Important Information for Reopening your Business, Church, School, Rental Property, or Vacation Home Post COVID – 19 Pandemic

As a result of the pandemic, many of our customers may have temporarily closed businesses, churches, school buildings, or a vacation rental/home.  Water that is held unused in pipes while the buildings are closed can become stagnant and produce undesirable tastes or odors when the building is reopened and water use is returned to normal.

To avoid these problems, it is recommended all customers take precautionary actions to minimize water quality complaints when buildings or homes reopen.
The building plumbing, including water heaters, should be thoroughly flushed before reopening for normal use.

Thorough flushing includes operating all sink, tub, shower, and toilet fixtures. Safety equipment, such as eye washes, safety showers, and fire sprinkler systems may also require assessment and necessary maintenance.

Water features inside and outside buildings, hot tubs/spas, and cooling towers also can require attention.  The Center for Disease Control CDC) has very detailed information on reactivating plumbing systems after dormant conditions on its website at the link below:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/building-water-system.html.

TENNESSEE WATER SERVICE ANNOUNCES SUSPENSION OF WATER SHUTOFFS

Delinquent Accounts Will Not Be Cut and Suspended Accounts Restored

COVID-19 customer service number – 1-800-272-1919

Gatlinburg, TN – Don Denton, President of Tennessee Water Service (TWS), has announced that TWS will be suspending water service shutoffs for delinquent payments in all its service territory effective immediately. Additionally, the company will begin reconnecting service to those customers who are currently not receiving water service due to lack of payment on delinquent accounts.

“As a public utility, TWS understands our obligations to the communities we serve including the personal safety of our neighbors through personal sanitation,” said Denton. “We know a safe and reliable source of potable water is vital for hand washing, surface cleaning, and all other measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.”

TWS customers impacted by this decision will be notified as quickly as possible and reconnections will begin promptly. Denton indicated that the policy will remain in effect until at least March 30 and will be reevaluated at that time considering the prevailing COVID-19 conditions.  Customers who are behind on their bills are encouraged to bring them current or discuss their options with TWS customer service as the suspension of shutoffs is only temporary.

“Maintaining service to our customers is a simple decision for us as we encourage everyone to follow the guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to protect themselves and their families,” Denton added.

FATS, OILS, and GREASE – OH MY!

Bacon! Sizzling in the frying pan, browning to perfection, ready to be applied to that lettuce, bacon and tomato sandwich – YUM!

But what should you do with the remaining grease? Pour it down the sink!?!?

Simple! Follow our guidelines for how to properly dispose of fats, oils, and grease or FOG!

First, NEVER pour fats, oils or grease down the sink!  This could result in a Sanitary Sewer Overflow.

Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSO) occur when untreated wastewater flows from the collection system and into the environment due to abnormal causes.

A wide variety of factors can cause an SSO but the leading cause for decades has been Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG). These substances, when poured down the drain, solidify in the sewer pipes and cause blockages that do not allow normal wastewater to flow.

If the blockage becomes large enough, normal wastewater flow will begin to back up and release elsewhere, such as a manhole or cleanout.  The untreated wastewater then flows freely into storm drains, creeks and lakes that can have a severe impact. YUCK!

Here are some examples of FOG that you should never put down the drain.

FATS

  • Cheeses
  • Ice Cream
  • Butter
  • Meat Trimmings

 OILS

  • Salad Dressings
  • Cooking Oil
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Corn Oil

GREASE

  • Gravy
  • Bacon/Sausage
  • Mayonnaise

So, how do you properly dispose of fog? Easy!  Scrape all pans into garbage. Then Dry Wipe pan with paper towel and dispose of in garbage. Pour liquid oil or grease into solid container (ex: glass jar, metal coffee can etc.) and allow to cool and solidify. Then toss in garbage. Contact your local government to see if they have a cooking oil recycling program.

 

A new major factor that has been contributing to SSOs has been flushable wipes. Although these wipes are flushable, they do not break down like normal tissue paper does. As a result, these wipes get stuck in the sewer pipes and the pumps that move the wastewater. If you use these wipes, please dispose of them in the garbage not the toilet.

Enjoy your bacon but be responsible and properly dispose of that grease!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Utility Connect Application Coming Soon!

As you may know, we provide water services for residents living in your community, which is why I’m reaching out to you directly to inform you about a new online portal and mobile application that will be available in February 2019!

Our application, MyUtilityConnect, provides customers an easier way to manage their utility account and obtain account information anytime, anywhere. Some of the features available in the mobile application include:

  • Mobile bill payments, reminders on upcoming due date, and flexible payment options
  • Visibility on monthly usage; identify areas where you can conserve and compare your usage to previous time periods
  • Real-time notifications when unexpected leaks and outages occur
  • A faster and easier way to connect with customer support

We’re very excited to give our customers the ability to better monitor their utility account. We also want to make sure our customers are aware this tool is available. To learn more about this application click on this link for a quick video on what and how this will work!

https://www.myutility.us/tennesseewaterservice/app/

 

Winter Weather Announcement December 7, 2018

The Tennessee Water Service team is preparing for the upcoming winter weather anticipated to begin December 8th through December 10th.

Assets (generators, fuel) used for keeping your water and wastewater systems working during weather-related storms are being prepared throughout all potentially impacted service areas.

In the event there are outages, customers will be notified via a VOICE REACH by phone. Please be patient!

Staff will work as quickly as possible to restore services in the event of an outage. Due to an increase volume of customer calls during the winter storm, the Customer Service Department may need extra time to take your call.

Announcements will also be placed on the TWS Facebook page  – @TennesseeWaterService and on our website at https://www.myutility.us/tennesseewaterservice

Now is also the time to prepare your family and home for any upcoming winter weather. Stay tuned to your local weather provider and do not drive unless absolutely necessary.