By JENNIFER HORTON
The Wilson Post
Information received in the mail by some homeowners in Lebanon from a company offering a service to protect their sewer and/or water lines in case emergency repairs are ever needed had a local citizen concerned, but the offer is on the up-and-up and strictly voluntary, a spokesperson said.
A woman who contacted The Wilson Post regarding the company, American Water Resources, was concerned that older residents on a fixed income who still reside in their own homes might be the victims of some sort of hoax. She said she called the City of Lebanons water department and was told by someone not to pay attention to the mailer and to throw it away.
However, a spokesperson for the company, which is based in Voorhees, N.J., said the company essentially offers a service contract so if something happens to the sewer line or water line breaks, leaks, clogs, then the contract covers the cost of repairs and basic site restoration if necessary.
Denise Venuti Free, communications manager for the company, explained that it is a subsidiary of American Water, which she noted, is the nations largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. American Water has been in business for 127 years, and American Water Resources has been around for about 11 years. The company has been doing business in Tennessee for approximately eight years.
AWR, as it is called, has a 93 percent customer satisfaction rating, an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and around 1 million service contracts in 35 states.
We are definitely an established, legitimate and well-rated company, Free said.
AWR offers service contracts to take care of water, sewer and in-home plumbing needs.
AWR also offers protection programs to homeowners through partnerships with municipalities and other governing entities, and the company was recently selected by the New York City Water Board as its official service line protection provider for homeowners in the City's five boroughs, Free noted.
As a water services provider, American Water realized that many homeowners are unaware of their responsibilities when it comes to water line repairs. Most believe these repairs are the responsibility of their water service provider and/or their municipality, and many believe it is within the coverage of their homeowners insurance. These repairs are actually the responsibility of the homeowner and oftentimes, they are not covered by homeowners insurance policies, she said.
So as a water utility, when customers had leaks, breaks or clogs, theyd call us and of course when they learned it wasnt the utilitys responsibility to fix it, theyd get upset. So we realized that there is a gap here a need and thats how American Water Resources was founded.
The programs offered by American Water Resources our water and sewer line protection programs (which are service contracts, not warranties or insurance) fill this need by providing peace-of-mind coverage to homeowners, Free added.
She explained that the water line protection program covers up to $5,000 for the cost of repairing a leaking or broken water line and performing basic restoration of the area of the property that is affected by the repair.
The sewer line protection program covers up to $8,000 for repairs to clogged/blocked sewer lines that run between your home and the sewer main in the street (the portion of the sewer line that is the homeowner's responsibility). The program covers repair of the sewer line and basic site restoration, and sidewalk/street excavation and repaving, if needed.
Customers are eligible for unlimited service calls, she added.
AWR provides a 24-hour customer service line, and licensed, local plumbing contractors are dispatched promptly in response to customer calls.
Enrollment in the Water and Sewer Line Protection Programs, as well as in our In-Home Plumbing Protection Program, is voluntary, Free said, adding the terms and conditions of the programs are available online at www.awrusa.com, and they have customer service representatives available to answer any questions people may have.
Free said the service contracts are for one year and must be renewed annually. The contracts can be cancelled by homeowners at any time. If they are cancelled within 30 days, homeowners will receive a full refund, and if cancelled after 30 days then the refund is prorated.
Clayton Anderson, manager of water distribution for the City of Lebanon, said people should check companies out before signing up for any service.
If you cant survey that company to make sure theyre legitimate, people can put a guarantee on anything, he said, urging homeowners to do their research first, and check online, check with the Better Business Bureau, talk to friends and family who may have contact with the company and call company representatives and talk to them.
If they are a reputable company, Anderson said, they will do what they promised.
Do your research, he said.
For more information about AWR, visit www.awrusa.com or call 1-866-430-0819.
Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lebanon Police Department is asking the public's assistance in locating a Wanted Person. Anthony Marlin Crawford has an active capias for two counts of Aggravated Child Abuse.
The charges stem from a four-month long investigation involving the alleged abuse of a 2-month-old infant. Crawford has family in the Madison (Davidson County) area and in Tullahoma.
He has recently lived in Smyrna and Lebanon. Crawford is 22 years old and is 6 foot 3 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Crawford should contact the LPD at 444-2323.
Wilson County may be in for some rough weather as high winds could knock down some trees and power lines and may produce isolated tornadoes.
Meteorologists issued a Special Weather Statement Monday afternoon noting that a powerful cold front is expected to push across the Mid-state late Tuesday night into Wednesday.
Unseasonably warm moist air is expected ahead of the front with temperatures in the 60s and 70s, and this warmth will help provide fuel for widespread showers and strong to severe thunderstorms to form along the front, they said in the statement.
Gusty winds will increase significantly Tuesday night ahead of the front with winds out of the south at 25-35 mph with gusts up to 45 mph possible at times. These strong winds may lead to some downed trees and power lines, meteorologists said.
Along the cold front, a squall line of showers and strong to severe thunderstorms is expected to form and reach the Tennessee River around or after midnight Tuesday night. The front will then quickly push across Middle Tennessee before exiting the region Wednesday morning. Some of these storms could contain damaging winds, heavy rainfall and isolated tornadoes, they added.
Stay tuned to commercial TV and radio, NOAA Weather Radio, the Internet or social media for the latest information regarding potential severe weather here.
Cumberland University athletic director Ron Pavin wasted no time in promoting Bulldog defensive coordinator Donnie Suber to the head coaching spot in the wake of Dewayne Alexander's resignation Monday. Alexander will be taking a position as offensive line coach on Watson Brown's coaching staff at Tennessee Tech -- Alexander's alma mater.
We are forever indebted to Coach Alexander for taking our program to the level where it is today, competing for conference championships but also an even greater amount of success in the classroom," Pavin said Monday afternoon.
"He set out to build a program from the ground up and did that with a methodical approach, recruiting the kind of student-athlete we want at Cumberland in all sports one who excels in the classroom and on the playing field.