Chapter 13.08
WATER SERVICE SYSTEM

Sections:

13.08.010    Terminology.

13.08.020    Description of service.

13.08.030    Service area.

13.08.040    Main extensions.

13.08.050    Application for service.

13.08.060    Services.

13.08.090    Discontinuance of service.

13.08.100    Restoration of service.

13.08.110    Unusual demands.

13.08.120    Access to property.

13.08.130    Responsibility for equipment.

13.08.140    Fire hydrants.

13.08.150    Billing and payment.

13.08.160    Rates and fees to be charged for water service.

13.08.170    Limitation on refund actions.

13.08.180    Violation--Penalty.

13.08.010 Terminology.

As used in this chapter:

A.    "Applicant" means the person, firm or corporation making application for water service from the municipality under the terms of this chapter.

B.    "Customer" or "user" means an applicant who has been accepted and who receives water service from the municipality.

C.    "Customer service line" means that part of the piping on the customer’s or other private property.

(Ord. 12-02, Amended, 2/16/2012; Ord. 84-19 § 5 (part), Repealed & Replaced, 10/11/1984)

13.08.020 Description of service.

A.    Supply.

1.    The municipality shall exercise reasonable care to deliver water to customers in a manner that is commercially reasonable and taking into account the municipality’s remote location, the cost to the municipality and other special factors such as weather.

2.    The municipality shall not be liable under any circumstances for damage resulting from interruption in service, lack of service, or reduction in service. Temporary suspension of service by the municipality for improvements and repairs will be necessary. Whenever possible, and when time permits, customers who may be affected will be notified prior to shutdowns by notice through news media as may be then available within the municipality.

3.    Where pumping is required to serve a customer at an elevation too high to be served by gravity/normal well-pump pressure, the municipality may, at its option, require the customer to provide, at the customer’s expense, a suitable pump installation as a condition of service. The installation shall be subject to approval by the borough manager.

B.    Quality. The municipality will exercise reasonable care to supply potable water at all times.

C.    Ownership of System. All water mains, valves, fittings, hydrants and other appurtenances, except customer service lines, shall be the property of the municipality.

D.    Classes of Water Service. The classes of service shall be Residential, Commercial, Standby Fire, and Contract, as further qualified and defined as follows:

1.    Residential Service. Residential service shall consist of all services for domestic purposes supplied to an individual dwelling, whether it be a house, a cabin, a single apartment attached to or within a commercial building, a mobile home within or outside of a mobile home park, or a recreational vehicle, camper or trailer within or outside of an RV Park used for long term occupancy. Multifamily dwellings are included in the Commercial Service classification. For billing purposes, each building or living unit thereof separately served by a service line shall be one (1) unit.

2.    Commercial Service. Commercial service shall consist of all services not falling under the Residential, Standby Fire, or Contract classifications.

3.    The size of the water service lines shall determine the number of billable units, with the rates to be charged in accordance with the procedure at Section 13.08.160.

4.    Standby Fire Service. Standby fire service shall consist of those services where water is available or used for fire protection only.

5.    Contract Service. Contract service shall consist of those services for applicants whose requirements for water are unusual or large, or necessitate considerable special or reserve equipment or capacity. A special contract shall be written and signed by the applicant and the borough assembly. Resale of water shall only be permitted under special contract, in writing, between the assembly and the person or party selling the water.

(Ord. 12-02, Amended, 2/16/2012; Ord. 84-19 § 5 (part), Repealed & Replaced, 10/11/1984)

13.08.030 Service area.

The water service area shall be such area within the Skagway Valley east of the Skagway River to the Klondike Highway Bridge on 23rd Street, and such contiguous territory as is immediately adjacent to the municipality’s water distribution system. The system shall be extended to such areas in and outside this area as the assembly from time to time determines.

