WWTA Having Trouble Finding Plumbers To Perform Private Lateral Sewer Work

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - by Gail Perry

The Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority is responsible for making repairs to the sewer lines leaving a building that go to the main lines. If a homeowner has an emergency situation relating to the sewer system outside of their home, the WWTA should be contacted and a list of four approved Master Licensed Plumbers that are in the WWTA program, will be given for the owner to choose between. The WWTA will video inside the pipes to identify the problem and the repairs will be made. Another video will be made after the job is finished to verify the work meets standards that have been established.

The WWTA board on Wednesday discussed the difficulty of getting this private service lateral program emergency work done because the economy is good and the contractors are busy and cannot hire enough people. Once the initial repairs are made, they are not following up with the videos. Board member Gene Shipley suggested the possibility of looking farther outside of Hamilton County to find plumbing companies to join the program. Another suggestion was to find another party to make the videos that do not require the skills of the plumbing company.

The WWTA does work with many water companies. An analysis of customers from one of the companies, Tennessee American Water, shows that current billing is $503,015 for the month of April. Including $196,256 the accounts that are in arears for the past four months, total billing to Tennessee American customers in April was $699,272. The collection rate for customers in this analysis averages 97.6 percent.

Resolutions passed by the board include a request to the State Treasurer to pay the unclaimed dormant accounts from the state of Tennessee under unclaimed property, in an amount not to exceed $4,509.

The board approved a resolution to enter into an agreement with Hydrostructures LLC. for a sanitary sewer evaluation in Signal Mountain at a total cost not to exceeded $191,621. The work will include manhole inspections, smoke testing, mainline closed-circuit television inspections and condition assessments. Board member Doug Fisher recommended looking for grants that may be available to help with the cost of this project.

A resolution was approved to purchase one submersible sewage pump to serve as a spare pump for critical Ooltewah pump stations for the amount of $43,974.

Permanent sanitary sewer easements are required for the construction, operation and maintenance of the Mountain View Road force main. Christway Community Church will be paid $17,550 for an easement across their property containing 4,382 square feet.

Sewer overflows occurred in two areas of the Snow Hill pump station that is adjacent to the Champions Golf Club in Ooltewah. The overflows caused damage the #17 and #18 greens. The club will take care of making the repairs and the WWTA passed a resolution to reimburse the club for the costs incurred for a total amount not to exceed $18,250. 

The WWTA board also agreed to renew its contract with Derryberry Public Relations for one year for strategic communication services for an amount not to exceed $36,000. In another resolution that was approved on Wednesday, the WWTA will enter into a contract with McClure Public Strategies for one year for governmental affairs services for an amount not to exceed $40,000.

The next meeting of the WWTA board of directors will be June 19.


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