Receiver of Water Works & Sewer Board

Frequently Asked Questions

Why was a Receiver appointed for the Prichard Water Work and Sewer Board (PWWSB)?

A Receiver was appointed by Mobile County Circuit Court Judge Michael Youngpeter on November 10, 2023, to oversee the financial and operational management of the PWWSB due to the Board’s default on a $55 million loan with Synovus Bank.

What is the current status of the PWWSB’s water and wastewater system according to the Receiver?

The Receiver has stated publicly that PWWSB faces significant financial challenges. Despite the November 2023 rate increase, the PWWSB has insufficient funds to pay for its ordinary operation and maintenance expenditures. Examples of vendors/contractors’ payments impacted by the inadequate revenue are:

  • Mobile Area Water & Sewer System (MAWSS) bill for purchased water.
  • Money owed to the City of Prichard for its municipal fee.
  • PWWSB legal fees.
  • Bond Trustee obligations.

Additionally, construction funds available for water system capital improvements are limited to funds held by the Bond Trustee, which are subject to restrictions dictated by the indenture. Very Limited grant funds (less than $1M) are available for the wastewater system construction improvements. 

The Receiver has identified severe operational challenges, including:

  • Sanitary sewer overflows.
  • Significant leakage from its water distribution system.
  • Failure to meet Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) Consent Order obligations and provide the required capital improvements to the sewer system.
  • Failure to comply with ADEM and EPA Sanitary Surveys and Inspections, which may result in the issuing of a new ADEM Consent Order to address water system technical, management, and financial deficiencies.
  • Staffing issues – additional staffing is needed to enforce collection efforts, make needed repairs, and otherwise operate the system. 

Will the PWWSB Receiver raise rates for water and sewer service in 2024 to pay for everything?

Prior to the Receiver’s arrival, a significant rate increase was implemented in November 2023 by the PWWSB. The Receiver is not prepared to recommend any revisions to these rates until a proper rate analysis is conducted. The Receiver needs more information regarding the costs to operate and maintain an efficient PWWSB and the scope and cost of needed capital investment before any rate adjustments are recommended. Additionally, the Receiver is undertaking an Affordability Analysis to assist with determining future rates.

What has the Receiver done since November 2023 to solve the problems the PWWSB is facing?

To comply with Consent Orders and improve the reliability of the water and wastewater systems, the Receiver has had regular meetings with the USEPA, ADEM, and Mobile County to seek immediate funding for infrastructure projects. 

Since November 10, 2023, the Receiver’s progress toward immediate and long-term solutions includes:

  • Continue to meet PWWSB supervisors and staff to evaluate system needs and take steps to improve operational efficiency to the extent possible.
  • Meeting with Mobile Area Water and Sewer System (MAWSS) to discuss billing issues and water supply.
  • Reviewed 2019, 2020, and 2021 financial audits and discussed the completion of the 2022 audit with representatives of ADEM, which funded the audits.
  • Met with the Mayors of Prichard and Chickasaw.
  • Solicited and received a proposal for an affordability analysis and low-income program development.
  • Solicited and received a proposal for developing a water and wastewater Asset Management Plan.
  • Solicited and received a proposal to evaluate the feasibility and cost of alternative groundwater and surface water sources of supply.
  • Met with the Mobile County Commission member to review construction projects that impact PWWSB water and sewer distribution and collection systems and discuss grant funding.
  • Applied for EPA technical assistance and have had multiple follow-up phone conferences with EPA and the technical assistance team EPA assembled.
  • Multiple meetings with AEDM to review water/wastewater issues and funding opportunities.
  • Met with the concession team to review their proposal.
  • Conducted the first Citizen Advisory Council meeting on December 15, 2023.
  • Took control of PWWSB bank accounts with the authority to sign checks.
  • Instituted financial controls with the personnel of the System.
  • Toured the water and wastewater systems to observe the condition of assets (treatment plants, water storage facilities, pumping stations, buried infrastructure, etc.) and their operational issues.
  • Signed a contract to complete an automated meter reading project.
  • Signed a contract for a leak survey study.
  • Secured website domain ( for the System.
  • Launched a website to enable the Receiver to provide public access to updates, information, and monthly progress reports. The website is expected to be active by early January 2023.
  • Conducted discussions with non-profit funding sources.

What led to the PWWSB defaulting on a loan payment for a $55 million loan with Synovus Bank?

The default on the $55 million loan with Synovus Bank was a result of financial mismanagement by the PWWSB, leading to a motion by Synovus Bank to the Mobile County Circuit Court requesting the appointment of a Receiver.

How does the appointment of a Receiver impact the day-to-day operations of the PWWSB?

The appointment of John Young, Jr. as the Receiver signifies a court-ordered shift of control over the financial and operational management of the board. John Young, Jr. is responsible for managing the day-to-day finances and operations of the utility as well as providing a Master Plan to resolve issues associated with decades of deferred maintenance and investments in the water and wastewater systems. The Master Plan will address future governance; management and ownership issues; regulatory compliance; capital investment; and operating efficiencies.