our customers," said Deron Allen, president of Tennessee American Water.  "Despite this increase, our customers continue to receive high-quality, reliable water service for less than a penny per gallon."

According to officials with Tennessee American Water, the primary driver for the rate adjustment was the company's plan to invest approximately $25 million in local water infrastructure projects.  These investments allow Tennessee American Water to enhance customer service and improve service reliability and fire protection service to customers throughout its service areas in Tennessee and North Georgia.

Many communities across the country are facing the challenges of aging water and wastewater infrastructure and associated rate increases. The United States EPA says the nation's water utilities will need to make more than $355 billion in infrastructure investments over the next 20 years to replace thousands of miles of pipe and for upgrades to treatment plants, storage tanks and other assets to ensure public health. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, Tennessee's (entire state) drinking water infrastructure needs an investment of $2.77 billion over the next 20 years.

Under the new water rates, a typical residential customer who uses 4,153 gallons of drinking water per month will see their water bill:
• Increase in the Chattanooga service area by $2.38 per month, or about 8 cents per day, to $21.58 per month.
• Increase in the Lookout Mountain service area by $3.16 per month, or about 10 cents per day, to $28.08 per month.
• Increase in the Lakeview service area by $2.75 per month, or about 9 cents per day, to $24.85 per month.
• Increase in the Suck Creek service area by $5.14 per month, or about 17 cents per day, to $46.72 per month.
• Increase in the Lone Oak service area by $6.24 per month, or about 21 cents per day, to $57.68 per month.

For low-income customers, Tennessee American Water continues to partner with the United Way of Greater Chattanooga to provide a customer assistance program for people experiencing financial difficulties in paying their monthly water bill.  Customers can obtain additional information about the H20 Help to Others program and this rate case by calling the company's 24-hour customer service center at (866) 736-6420 or by visiting the company's website at www.amwater.com/tnaw/.

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