WATER & SEWER RATES

Note From The Board Of Directors
 

The Board of Directors of the Walker County Water & Sewerage Authority made
the decision to increase the base water & sewer rates at their March 14, 2017

meeting. These rate changes are being made to address the increased cost in
operations. We would like to explain to you why we were pressed to make these
changes effective May 1, 2017.

For the past 15-plus years, the Moccasin Bend Sewer Authority has steadily
increased sewer treatment rates to the Walker County Water & Sewerage
Authority. Moccasin Bend handles approximately 80 percent of our sewage
waste. A comprehensive Clean Water Act settlement was reached with the City of
Chattanooga and the EPA on July 17, 2012 for improvements to Moccasin Bend,
to eliminate unauthorized overflows of untreated raw sewage. The EPA
settlement mandates repairs and upgrades, which have been estimated to cost
over $250 million. As a user of Chattanooga's sewer treatment system, a portion
of this expense has been passed on to us.

In addition to Moccasin Bend and dealing with the EPA, Georgia's Environmental
Protection Division (EPD) has placed further requirements and regulations on us.
These added obligations have forced us to move forward with CMOM, the
Capacity Management Operations and Maintenance program. CMOM will require
thousands of dollars in expenditures for equipment and maintenance of the
sewer system.

The Walker County Water & Sewerage  Authority currently projects an annual
budget deficit of $1.3 million. Historically, the sewer system side of our operation
has not been financially self-sustaining. In their efforts to avoid increasing rates,
the previous board used profits made from water sales to offset losses from
sewer sales.

Unfortunately, the practice of using water revenue to offset sewer losses left the
prior administration without the funds necessary to perform much needed
upgrades to the aging water system. This neglect is why you, the customer, have
experienced more frequent water main breaks, causing additional water outages.

With the additional funding provided by the base rate increase, we will be able
to offset the sewer loss, and meet the new state and federal requirements. We
will also be working to upgrade many of the old water line mains from 2" pipe to
6" pipe, including installation of additional fire hydrants. This will improve the
overall water and sewer system that the Authority operates and provide better
customer service.

As of May 1, 2017, the residential base water rate will increase from $11.00 to
$15.00 per month. The $3.50 fee per 1000 gallons , which has been in place
for over 16 years will not change. However, everyone will be billed from the first
gallon used starting May 1, 2017. Sewer customers connected to the sewer
system will also see the base rate increase from $11.00 to $15.00 per month,
along with the $3.50 fee per thousand gallons.

Example: The average family household customer uses 5,000 gallons of water per
month. This customer's bill would be $32.50 for water, which includes the $15 for the
base rate and $17.50 for actual water used ($15.00 + $17.50 = $32.50).
If this customer also has sewer service, there would be an additional $32.50 charge.
So this customer would pay a total of $65.00 for both water and sewer.

Even with these adjustments, our customers will remain on one of the lowest
water and sewer rates in the state. The Board has worked hard, but due to the
circumstances listed above, along with other cost increases, we were left with no
other alternative.

Sincerely,
Walker County Water & Sewerage Authority
Board of Directors  

  

 

Walker County Water and Sewerage Authority
New Water/Sewer Rate Increase
Effective May 1, 2017
Revised New Rate Structure:
Walker County Water and Sewerage Authority 
Residential:
Water: Basic Service  $    15.00 Minimum
All Usage  $      3.50 Per 1,000
Sewer: Basic Service  $    15.00 Minimum
All Usage  $      3.50 Per 1,000
Business:
Water: Basic Service  $    17.00 Minimum
All Usage  $      3.97 Per 1,000
Sewer: Basic Service  $    17.00 Minimum
All Usage  $      5.37 Per 1,000
Armuchee Valley (Villanow)
Residential Water Basic Service  $    15.00 Minimum
All usage  $      3.50 Per 1,000
Business Water Basic Service  $    23.00 Minimum
All usage  $      3.97 Per 1,000
All Non-System Water Customers
Residential Sewer Basic Service  $    16.00 Minimum
All Usage  $      4.83 per 1,000
Business Sewer Basic Service  $    19.00 Minimum
All Usage  $      7.64 per 1,000
Brandon Whitley,     General Manager 15-Mar-17
Walker County Water and Sewerage Authority