Green Guide

City violating federal law by poaching water customers

Posted April 13

— A judge has ruled a city in eastern South Dakota is violating federal law by encroaching on the Sioux Rural Water System's territory.

The decision could expose the Codington County community of Watertown and its municipal water utility to monetary damages, among other things. The Sioux Rural Water System's lawsuit says Watertown has been taking existing and potential customers by expanding into its service area.

Watertown argues the rural water system doesn't have adequate water supplies or pressure to provide fire protection to customers.

The Argus Leader (http://argusne.ws/2nIylrX ) reports Judge Charles Kornmann says federal law gives rural water systems an exclusive right to provide water in their service area when they have loans with the United States Department of Agriculture.

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