(Ord. 12-02, Amended, 2/16/2012; Ord. 84-19 § 5 (part), Repealed & Replaced, 10/11/1984)

13.08.040 Main extensions.

A.    East of the Skagway River. Water main extensions to areas within the Skagway Valley not presently served with water may be installed only after authorization by the assembly and only in accordance with plans, specifications, and methods of funding approved by the assembly. All costs associated with the extensions will be assessed against the benefited property in the form of an assessment district. The assessment shall be based on the abutting front footage of the property to be benefited.

B.    West of the Skagway River. Water mains west of the Skagway River shall be extended only at the expense of the customers served. The main extensions shall become the property of the municipality at the time installed. The borough assembly shall determine the size of the main extensions, and all extensions shall be constructed of suitable material approved by the municipality. Extensions west of the Skagway River shall be installed by the municipality, or by the customers in accordance with plans and specifications approved by the municipality.

C.    Locations of Extensions. The municipality will make water main extensions only on rights-of-way, easements or publicly owned property. Easements or permits secured for main extensions shall be obtained in the name of the municipality along with all rights and title to the main at the time of installation.

(Ord. 12-02, Amended, 2/16/2012; Ord. 84-19 § 5 (part), Repealed & Replaced, 10/11/1984)

13.08.050 Application for service.

A.    An applicant for water service shall sign an application form provided by the municipality, giving the date of application, location of premises to be served, whether premises have been served before, the date applicant desires service to begin, purpose for which service is to be used, the address for mailing of the billings and such other information as the municipality may reasonably require. If water and sanitary sewer service are both requested, one (1) application form will be sufficient.

B.    The applicant shall provide the information required above and shall submit the appropriate fees as established by resolution of the borough assembly. In signing the application, the customer agrees to comply with the provisions of this chapter. The application is a request for service and does not bind the municipality to furnish service.

C.    No person supplied with water from the municipality’s mains will be entitled to use it for any purposes other than for those stated in the application, or to supply, in any way, other persons or families. Should the owner or occupant of the premises wish to use the water for purposes other than those stated in the application, a new application must be made and a permit obtained for that use.

(Ord. 12-02, Amended, 2/16/2012; Ord. 84-19 § 5 (part), Repealed & Replaced, 10/11/1984)

13.08.060 Services.

A.    Customer’s Facilities.

1.    The customer shall own, install and maintain the customer service line.

2.    The customer’s plumbing, which shall include the customer service line and all plumbing, piping, fixtures and other appurtenances carrying or intended to carry water, shall comply with the municipality’s plumbing code, SMC Chapter 15.02.040. The customer service line shall be copper or other material approved by the municipality.

3.    Customers shall install a suitable control valve in the customer service line at a location determined by the municipality, the operation of which will control the entire water supply to the premises served. In the event a customer’s service is discontinued for any reason, a control valve must be installed, if none exists, at the customer’s expense. All control valves shall be installed by the municipality and the following billing procedure shall apply:

a.    The municipality shall make a cost estimate for the installation which the customer shall pay in advance;

b.    Upon completion of the installation, as determined by the municipality, the accounts payable clerk shall bill any additional expenses or refund any excess from the cost estimate collected so that the municipality will collect its actual costs of labor, material and equipment used in construction, plus an allowance of twenty-five percent (25%) of such costs for overhead.

B.    Unauthorized Operation. It shall be a violation of this chapter for the customer to operate, cause or permit unauthorized operation of the control valve or any appurtenances on the service connection.

C.    Service Charges.

1.    Service Connection Charges. At the time the applicant files for initial service or for a change in service sizes or location, he shall submit with his application the service connection charge as established by resolution of the borough assembly, in accordance with the procedure specified in Section 13.08.050.

D.    Size of Service. The municipality will furnish and install a service of such size and at such locations as the applicant requests, provided such requests are reasonable and that the size requested is one that is listed by the municipality. The minimum size of service shall be one inch (1"). The municipality may refuse to install a service line which is undersized or oversized, as determined by the borough manager.

