Initiative Launches In Support Of Signal Mountain’s Water System; Tennessee-American Says It Has Long Provided Clean Water To Signal

Friday, February 23, 2018
Dave Evans and Eugenia Allderdice at a Be Vocal. Choose Local. meeting
Dave Evans and Eugenia Allderdice at a Be Vocal. Choose Local. meeting

A citizen committee is urging Signal Mountain "to be vocal and choose local" in the imminent water department sale. The local group formed “Be Vocal. Choose Local.” after the town of Signal Mountain voted last May to initiate a Request for Proposals for the acquisition of its water department. 

The committee urges the town to sell its water system to Walden’s Ridge Utility District as opposed to Tennessee American Water Company, a subsidiary of American Water Company, LLC.

Tennessee American officials said the firm has long provided clean water to Signal Mountain.

Tennessee American said, "Tennessee American Water Company has replied to the Request for Proposals (RFP) related to the water system for the town of Signal Mountain. Tennessee American, which has provided quality water for Signal Mountain since 1925, is interested in owning and operating the town’s water system. As Signal Mountain officials review the responses, we know their decision will be in the best interest of customers to assure reliable, safe and affordable water. 

"Tennessee American Water has provided water in Hamilton County for over 130 years.  We have an award-winning facility and a strategic approach for replacement of pipes, fire hydrants and other assets to address aging infrastructure through the use of new technologies.

"The town does not have its own resource of water (reliable springs or plentiful surface water) and has contracted since 1925 with Tennessee American Water to provide the drinking water for residents."

Dave Evans, co-chairperson for “Be Vocal. Choose Local," said, "After I did some research on the water quality issue, another committee member and I met with the Walden’s Ridge Utility District,” said  “When comparing water quality reports, Hixson Utility’s water, which WRUD uses, is some of the cleanest in the state and even the nation.  Tennessee American Water Company’s water, on the other hand, struck me as carrying potentially significant water quality concerns.  While the health risks associated with TTHM contamination from surface-water chlorination have not been conclusively determined, and TAWC’s website indicates to me it is still 12 percent below the maximum permitted contamination level allowed by law, everyone should read TAWC’s own website description of the TTHM health risks.  Why go there when there is a better local alternative?” 

"Be Vocal. Choose Local" officials said, "Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, all community water systems must prepare annual reports, including info on detected contaminants, possible health effects and the water’s source. TAWC’s water is characterized as surface water with extremely high chlorine and trihalomethanes levels. Water containing high levels of TTHM poses potentially serious health risks. 

" “Be Vocal. Choose Local.” advocates for WRUD water, which comes locally from the Hixson Utility District, has low chlorine levels and is safe to drink. It’s spring-fed and among the cleanest in the state, requiring minimal treatment.

"The RFP options include the acquisition of the water system, keeping ownership of the system with new management or merging the system with WRUD. If chosen, WRUD has committed to not increase rates for at least five years. It’s also committed to not charging any capital, fuel or hydrant fees, which TAWC charges.

"The town of Signal Mountain currently receives water from TAWC but is losing money by selling its own water. The water system is more than 70 years old and requires at least $1 million in repairs in infrastructure and general maintenance." 

Eugenia Allderdice, co-chairperson for “Be Vocal. Choose Local,” said, “Our two sister towns – Walden and Lone Oak – severed their agreements with Tennessee American because they were unsatisfied with their service. Why would Signal Mountain want to sell their water system to Tennessee American when our sister towns got out?

“Tennessee American is owned by a company that’s for profit. They reward their shareholders by buying other water companies. Our sister towns had to go through so much frustrating litigation and time just to get out of an agreement that was not good for their communities. 

"WRUD is a nonprofit and not beholden to shareholders, financial analysts or the New York Stock Exchange. Its Board of Directors are local, Signal Mountain residents, and WRUD’s customer service office is accessible by phone or in person on Signal Mountain. 

“Walden’s Ridge Utility District is the obvious choice for the town of Signal Mountain. The organization already serves 800 customers on Signal Mountain and has committed to serving the needs of the community by directing all revenues from the sale back into the Signal Mountain Water System. Through this partnership, we will be able to invest back into community areas like recreation and education.” 



Ron Harr, Robin Smith Pick Up To Apply For Rep. McCormick's Seat

Former Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce leader Ron Harr is the first new candidate for the House District 26 seat vacated by former House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick. Mr. Harr was a longtime official at BlueCross Blue Shield. He picked up for the Republican primary. Robin Smith, former state GOP chairman, has also picked up. Rep. McCormick, who has bought a house ... (click for more)

Latest Bradley County Arrest Report

Click  here  for the latest Bradley County arrest report. (click for more)

The Boss, Claude Ramsey

I try not to overuse the word great, but we lost a great man today, Claude Ramsey. I had the pleasure of serving under him as director of Commercial and Industrial Properties for 14 years while he was the Hamilton County Assessor of Property. He was probably the smartest person I have ever known. He was tough but patient, kind, caring and compassionate. He knew how to get ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: So, You’re Invisible?

Several weeks ago I was in the middle of My Morning Readings when, somehow, I came across a wonderful story written by Nichole Johnson. Her website says she is a speaker, a motivator, and an author whose gift is to “capture the inner-most feelings of women facing life's daily struggles, and it has enabled her to create a unique sense of community for people of all ages.” That’s ... (click for more)

Voice Of The Vols John Ward Dies

John Ward, the former “Voice of the Vols,” has died. Senator Lamar Alexander said, “When it came to UT sports, listening to John Ward was almost as good as watching the game. In fact, many Vol fans at many games brought their radios to make sure they could do both. John was a generous, courteous, enthusiastic ambassador for the University of Tennessee. He brought joy ... (click for more)

Belmont University's Mark Price Named Baylor School's Boys' Basketball Coach

Baylor School has named Belmont University's Mark Price as the boys' varsity basketball coach, following veteran basketball coach Austin Clark's announcement in April that he would be retiring after 36 years of coaching the Red Raiders. "I am very excited that Mark will be leading our boys' basketball program.  Throughout this process, we interviewed many individuals who ... (click for more)