After working with officials from local municipalities for nearly 16 months, Tennessee American Water will officially exit all third-party billing contracts at the end of 2012. This decision means water service customers of Tennessee American Water will receive two bills starting after Tuesday – one bill from Tennessee American Water for water service and a separate bill from a third-party vendor for the cost of providing sewer service, which is provided by the city of Chattanooga or the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA).
“Last year, Tennessee American Water made the strategic decision to discontinue third-party billing services so the company could better focus on its core services of providing high-quality and reliable water services to customers in the Chattanooga and North Georgia area,” said Deron Allen, president of Tennessee American Water. “In the coming weeks, we will continue to work with our local municipalities and their new billing vendor – Enco Utility Services – to make this a smooth transition for our customers.”
The decision on how much – if anything – to charge local residents for billing and collecting the wastewater charges, municipal fees or related taxes will be made by the local municipalities – not Tennessee American Water.
Tennessee American Water officially notified local municipalities about this decision in the summer of 2011. The company originally planned to exit all third-party billing contracts after Oct. 31. After holding a series of discussions and meetings with local municipalities, Tennessee American Water agreed to delay the transition until the end of the year in order to provide additional time for planning purposes and to finalize a process for having a strong enforcement mechanism for collecting past due sewer bills.