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Frequently Asked Questions

Utility systems within the State of Tennessee that have issued bonds payable from sewer services, are granted authority in TCA § 7-35-201 (1) to "require the owner tenant or occupant of each lot or parcel of land that abuts upon a street or other public way containing a sanitary sewer and upon which lot or parcel a building exists for residential, commercial or industrial use, to connect the building with the sanitary sewer and to cease to use any other means for the disposal of sewage, sewage waste or other polluting matter."

According to an opinion provided by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG); "state law would generally authorize the city's charging the resident a "ready to serve charge" of some minimum amount bearing a relationship to the actual cost of the water department's standing ready to serve that resident... however, charging that resident the average monthly  water service...may not be permitted as a "reasonable" or "just and equitable"  ready to serve charge." OAG 98-0152. 

The Comptroller's Office does not retain records for local utility systems. If you are seeking specific information regarding any aspect of your local utility, you must submit a public records request with the utilities governing body. If the utility system does not have a records request procedure or is refusing to comply with your request, please email our Open Records Counsel at or call 615.401.7891. You may also choose to submit an inquiry regarding open meetings or records with our online system linked below.

While Tennessee Law does grant utilities the ability to provide leak assistance in accordance with policy, there is nothing that requires a utility to provide this service. The lines between a customer's house and their meter are still in the possession of the customer, therefore all water or gas leaks that occur after the meter are the responsibility of the consumer. If a utility chooses not to provide leak protection, all usage will be billed at the standard rate.

Utilities within the State of Tennessee who operate gas, water, or sewer system are authorized by T.C.A. § 28-3-302 & 303 to assess and collect a charge for the unpaid usage of up to 36 months prior to when the error is discovered. If the utility is able to establish a date for which the error began that is less than 36 months prior to when the error is discovered, than the utility may only issue retroactive charges for that period of time.

Pursuant to TCA § 7-35-201, Utility Systems are granted the authority to discontinue services due to non payment. Utilities do not have to reestablish service until such time as all past due service charges owed by the customer have been paid.

Utility Bill Assistance Programs:

Various programs exist in Tennessee that provide monetary assistance, please follow the links below to see what options are available in your area and if you qualify. Your local utility may also provide some from of assistance, please check with your provider to see what option are availble.