July of 1998, to settle a lawsuit brought against the City
by the United States Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA),
the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD),
the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and a citizen downstream,
Mayor Bill Campbell signed a Federal Consent Decree committing the City of Atlanta to an accelerated
program of activities designed to further improve water quality
in metro Atlanta streams and the Chattahoochee and South Rivers.
The Consent Decree
specifically directed the City of Atlanta to develop and implement,
by 2007, a solution that would end water quality violations
resulting from combined sewer overflows (CSOs).
The Consent Decree was amended in May 1999 to add projects
that would eliminate water quality violations from sanitary
sewer overflows (SSOs). Under the first
amended Consent Decree, the City will accelerate the ongoing
sewer improvements, including an intensive evaluation of sewer
pipe conditions; rehabilitation or replacement of defected or
capacity limited sewer lines; a grease
management program; and a capacity
certification program for new development. A series of construction
projects designed to improve reliability of the City’s
sewage pump stations is also underway. Sanitary sewer related improvements are to be completed by the Consent
Decree deadline of July 1, 2014.