Chapter 13.16
REGULATIONS AND PENALTIES APPLICABLE TO BOTH SEWER AND WATER SERVICE1

Sections:

13.16.010    Right of entry for inspection.

13.16.015    Miscellaneous utility fees.

13.16.020    Repealed.

13.16.025    Repealed.

13.16.030    Sewer and water connection – Generally.

13.16.040    Sewer and water connection – System participation.

13.16.050    Installation and connection to water and/or sewer lines.

13.16.060    Automatic annual fee adjustment.

13.16.070    Payment for water and sewer service.

13.16.075    Closing bills.

13.16.080    Low income senior citizen discount.

13.16.082    Disabled citizen discount.

13.16.084    Application for discount.

13.16.086    Requirements for eligibility for discount.

13.16.090    Enforcement of sewer and water liens.

13.16.100    Effect of title on existing contracts or agreements.

13.16.110    Penalty and enforcement provisions.

13.16.010 Right of entry for inspection.

The engineer or other city officials or employees of the city may enter any building or property to perform duties imposed by this chapter in accordance with Chapter 1.16 BIMC. (Ord. 2003-28 § 4, 2003: Ord. 82-20 § D(1), 1982)

13.16.015 Miscellaneous utility fees.

A. The city shall charge an appropriate fee in an amount established by the city by resolution for the following utility-related services:

1. Notice of turn-off;

2. Seasonal turn-off;

3. Restoration of service;

4. Notice of delinquency;

5. Additional notice or collection letter;

6. Bill to person other than property owner;

7. Duplicate bill or delinquency notice;

8. Transfer of ownership or billed person;

9. New account service;

10. Meter reread;

11. Request for leak check; and

12. Work by city staff at customer request.

B. Whenever any person turns on utility service which has not been authorized by the city, the person shall pay a fee in the amount established by the city by resolution. (Ord. 97-36 § 3, 1997; Ord. 97-09 § 3, 1997; Ord. 92-24 § 8, 1992)

13.16.020 Delayed benefit charge (latecomer agreement).

Repealed by Ord. 2002-01. (Ord. 94-29 §§ 16, 18, 1995; Ord. 82-20 § D(2), 1982)

13.16.025 Fees.

Repealed by Ord. 2002-01. (Ord. 94-29 § 17, 1995)

13.16.030 Sewer and water connection – Generally.

The regulations and charges set forth in BIMC 13.16.040 and 13.16.050 shall apply to all connections to the city sewer and/or water systems. (Ord. 82-20 § D(3), 1982)

13.16.040 Sewer and water connection – System participation.

A. Regulations.

1. Owners of property requesting a binding commitment for a limited reservation of water or sewer system capacity shall pay, prior to receiving the binding commitment, a nonrefundable deposit equal to 10 percent of the applicable water and sewer system participation fees, as established by resolution of the city council. The balance due on such water and sewer participation fees shall be paid at the time a request to connect is made and prior to connecting to the city’s water or sewer system.

2. Owners of property requesting a binding commitment for an unlimited reservation of water or sewer system capacity shall pay the full amount of applicable water and sewer system participation fees, as established by resolution of the city council.

3. All applicable water and sewer system connection, inspection, and testing fees and charges, as established by resolution of the city council, shall be paid at the time a request to connect is made and prior to connection with the city water and sewer systems, unless an extension of time is authorized pursuant to subsection A.4 of this section.

4. The city council’s finance committee may authorize an extension of time within which to pay fees and charges due under subsections A.1, A.2, and A.3 of this section if all of the following conditions are met:

a. The property to be served by the city’s system contains an existing structure which will receive service;

b. The property to be served is within the city’s service area;

c. The city is requiring the property to be served to immediately connect to the city’s system, due to public health or other reasons;

d. The payment of the fees and charges under subsections A.1, A.2 and A.3 of this section would place an excessive financial burden on the natural person legally responsible for the payment; and

e. The property owner or other person responsible for payment of the fees and charges agrees to a payment schedule, evidenced by a promissory note in the form determined by the city, and a lien against the property to be served to secure payment of the fees and charges.