E.    Joint Service Connections.

1.    Service extensions from an existing service to other occupancies or ownerships than that for which the existing service was intended shall not be permitted, nor shall separate residences be permitted to receive service through one (1) service line except when a permit for an accessory housing structure has been approved by the municipality. Housing structures must each have their own independent water shut-off valve and must have the ability to drain the water line.

2.    When property provided with a service connection is partitioned, the existing service connection, if any, shall be considered as being assigned to the lot or parcel of land nearest to the service terminus.

F.    Number of Service Connections on Premises. The municipality reserves the right to limit the number of houses or buildings, or the area of land under one (1) ownership, to be supplied by one (1) connection.

G.    Temporary Service Connections.

1.    Application and Payment. For water service of a temporary nature, applicants shall be required to pay in advance the estimated cost of his water bill based on an estimate of the quantity to be used, or shall otherwise establish satisfactory credit.

2.    Time Limit. Temporary service connections shall be disconnected and terminated within six (6) months after installation unless an extension of time is granted in writing by the municipality.

3.    Charge for Water Furnished. Charges for water furnished through a temporary service connection shall be at the established rates set forth in the current water rate schedule.

4.    Installation Charge and Deposits. The applicant for temporary service will be required to:

a.    Pay the municipality, in advance, the estimated cost of installing and removing all facilities necessary to furnish each service;

b.    Deposit an amount sufficient to cover bills for water during the entire period such temporary service may be used, or to otherwise establish credit approved by the municipality;

c.    Deposit with the municipality an amount equal to the value of any equipment loaned by the municipality to such applicant.

5.    Responsibility for Equipment. The customer shall use all possible care to prevent damage to any loaned equipment of the municipality. If the equipment is damaged, the cost of making repairs shall be the responsibility of the customer.

H.    Standby Fire Protection Service Connections.

1.    Charges for Service. Charges for standby fire protection service will be as established by resolution of the borough assembly. No charge will be made for water used in the standby fire protection services to extinguish accidental fires or for routine testing of the fire protection system. The customers shall pay the full cost of the standby fire protection service connection.

2.    Violations of Code. If water is used from a standby fire connection service in violation of this chapter, an estimate of the amount used will be computed by the municipality. The customer shall pay for the water used at the regular rates, including the minimum charge based on the size of the service connection and subsequent bills rendered on the basis of the regular water rates.

I.    Fire Service Connections Other Than Standby. A service having fire-protection facilities on the premises and water for other purposes flowing through the same service connection shall be considered as an ordinary service. All water used through that service, regardless of its use, will be charged at the regular rate.

J.    Plumbers Making Connections.

1.    No plumber or other person will be allowed to make connections with the municipal mains, or to make alterations in pipes or other fixtures connected to the mains, or to connect pipes when they have been disconnected, or to turn water on or off on any premises, without permission from the municipality.

2.    Plumbers doing work by which water may be drawn from the municipal mains, must make a true, accurate and full written report to the municipality of the work done, on forms furnished by the municipality, within three (3) days after the completion of the work.

3.    Plumbers violating this title or the municipality’s plumbing code in any particular, or failing to perform their work according to this chapter and the municipality’s plumbing codes, or executing such work unskillfully to the detriment or damage of the municipal waterworks, shall not be allowed to make any more connections with the municipal mains for such period as the public works committee may prescribe. Any faulty work installed not meeting the requirements set forth in the codes as adopted by the municipality shall be repaired, replaced and/or removed from the system, as determined by the public works committee, at the sole expense of the individual or firm supplying faulty material or providing faulty workmanship.

K.    Customers outside the Water Service Area. Residents living outside of the area serviced by the municipal water system may have need of acquiring a potable water supply. Residents wishing to receive a potable water supply from the municipality shall pay a rate equal to the contract services rate established by resolution of the assembly each time they fill their containers. The water division of the public works department shall designate one location to be used for this purpose.

