Chattanooga water rates will increase 3.57 percent this month, boosting the typical residential water bill for customers of Tennessee American Water Co. by 77 cents a month, under a spending plan approved by state regulators.
The Tennessee Regulatory Authority approved the infrastructure surcharge, effective March 14, to help pay for water improvement projects that will total nearly $16 million in 2017. Tennessee American Water Co. President Valoria Armstrong said the surcharge is used to recover the costs associated with renewing and replacing pipes, meeting Environmental Protection Agency requirements and supporting local economic projects like putting in new pipes for new homes and businesses.
"Our investments are focused on making sure that water is always there when we need it – for our homes, businesses, public health and firefighting protection," she said in a statement today. "We are committed to high standards in water quality and reliability of service to our customers."
The largest capital project this year for the water utility is to pay for most of a $2.5 million project to install a third water pipe across the river for customers in north Chattanooga, Red Bank and Signal Mountain. In April 2016, the larger of the two existing pipes across the river experienced a large break which took approximately three weeks to repair and replace 25,500 feet of water main after problems developed along the aging water lines. The third pipe will assure redundancy and resiliency of water service for these customers.