For 125 years, Tennessee American Water has been proud to be a part of the Chattanooga community as your local water company. Throughout these years, we have put our expertise to work every day so the individuals, families and businesses in the Chattanooga and North Georgia area have access to pure, clean water when they turn on the faucet.
Having an active, positive role in communities where we live, work and do business is important to Tennessee American Water. Our commitment to being a good neighbor and valued corporate citizen remains as strong today as it was back in 1887. This commitment was the reason why we increased the number of civic, charitable, environmental and economic efforts the company annually supported from 10 to 22 and has made Tennessee American Water one of the most community focused companies in our region, in my opinion.
We strive to support local organizations and initiatives that are making a meaningful and sustainable impact in the Tennessee Valley. Today, our community involvement activities include donating resources and employee time to support Junior Achievement and its programs in our public schools, sponsoring the Hamilton County Elementary Science and Math Olympiad, supporting the Tennessee Aquarium with their educational efforts and providing grants to local schools and community organizations, such as the Lookout Mountain Conservancy, that are developing environmental projects to protect our local water sheds and water supplies. We also support other important community-driven initiatives, such as the annual United Way fund-raising campaign, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s “CAN DO” job creation campaign and the East Chattanooga Improvement’s Pharmaceutical Disposal Program.
Building stronger, more vital communities is important to Tennessee American Water. This is why we have a strong and ongoing commitment to making local water infrastructure improvements that will keep our water system updated and ensure we can continue to deliver the excellent service our customers have come to expect from Tennessee American Water.
Today, many communities throughout our country are facing the challenges of operating an aging water infrastructure and the need to fund critical improvements to their water systems. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, communities throughout the state of Tennessee will need to spend approximately $2.77 billion during the next 20 years to renew and replace their water infrastructure needs.
We understand this challenge and its importance to providing customers with quality and reliable water service. This is why Tennessee American Water has invested more than $127 million in local water infrastructure improvements during the past 16 years and why the company plans to invest approximately $25 million during the next two years. This means for every dollar of revenue we receive from our customers, we reinvest 25 cents back into the community via improvements to our local water infrastructure. Making these prudent investments enabled the company to receive the coveted 10-year Director’s Award from the U.S. EPA and American Water Works Association’s Partnership for Safe Water – an honor achieved by only 132 water utilities across the country.
While these improvements to our water system are significant and drive periodic rate increases, the monthly water bill for an average residential customer today in our Chattanooga service area is less than $20 and has only increased $6.45 per month during the past 16 years.
As an American company that is a privately-owned and publicly-traded utility, we are regulated by the Tennessee Regulatory Authority (TRA). This means we cannot change our water rates without going through an open and transparent process where the TRA and the Tennessee Consumer Advocate Division conduct an extensive review of our request, ask questions and get public input before determining what the company rates will be. This process ensures the rates our customers pay reflect the true cost of providing water service to their homes and businesses.
We are proud of our history, and we are proud of the work our employees are doing every day to deliver high quality water service to customers. Their efforts are the reason why our customer satisfaction ratings continue to be among the highest of any utility and continuously show more than 94 percent of our customers are satisfied with the quality and level of service they receive from Tennessee American Water.
At times, people may never think about, know or even understand what we do, but one fact remains – our customers have come to depend upon and want to keep Tennessee American Water as their local water company. We appreciate this support and look forward to delivering high-quality and reliable water service for years to come at an exceptional value – a cost that remains less than a penny per gallon.
Deron Allen, President
Tennessee American Water