(Ord. 16-12, Amended, 06/16/2016; Ord. 12-02, Amended, 2/16/2012; Ord. 84-19 § 5 (part), Repealed & Replaced, 10/11/1984)

13.08.090 Discontinuance of service.

A.    On Customer Request.

1.    Each customer about to vacate any premises supplied with water service by the municipality shall give the municipality written notice of his intentions at least two (2) days prior, specifying the date service is to be discontinued; otherwise, he will be responsible for all water supplied to such premises until the municipality receives notice of vacation. The municipality shall shut off the control valve within four (4) days, and the customer shall be billed in accordance with the rate schedule adopted by resolution of the borough assembly.

2.    If a customer requests discontinuance of service in his name but requests that the control valve not be turned off, the customer shall be billed in accordance with the rate schedule adopted by resolution of the borough assembly. From the date of discontinuance of service in such customer’s name, and as long as the control valve remains on, the property owner shall be liable for the monthly service charge and be billed in accordance with rates established by resolution of the borough assembly.

B.    For Nonpayment of Bills. A customer’s water service may be discontinued in accordance with the procedures of Section 13.08.150 if the water bill is not timely paid.

C.    Because of Improper Customer Facilities.

1.    Unsafe Facilities. The municipality may refuse to furnish water and may discontinue services to any premises without prior notice where plumbing facilities, appliances or equipment using water may be dangerous, unsafe or not in conformity with the municipality’s plumbing code.

2.    Cross-Connections. "Cross-connection" means any physical connection between the water system and another source. Such cross-connections are unlawful. The municipality will discontinue service to any premises where a cross-connection exists. Service will not be restored until the cross-connection is eliminated. Customers using water from one (1) or more sources in addition to receiving water from the municipality on the same premises shall maintain separate systems for each; and the municipality’s water supply facilities shall be separated from any and all other systems by an air gap of not less than one foot (1’), or if in the ground, by not less than five feet (5’).

D.    Water Waste. Where water is wastefully or negligently used on a customer’s premises, the municipality may discontinue service, in the sole discretion of the municipality, if such conditions are not corrected after verbal or written notice by the municipality.

E.    Service Detrimental to Others. The municipality may refuse to furnish water and may discontinue service to any premises where excessive demands by one (1) customer may result in inadequate service to others.

F.    Service Preference. In case of a shortage of supply, the municipality reserves the right to give preference for furnishing service to customers and the interests of the municipality, considering public convenience or necessity.

G.    Fraud or Abuse. The municipality will refuse or discontinue service to any premises where it is deemed necessary to protect the municipality from fraud or abuse. Discontinuance of service for one (1) or both of these causes will be made immediately upon knowledge by the municipality that the condition or conditions exist.

H.    Unauthorized Turnon or Turnoff. Where water service has been discontinued for any reason and the water is turned on by the customer or other unauthorized person, the water may then be shut off at the main. The charges for shutting off the water at the main shall be computed at actual cost to the municipality, plus twenty-five percent (25%) overhead, but not less than fifteen dollars ($15.00). These charges shall be billed to the offending customer, and water shall not be furnished to the premises until such charges are paid and the municipality has reasonable assurance that the violation will not reoccur. The same procedure and charges shall be applied in cases where the water has been turned off by an unauthorized person.

I.    Noncompliance with Code. The municipality may, upon five (5) days’ notice, discontinue service to a customer’s premises for failure to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter.

(Ord. 12-02, Amended, 2/16/2012; Ord. 84-19 § 5 (part), Repealed & Replaced, 10/11/1984)

13.08.100 Restoration of service.

A.    At Customer Request. If a customer requests that his service be restored, when it has been discontinued for reasons other than specified in subsections B and C below, the municipality shall make reasonable efforts to restore service at its earliest convenience, provided all fees have been paid by the customer.

B.    After Discontinuance for Nonpayment of Bills. If the municipality has turned off a customer’s water for nonpayment of bills, the service will be restored only after payment of current and past-due charges, and payment of a fee as established for turning the customer’s water service off and on.