5. An owner of property which is used for multifamily residential and commercial purposes and which is connected to the city’s sewer or contract sewer system shall not install any additional fixtures on such property without prior approval by the city. Any owner of multifamily residential and/or commercial property seeking to install additional fixtures on such property shall make application to the city for such installation on a form to be provided by the city and shall pay all applicable costs and fees for these additional fixtures, as provided in subsections A.1, A.2, and A.3 of the section.

6. Service charges shall commence when a connection is completed.

7. There shall be no refunds of participation fees or other charges paid to the city except as otherwise provided by this title.

a. Fees. System participation fees and charges are shown in Section E of Ordinance 82-20, as amended, on file in the office of the city clerk.

b. An owner of property which is connected to the city’s water or sewer system shall not replace a city water meter without prior approval by the city. Any owner seeking to replace a city water meter serving the property with a city water meter of a smaller size shall make application to the city for such replacement on a form to be provided by the city. No system participation fee for water or sewer shall be charged to replace the city water meter. A full connection fee shall be charged as provided by resolution of the city council to reimburse the city for the cost of the new city water meter, fittings and installation.

c. Owners of property currently connected to the city’s water, sewer, or contract sewer system shall make application to the city on a form to be provided by the city to change from one water or sewer service use to another, to increase the size of a city water meter, or to add a city water meter. The owner shall pay the applicable water or sewer system participation fees provided in subsections A.1, A.2, and A.3 of this section, against which fees they shall receive a credit in the amount of water or sewer system participation fees applicable to the current city water or sewer service use or current size of city water meter, as established by resolution of the city council. (Ord. 2006-07 § 1, 2006: Ord. 2002-16 § 1, 2002; Ord. 98-24 § 2, 1999; Ord. 95-21 § 1, 1995; Ord. 82-20 § D(3)(A), 1982)

13.16.050 Installation and connection to water and/or sewer lines.

A. All installation on private property shall be accomplished by the property owner or a licensed contractor. Inspection and approval of private lines shall be obtained prior to backfilling the trench.

B. Connection to City Water Lines by City Forces. All water connections shall be made in accordance with Chapter 13.08 BIMC. Fees and charges are shown in Section E of Ordinance 82-20, as amended, on file in the office of the city clerk.

C. Connection to City Water Lines by Plumbers or Contractors.

1. All plumbers and contractors must obtain an installation permit from the city.

2. Connection accomplished by other than city employees shall be periodically inspected and approved by the city prior to backfilling the trench.

3. All water connections shall be made in accordance with Chapter 13.08 BIMC.

4. Fees and charges are shown in Section E of Ordinance 82-20, as amended, on file in the office of the city clerk.

D. Connection to City Sewer Lines by City Forces. All sewer connections shall be made in accordance with Chapter 13.12 BIMC. Fees and charges are shown in Section E of Ordinance 82-20, as amended, on file in the office of the city clerk.

E. Connection to City Sewer Lines by Plumbers or Contractors.

1. All plumbers and contractors must obtain an installation permit from the city.

2. Connection accomplished by other than city employees shall be periodically inspected and approved by the city prior to backfilling the trench.

3. All sewer connections shall be made in accordance with Chapter 13.12 BIMC.

4. Fees and charges are shown in Section E of Ordinance 82-20, as amended, on file in the office of the city clerk.

F. Backflow Protection Device. The city shall require installation of a backflow protection device where in the judgment of the city such device is required to comply with the State Board of Health Regulations or the Uniform Plumbing Code. The cost of such device and installation shall be borne by the property owner. Inspection and approval of the backflow device and installation shall be obtained prior to approval of the connection. (Ord. 82-20 § D(3)(B), 1982)

13.16.060 Automatic annual fee adjustment.2

A. All water and sewer rates shall be subject to an adjustment beginning with the first full billing period of each year equal to the annual percentage increase in the United States Consumer Price Index, All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for November of the preceding year as shown in the release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics plus two percent unless the city council determines by December 31st of any year that the adjustment shall be another amount or shall not occur for the next year.

