WWTA Raising Sewer Rate By 9.8% Effective Oct. 1

  • Thursday, September 2, 2021

The Hamilton County Water & Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) is raising the sewer use rate by 9.8 percent effective Oct. 1. 

Officials said, "The WWTA is in the process of entering into a Consent Decree (CD) with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The Consent Decree is a negotiated legal settlement and work plan to reduce excessive sanitary sewer overflows (SSO) in Hamilton County. The WWTA has been working with the EPA for over five years to develop a CD work plan that will be both affordable and provide compliance with the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.  

"The WWTA is not alone in the need to renew wastewater infrastructure.  There are a number of other metropolitan areas across the state of Tennessee who currently have Consent Decrees with the EPA.  

"The WWTA will be required to spend over $200 million on rehabilitation projects in the wastewater system in the coming years.  These investments will benefit the residents of Hamilton County by protecting the environment and providing for economic growth. Another benefit will be increased compliance with federal and state laws and fewer fines from the regulatory authorities. 

"Unfortunately, these benefits come at a cost so higher wastewater rates are necessary. 
The WWTA is working to secure additional funding sources, but the majority of the funding will come directly from WWTA ratepayers.  Because of this, the sewer use rate will increase by 9.8% on October 1, 2021.  Customers with a water meter size that is less than one inch that do not use more than 2,054 gallons of water per month will not be affected by the increase." 

WWTA Commissioners said, “We understand the impact of rate increases on our customers and do not take this lightly.  The reality is that we have no choice.”

Over the coming months, the WWTA will publicize rehabilitation projects and post regular updates on social media as well as through traditional media platforms. WWTA Commissioners want customers to know why these investments are being made, where they are being made, and how they will serve customers both now and in the future, it was stated. 

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