The following is a press release from the City of East Ridge:
In September 2020, The Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) Board of Commissioners announced a 12 percent increase in sewer fees to all their customers beginning October 1, 2020. Regardless of the rate increase, the City of East Ridge acknowledges the urgent need for WWTA to provide significant improvements to the current sewer infrastructure.
- The Hamilton County sewer system typically experiences over 200 weather-related sewer overflows each year. The overflows can contaminate local streams and potentially pose a public health risk.
- The WWTA and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) have entered into a Consent Decree (CD) to develop an accelerated work plan to address excessive sanitary sewer overflows in Hamilton County.
- Addressing the sewer overflows and the critical work required is costly. To begin to meet the financial obligations of the accelerated work plan, the WWTA found it necessary to increase sewer fees by 12 percent. The WWTA Board of Commissioners is looking at options to minimize the impact as much as possible to their customers.
- In anticipation of the CD, the WWTA has sewer rehabilitation projects currently underway in East Ridge, Lookout Mountain, Ooltewah, Red Bank, and Soddy-Daisy.
The rate increase will be used to pay for the rehabilitation of sewer lines and numerous other critical sewer projects in East Ridge, Lookout Mountain, Lakesite, Red Bank, Ridgeside, Signal Mountain, Soddy-Daisy and unincorporated areas of Hamilton County.
The City of East Ridge recognizes the urgent need of the WWTA to provide significant improvements to the sewer infrastructure. However, The Board members of WWTA are appointed by the Hamilton County Commission and are responsible for providing services for more than 30,000 customers. Therefore, the WWTA sets the rate for what customers are charged.
A detailed explanation of the purpose of the 12% increase can be found on the home page of the WWTA website at https://wwta.hamiltontn.gov or contact them at 423-209-7842 or 423-209-7808. More information can also be found on their social media site: facebook.com/HamiltonCountyWWTA.