B. In calculating the annual adjustment the city shall round off all final calculations to the nearest cent where the rate provides for cents and to the nearest dollar where the rate does not provide for cents. (Ord. 2012-03 § 1, 2012: Ord. 2009-40 § 1, 2009: Ord. 2000-49 § 1, 2000: Ord. 99-55 § 1, 1999: Ord. 87-05 § 1, 1987: Ord. 83-01 § 1, 1983: Ord. 82-20 § D(4), 1982)

13.16.070 Payment for water and sewer service.

A. Water and/or sewer service accounts shall be billed on a periodic basis on or before the tenth day of the month succeeding the billing cycle in which such service is furnished. Water meters shall be read at the end of each billing cycle and the billings shall be based upon that reading. All bills are the responsibility of the owner of the property served. Bills may be sent to a person other than the owner at the owner’s written request, which request must contain a commitment to pay on demand all amounts not paid by the person billed.

B. All charges for sewer and/or water service shall be due and payable on the last day of the month in which the bill was sent; provided, that the bill shall not be due less than 20 days from the date of billing. If the whole or any portion of the water and/or sewer charge remains unpaid after the due date, the account shall be delinquent. All delinquent water and/or sewer accounts shall be subject to a monthly penalty charge of 10 percent of the amount of the delinquent service charges. In addition, accounts which are delinquent more than 120 days shall be subject to interest at the rate of eight percent per annum on the entire amount of the service charges owing and unpaid. (Ord. 2012-03 § 2, 2012: Ord. 97-09 § 5, 1997; Ord. 87-10 § 1, 1987; Ord. 84-29 § 1, 1984; Ord. 82-20 § D(5), 1982)

13.16.075 Closing bills.

Once the city has received notice of the pending sales of a property served by the city’s water and/or sewer utility, instead of the rates and charges set forth under Section E of Ordinance 82-20, as amended, monthly rates and charges for the specified property shall be set on a per diem basis equivalent to the highest monthly charges levied on that property during the immediately preceding 12 months divided by 30. These per diem rates shall either continue until the sale is closed or for 60 days, whichever occurs first. (Ord. 97-09 § 4, 1997)

13.16.080 Low income senior citizen discount.

Low income senior citizens who meet the requirements set forth in BIMC 13.16.084 and 13.16.086 shall be entitled to a reduction in water, sewer, and storm and surface water service charges as established by the city by resolution. (Ord. 92-26 § 3, 1992: Ord. 82-20 § D(6), 1982)

13.16.082 Disabled citizen discount.

Low-income disabled citizens who meet the requirements set forth in BIMC 13.16.084 and 13.16.086 shall be entitled to a reduction in the city’s water, sewer, and storm and surface water service charges as established by the city by resolution. For the purposes of this chapter, a disabled citizen is a person who is disabled as defined by the Social Security Administration and who receives Social Security benefits, or any other benefits, for that disability from any governmental source. (Ord. 2005-04 § 1, 2005: Ord. 92-26 § 4, 1992: Ord. 88-16 § 19, 1988: Ord. 85-06 § 1, 1985)

13.16.084 Application for discount.

In order to qualify for the rate reductions set forth in BIMC 13.16.080 and 13.16.082, a person must file an application for the reduction with the city clerk prior to January 1st of the year for which the rate reduction is desired. Persons qualifying for the discount after the first of the year may apply at any time at least 30 days prior to the billing date upon which the rate reduction is to be effective. Applicants must meet the requirements for eligibility set forth in BIMC 13.16.086. (Ord. 92-26 § 5, 1992: Ord. 85-06 § 2, 1985)

13.16.086 Requirements for eligibility for discount.

A. The rate reduction shall only apply to utility charges for service to a residence. The residence for which the rate reduction is requested must be the applicant’s principal place of residence.

