Water collected in the cistern is intended for use in the fountains outside City Hall and the City Springs Performing Arts Center. (File)

Installation of a water diversion system for the cistern system under the Sandy Springs City Green will enable inspections and maintenance to repair ongoing leaks.

Reeves Young won the contract with its $389,752 bid during the Sandy Springs City Council meeting on March 21.

The city can drain the cistern during the dry season by using the water diversion system. Dave Wells, the city’s director of Facilities/Capital Construction and Building Operations, said this will enable inspections, cleaning and potential repairs.

Sediment settles in the cistern, assuring water released into Marsh Creek is cleaner.

“Both pumps in that system and have failed and those pumps feed our irrigation and our water to our fountains. So we’re using domestic water to do those two functions,” Wells said.

Mayor Rusty Paul said the city planned for its City Hall complex to be energy efficient.

“It was built with the idea that we would have the most sustainable, environmentally friendly facility around and this system is a crucial part of that because it captures the water on this site, on the roof on the parking lots on the decks and allows us to reuse that water multiple times,” he said.

City Attorney Dan Lee said a lawsuit has been filed against the Rosser architectural firm and its insurance company. The city claims Rosser created an improper design for the cistern system, which was modular and apparently not watertight.

Paul said he expects reimbursement for a major part if not all the costs of this project through that lawsuit.

Wells said original plans included the construction of a large, buried cistern to independently separate and manage dirty water from parking lots and clean water from City Hall roof areas. Instead of cast-in-place construction, the contractor installed a prefabricated modular concrete cistern. Joints were not watertight and are partly to blame for leaks found in post-construction inspections. Repair attempts have been unsuccessful.

The original bid the city received was $800,000, far more than the engineer’s estimates. The city asked Reeves Young to submit a bid as it already will be working nearby on Veterans Park across Roswell Road. Using the same contractor will make coordinating events and concerts on the City Green easier, he said.

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.