Sandy Springs residents can expect higher water bills now that the city of Atlanta raised rates 12.5 percent July 1.

It is the second such increase since the Atlanta City Council approved a four-year rate program in June 2008. While the extra revenue will maintain Atlanta’s water and wastewater systems and pay for federally mandated improvements, the rate increase will not finance infrastructure in Sandy Springs, where problems remain with bills, meters and leaky mains.

Sandy Springs residents also pay a 21 percent surcharge for Atlanta water.

The city is renegotiating its service delivery agreement with Atlanta.

Sandy Springs officials are proposing new language to give the city the right to decide how water treatment, distribution and billing services are provided. The revisions would give Sandy Springs the option to select other water treatment service providers.

The Atlanta City Council would have to approve any changes to the agreement.

State law mandates that if the parties can’t reach a new agreement, the issue will go to a mediator and could wind up in court.

“We will continue to advocate for our community,” Galambos said. “We empathize with our businesses and residents during these tough economic times.”