Tennessee American Water Company customers will now get two bills—one from the water company and one from a third-party vendor for the cost of sewer service.
"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," Deron Allen, president of Tennessee American Water, said in a prepared statement. "In coming weeks, we will continue to work with our local municipalities and their billing vendor—Enco Utility Services—to make this a smooth transition for our customers."
The change went into effect Jan. 1.
Sewer service is provided by the city of Chattanooga or the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority, according to a news release from the water company.
Leaders with the city or county wastewater authority will make the decision about how much—if anything—to charge for the sewer services, also according to the release.
Leaders with Tennessee American said they notified local municipalities about the decision in the summer of 2011 in the news release.
They originally planned to exit the third-party contracts earlier, but after more discussion, agreed to delay the transition until the end of the year to give more time for planning purposes and to finalize the process for enforcing late sewer bills, according to the release.
Click here to read more background on the issue.