Atlanta gets more time to overhaul sewers | News
ATLANTA -- A federal judge has approved the city of Atlanta's request for more time to complete a court-ordered overhaul of the city's sewer system.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash issued a ruling Sept. 20 giving the city an additional 13 years - from 2014 until 2027 - to finish work on improvements set forth in a federal consent decree.
The Atlanta City Council voted unanimously in May not to raise water rates for at least four years if the judge extended the deadline.
Mayor Kasim Reed called the order a big win for Atlanta.
"This extension will allow us additional time to finish necessary repairs to our sewer system while also keeping our water and sewer rates flat," Reed said in a prepared statement.
The 1999 court order resolved a lawsuit filed by Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper Inc. to force the city to stop sewage from overflowing Atlanta's rivers and streams.
Atlanta's water rates have soared to among the highest in the nation in recent years to finance more than $1.5 billion in improvements required in the consent decree.