HPUD: Sewer work, leak programs

Sandra ClarkHalls, Powell

Hallsdale Powell Utility District is on schedule with sewer line expansion in the Powell area, according to general manager Darren Cardwell. “We should be finished in June 2022.”

Two contractors are working simultaneously – the first a $13 million contract and the second $22 million. The program entails building a new, 48-inch, parallel pipeline to carry wastewater to the treatment plant on Beaver Ridge Road. When it is finished, the current pipeline will be capped off and abandoned in place, Cardwell said. Earlier story here.

The utility has offered two ways for customers to insure against unexpected expense as water and sewer lines on private property age.

Leak adjustment program: Water lines break or become clogged with roots over time. It is the property owner’s responsibility to maintain the lines from the meter to and within the house and pay for water used. Previously, HPUD had a forgiveness program that adjusted half of the overage in case of a leak. For instance, if a water bill was normally $100 but this month was $500, the overage is $400. HPUD adjusted $200 off the bill, leaving the customer to repair the leak and pay $300.

This write-off was costing HPUD $35,000 to $45,000 each month, Cardwell said.

HPUD started billing the leak adjustment insurance in March 2021. Claims are filed with the adjustment company, ServLine. The program allows for one adjustment per year up to $2,500 over a maximum of 3 billing cycles upon proof of the qualifying leak. Customers may decline the program at any time by calling 865-914-8230.

HPUD has reduced its loss to roughly $4,000 per month (sewer and pool adjustments are done in-house), and the residential customer pays $1.56 per month for the protection.

Service line protection: This builds on the leak adjustment program by protecting both water and sewer lines that connect a customer’s home to the district’s systems. “As homes in our territory age along with the infrastructure serving them, these repair service plans give customers an option so they can be prepared for this type of unexpected repair,” said Cardwell.

These are repairs not covered by basic homeowners’ insurance or by Hallsdale Powell Utility District. If a customer’s service line needs a repair, a simple call to the SLWA 24-hour hotline will dispatch a local, licensed contractor familiar with local codes to make the covered repairs. There are no service fees or deductibles. This program is voluntary, provided at no cost to the district and no utility funds are used to promote or administer it. SLWA is part of HomeServe USA Corp. Info: contact SLWA at 866-922-9006 or visit www.slwofa.com.

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today.

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