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Court Favors Sandy Springs in Atlanta Water Fight

Residents and Sandy Springs officials have long complained about costs and quality of Atlanta water service.

 

On Monday, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled that Sandy Springs can pursue mediation in state court on Atlanta water service.

Residents and Sandy Springs officials have long complained about costs and quality of Atlanta water service.

A review of the dispute in the ruling, said that although Atlanta was the designated service provider for Sandy Springs, even after incorporation. Its incorporation triggered provisions that would allow the city and Fulton County to revise their service agreements with Atlanta.

A revised agreement could lower water costs and the amount of water that Sandy Springs receives from Atlanta. Sandy Springs sought to pursue the matter in state court, which appointed a mediator around late 2009.

Atlanta asked the federal district court to instead enjoin Sandy Springs and Fulton County in a previous Clean Water Act litigation as third party defendants.

A 1995 lawsuit by the Clean Water Act, required Atlanta to clean up its sewer system. The suit came after sewage spills in the Chattahoochee River, .an Atlanta Journal-Constitution report said

Monday’s ruling stated, “Because the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the state court service delivery proceedings, it necessarily follows that joinder of Sandy Springs in the Clean Water Act litigation was improper.”

City attorney Wendall Willard told the AJC that that he ruling should ultimately give Sandy Springs more control over the quality of Atlanta water service.

Read the ruling on the attached PDF

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