Tennessee American Water customers will see changes in their billing effective today as the company stops charging for sewer service.
"Last year, Tennessee-American Water made the strategic decision to discontinue third-party billing services," said Deron Allen, president of Tennessee American Water.
Most area governments switched billing functions to a third-party contractor.
Tennessee American traditionally helped its customers by combining water and sewer tabs on one bill. The water bill now will be separate from sewer.
Areas affected by the change include part of Chattanooga; part of Hamilton County; East Ridge; Rossville; part of Walker County, Ga.; and Lookout Mountain, Ga.
Walker County has started doing billing itself, while the rest of the area governments have entered into an agreement with Enco Utility Services.
Richard Beeland, spokesman for Mayor Ron Littlefield, said the first bill will go out at the end of January.
"We sent out a frequently asked questions and a 'This is what your bill is going to look like' sheet," he said.
Walker County Coordinator David Ashburn said his county has taken over responsibility for billing 324 customers.
"It still creates problems," he said. "We're having to do things we have never done before, and we're spending more money for it."
Cliff has worked for the Times Free Press for five years and covers Chattanooga city government. He previously covered Rhea County, as well as transportation and growth and development in Southeast Tennessee. A native of Maryville, Tenn., Cliff graduated in 2003 from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis on journalism. Before coming to Chattanooga, he was a crime reporter with Hernando Today, a supplement of The Tampa (Fla.) ...