C.    After Discontinuance for Unsafe Facilities, Water Waste, Fraud, Abuse or Noncompliance with this Chapter. If the municipality has turned off a customer’s water for any of the reasons listed in this section other than customer request, restoration of service will only be made after payment of a fee established by resolution of the borough assembly for turning the customer’s water service off and on, and after any and all irregularities have been corrected and the municipality assured in writing by the customer that the irregularity or irregularities will not reoccur.

(Ord. 12-02, Amended, 2/16/2012; Ord. 84-19 § 5 (part), Repealed & Replaced, 10/11/1984)

13.08.110 Unusual demands.

When an abnormally large quantity of water is desired, arrangements must be made with the municipality prior to taking such water. Permission to take water in unusual quantities will be given only if the municipal facilities and other consumers are not inconvenienced. What constitutes an unusual quantity shall be determined by the municipality in its sole discretion.

(Ord. 12-02, Amended, 2/16/2012; Ord. 84-19 § 5 (part), Repealed & Replaced, 10/11/1984)

13.08.120 Access to property.

A.    All duly appointed employees of the municipality shall have free access at all reasonable hours of the day to any and all outdoor portions of properties to which water is or may be delivered, for the purpose of making such inspections as are necessary to the effectiveness of the water system and to determine compliance with the requirements of this chapter. The municipality does not assume any responsibility for or the duty of inspecting the customer’s line, plumbing and equipment. Under no circumstances shall the municipality be responsible for or liable for anything related to the customer’s line, plumbing or equipment. All employees shall be furnished with, and upon the request of any customer shall display, evidence of identification.

B.    Except in emergency situations where the borough manager or his designee has cause to believe immediate action is required to prevent destruction of property, such as flooding from a broken water pipe, building entries shall require either the consent of an occupant or a valid warrant authorizing the entry or inspection. Failure of an occupant to grant permission for entry of authorized municipal employees for inspections may result in termination of water service to those premises, following verbal or written notice by the borough manager or his designee.

(Ord. 12-02, Amended, 2/16/2012; Ord. 84-19 § 5 (part), Repealed & Replaced, 10/11/1984)

13.08.130 Responsibility for equipment.

A.    Responsibility for Customer Equipment. The municipality shall not be liable for any loss or damage of any nature whatsoever caused by any defect in the customer’s line, plumbing or equipment, nor shall the municipality be liable for loss or damage due to interruption of service or temporary changes in pressure. The customer shall be responsible for valves on his premises being turned off when the water service is turned on.

B.    Responsibility for Municipal Equipment. Municipal equipment on the customer’s premises remains the property of the municipality, and may be repaired, replaced or removed by municipal employees at any time without consent of the customer. No payment will be made to the property owner for the right to install, maintain, replace or remove municipal equipment on his premises to serve those premises. The property owner must keep dogs or other animals secured or confined to avoid interference with the utility operation and maintenance.

C.    Damage to Municipal Equipment. The customer shall be liable for any damage to equipment owned by the municipality which is caused by an act of the customer, his tenants, agents, employees, contractors, invitees, guests, licensees or permittees.

(Ord. 12-02, Amended, 2/16/2012; Ord. 84-19 § 5 (part), Repealed & Replaced, 10/11/1984)

13.08.140 Fire hydrants.

A.    Operation. No person or persons other than those designated and authorized by the municipality shall open any fire hydrant belonging to the municipality, attempt to draw water from it, or in any manner damage or tamper with it. No tool other than special hydrant wrenches shall be used to operate a hydrant valve. In cases where a temporary service has been granted and water is received through a fire hydrant, an auxiliary external valve will be provided to control the flow of water.

B.    Moving a Fire Hydrant. When a fire hydrant has been installed in the location specified by the proper authority, the municipality has fulfilled its obligation. If a property owner or other person desires to change the size, type or location of the hydrant, he shall bear all costs of such changes. Any changes in the location of a fire hydrant must be approved by the municipality.

