NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) The City of Lebanon can now financially assist some of its 10 thousand customers pay for sewer line repairs on private property.
It’s called the Residential Sewer Service Repair or Replacement Program, or RSSRRP.
In the past, when sewer lines on private property were old or faulty, and jeopardized the system overloading, the city could repair the lines and send the bill to homeowners, which can be costly.
But the new program just voted on is designed to ease that financial burden by creating a pool of money that can be used to complete the work, so the customer doesn’t have to pay the expense all at once.
According to Public Works Director Jeff Baines, only waste water is supposed to go to the waste water treatment plant.
But all too often, storm water ends up there, seeping into the system through broken pipes.
All that storm water mixing with water from flushing toilets and running sinks can overload the treatment plant.
And when the plant overloads, the water and all its contaminants can back up and cause an environmental disaster at the plant or at people’s homes.
“It costs more to treat the water that should not be in there and it can overflow our system and that is what we are trying to eliminate,” Baines explained to News 2.
The Environmental Protection Agency mandates that all lines be fixed when they are on private property. It’s the homeowner’s responsibility.
The city has the right to come onto private property and fix the pipes, but Baines says the city tries to get the customer to do it first.
“Fixing it is your responsibility at your cost,” he added.
To help qualified customers, the city has set aside $100,000 to pay certified contractors to get the work done.
The residents are sent the bill, but they have up to 24 months to pay that bill off.
“A resident might not be able to afford the work we are asking them to do, so we set up a program where we can pay for the work to be done and, over time on their bill, they can add a little here and there to reimburse the city,” Mayor Philip Craighead said.
The measure was already approved by the Metro Council. It will start as soon as soon as Public Works Department develops the qualified plumber and contractor list.