A judge has ordered a vacant textile mill to stop using water from the Augusta Canal for electricity.
The order, which was effective Monday, comes after the city of Augusta sued South Carolina-based Avondale Mills Inc. for refusal to comply with demands that the company halt hydropower generation at Sibley Mill.
The mill is no longer making fabrics, but its turbines produce up to $1,200 in electricity daily. The city argued that it needs the water the mill is using to help meet federal mandates for water levels in the nearby Augusta Shoals.
Avondale Mills made fabric used in clothing and specialty products like boat covers. In its heyday, the company employed more than 4,000 workers and operated 18 plants in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.