(Ord. 12-02, Amended, 2/16/2012; Ord. 84-19 § 5 (part), Repealed & Replaced, 10/11/1984)

13.08.150 Billing and payment.

A.    Property Owners Responsible. Payment for the water services provided under this chapter shall be the responsibility of the owner of the premises served, and adoption and publication of this chapter constitutes legal notice of this responsibility to all owners of real property within the municipality.

B.    Billing. Bills will be mailed quarterly, at the beginning of the three (3) month service period to which they apply. Payment is due at the end of the three (3) month service period to which the bill applies. Any bill not paid after the due date for payment shall be considered delinquent.

C.    Delinquent Accounts.

1.    Reminder. A reminder of account delinquency may be sent, at the discretion of the municipality, to each delinquent customer on or after ten (10) days after the account becomes delinquent.

2.    Penalty and Interest. A penalty of ten percent (10%) shall be added to a delinquent account for the first month of delinquency or any fraction thereof, and an additional ten percent (10%) shall be added for each additional month of delinquency or fraction thereof. Interest at the rate of fifteen percent (15%) per annum from the date of delinquency until paid shall also accrue.

3.    Termination Notice. On or after twenty (20) days after an account becomes delinquent, a turnoff notice shall be hand-delivered or sent to the customer. The notice shall state a date on or after which either the water will be turned off or court action will be initiated, if the delinquent account is not paid in full prior to that date, and shall give the customer notice of his right to a meeting with the borough manager or his designee (no later than a specified date) to contest the termination decision. Such termination date will not be less than five (5) nor more than fifteen (15) days from the date of notice. A delivery to the premises served or mailing by certified mail to the address of record of the customer or by hand delivery to the customer of record or the customer’s representative shall be considered a delivery to the customer.

4.    Service Turnoff. On the turnoff date, the agent of the municipality shall turn off the service. The municipality shall not be liable to property owner or tenants or anyone else occupying the premises for damages resulting from water turnoff because of failure to pay delinquent accounts by either the property owner or tenant.

D.    Charges when Service Established or Discontinued.

1.    A customer shall be considered to be receiving water service as long as his control valve is turned on. Turn-on and turn-off procedure and fees are specified in Sections 13.08.090 and 13.08.100. If service is furnished for only a portion of the billing month, the customer shall be billed for that portion as follows:

a.    Five (5) days or less, no charge;

b.    Six (6) to sixteen (16) days, one half (1/2) monthly charge.

c.    Sixteen (16) days or more, full monthly charge.

2.    If service is established or discontinued at customer request, the customer may also request that he be sent a bill for that month’s services at a specific date other than one during the normal billing week.

(Ord. 12/02, Amended, 2/16/2012; Ord. 2001-10; Amended, 03/15/2001; Ord. 84-19 § 5 (part), Repealed & Replaced, 10/11/1984)

13.08.160 Rates and fees to be charged for water service.

The rates to be charged and collected for water service and for making connections to the system shall be established by resolution of the borough assembly, and shall become a part of this section by incorporation by reference. Such rates for water service shall be designed to recover the costs of the yearly maintenance and operation costs of the water system according to each user’s fair share of those costs.

(Ord. 12-02, Amended, 2/16/2012; Ord. 84-19 § 5 (part), Repealed & Replaced, 10/11/1984)

13.08.170 Limitation on refund actions.

A claim for a water utility charge refund must be filed within one (1) year from the payment due date of the monthly billing upon which refund is sought, or the refund claim is forever barred. The intent of this section is to preclude presentment of stale claims.

(Ord. 84-19 § 5 (part), Repealed & Replaced, 10/11/1984)

13.08.180 Violation--Penalty.

Violation of any provision of this chapter shall be a noncriminal infraction, subject to penalty not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100.00).

(Ord. 84-19 § 5 (part), Repealed & Replaced, 10/11/1984)