B. The applicant must be the head of the household for the residence for which the rate reduction is requested.

C. The utility account must be in the applicant’s name or the name of the applicant’s spouse or in the name of a cooperative or condominium association. In situations where the utility account is in the name of a cooperative or condominium association, that organization must guarantee to the city that the full benefit of any rate reduction shall be received by the qualifying individuals under BIMC 13.16.080 or 13.16.082.

D. No person may claim a rate reduction for more than one dwelling unit during the same billing period.

E. The rate reduction authorized by BIMC 13.16.080 shall not be used in conjunction with the rate reduction authorized by BIMC 13.16.082.

F. For purposes of this chapter, a “senior citizen” is a person who meets the age qualifications for a property tax exemption under RCW 84.36.381(3).

G. For purposes of this chapter, “low income” means that the person has a combined disposable income in an amount that would qualify the person for property tax exemption under RCW 84.36.381(5). “Combined disposable income” shall be defined as stated in RCW 84.36.383. (Ord. 2017-15 § 1, 2017; Ord. 2005-26 § 1, 2005: Ord. 92-26 § 6, 1992: Ord. 85-06 § 3, 1985)

13.16.090 Enforcement of sewer and water liens.

A. All charges for sanitary sewage disposal service and for connections thereto, together with penalties and interest thereon as provided in this title and by statute, shall be a lien upon the property to which such connection is made or such service furnished, superior to all other liens or encumbrances except those for general taxes, special assessments, and city water service. A sewer lien shall be effective for a total not to exceed one year’s delinquent service charges without the necessity of any writing or recording of the lien with the county auditor. Enforcement and foreclosure of any sewer lien shall be in the manner provided by state law.

B. As an additional and concurrent method of enforcing a sewer lien authorized by this section and state law, the city may shut off the water service to the premises to which such sewer service was furnished or connections made after the charges became delinquent and unpaid, until the charges are paid, subject to the conditions set forth in state law.

C. All charges for water service shall be a lien upon the premises and shall be enforceable by shutting off water service until the delinquent bill is paid, subject to the conditions set forth in state law. When water service is shut off pursuant to this section, the water shall not be turned on again until the entire amount owed on the account is paid in full together with a turnon charge as established by resolution of the city council. (Ord. 97-09 § 6, 1997; Ord. 93-18 § 1, 1993: Ord. 92-26 § 11, 1992: Ord. 88-16 § 20, 1988: Ord. 82-20 § D(7), 1982)

13.16.100 Effect of title on existing contracts or agreements.

This title will not annul contracts or agreements in existence at the time of the adoption of the ordinance codified in this title. (Ord. 82-20 § D(8), 1982)

13.16.110 Penalty and enforcement provisions.

A. It is unlawful for any person, unless duly authorized, to disturb, interfere with, or damage any water main, or sewer pipe, machinery, tools, meters or other appliances, buildings, improvements, or other appurtenances belonging to, connected with, or under the control of city water and/or sanitary sewage disposal system.

B. It shall be the duty of the employees of the police, fire and other departments of the city to aid in the enforcement of provisions of this title and they shall report all violations thereof which come to their knowledge.

C. Except as otherwise provided in this title, any person feeling aggrieved for any decision or action made or taken pursuant to this title may appeal to the city council by filing written notice of appeal within 10 days following notification of such decision or action. Such notice of appeal shall set forth in reasonable detail the action or decision appealed from, and the appellant’s grounds for reversal or modification thereof. (Ord. 92-26 § 10, 1992: Ord. 82-20 § D(9), 1982)


1

Water and sewer fees, charges and rates are on file in the city clerk’s office.


2

Code reviser’s note: Ord. 2016-21, Section 1, states: “There will be no automatic annual fee adjustment of the City’s water utility fees under Section 13.16.060 of the Bainbridge Island Municipal Code for 2017,” and Ord. 2016-22, Section 1, states: “There will be no automatic annual fee adjustment of the City’s sewer utility rates under Section 13.16.060 of the Bainbridge Island Municipal Code for 2017.”