ACT Now – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is ACT Now?
ACT Now is a 10-year wastewater infrastructure improvement program in response to a 2014 Consent Order issued to HPUD by the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC). This Consent Order is a directive which requires HPUD to eliminate Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs). SSO are discharges of untreated sewage that are a violation of the Federal Clean Water Act.
How will HPUD respond to this Consent Order?
In response to the Consent Order our strategies to address this problem will include wastewater system maintenance, rehabilitation, replacement, and construction of wet weather storage (tanks to store wastewater in wet weather when the sewer system is overwhelmed).
Why do we have to upgrade our wastewater infrastructure?
HPUD is required by the Clean Water Act (under State and Federal laws) to make these improvements to our wastewater system. The ten-year time frame was imposed upon HPUD by both TDEC and EPA. There are severe financial penalties and legal consequences for failure to ignore the directives in the Consent Order.
I am a “water only” customer. Does this mean I am getting sewer service?
If you are a “water only customer” and you received the brochure about the ACT Now program, this was “for informational purposes” only. HPUD has no immediate plans to extend sewer beyond our current service area. The ACT Now Program only addresses problems within the existing wastewater collection system.
I don’t have sewer service with HPUD, only water service. Is ACT Now going to affect my water bill or my water rates?
No, ACT Now is directly related to the wastewater (sewer) infrastructure system and will not affect water rates. Water rates are independently determined by water infrastructure needs within the Drinking Water Treatment and Distribution System, not the Wastewater Treatment and Collection System.
How is ACT Now going to affect my sewer bill? How much are these projects going to cost?
ACT Now will have an effect on sewer rates, but at this time it is undetermined when, or how much, rates will be affected. HPUD’s Board of Commissioners are currently reviewing financial strategies and rate structures to determine which will have the least financial impact to HPUD customers. As we get more information, we will keep customers informed through the ACT Now website, mailers, newsletters and other means of communication.
Why can’t HPUD get State or Federal grants to fund these projects?
HPUD does not receive any money or funding from the State or Federal government, local taxes, government subsidies or grants to fund sewer system improvements. Like other utility districts, ratepayer funds through customer utility bills are the only source of revenue HPUD receives to pay for these infrastructure improvements. We will continue to seek low cost loans and use other funding strategies to meet these obligations, in order to have the least impact to customers.
How can I find out more about ACT Now?
- For more information: There is a dedicated ACT Now website: www.hpudactnow.org.
- There is also a link on the main HPUD web page, at www.hpud.org . Click on the ACT Now logo and it will take you directly to www.hpudactnow.org.
- You can email questions us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you do not have access to internet or email and/or want additional information, you can call our Customer Service Department at (865) 922-7547 and they will take your name and number and have someone return your call.