Chapter 15.14
UNLAWFUL CROSS-CONNECTIONS

Sections:

15.14.010    Purpose.

15.14.020    Definitions.

15.14.030    Adoption of state regulations.

15.14.040    Cross-connection declared unlawful.

15.14.050    Approved backflow preventers required.

15.14.060    Certification response and enforcement.

15.14.070    Inspection and testing procedures of approved backflow preventers.

15.14.080    Enforcement.

15.14.090    Abatement of unlawful cross-connection and installation of approved backflow preventers –Procedures.

15.14.100    Appeal procedure.

15.14.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to protect the public drinking water system from the risk of contamination due to backflow through cross-connections and to eliminate or control cross-connections between the city’s public water system and the consumer’s water system. (Ord. 15C-09 § 1).

15.14.020 Definitions.

A. Definitions in WAC 246-290-010, as they presently exist and as they may, from time to time, be amended, are hereby adopted and incorporated herein by this reference as if set forth in full. In addition to the definitions adopted by reference, the following words shall have the indicated meanings.

B. “Water purveyor” means a person designated by the city manager to be the authorized agent of the city with authority over the city’s public water system.

C. “Substantial alteration” means an alteration that costs 50 percent or more of the current assessed value of the structure. (Ord. 15C-09 § 1; Ord. A-38 § 1, 1985. Formerly 15.14.010).

15.14.030 Adoption of state regulations.

Rules and regulations of the Washington State Department of Health regarding public water supply systems, entitled “Cross-Connection Control,” WAC 246-290-490, as they presently exist and as they may be amended from time to time in the future, are hereby adopted and incorporated herein by this reference as if set forth in full. (Ord. 15C-09 § 1; Ord. A-38 § 1, 1985. Formerly 15.14.050).

15.14.040 Cross-connection declared unlawful.

The installation or maintenance of an unprotected cross-connection is hereby declared to be unlawful. The control and elimination of cross-connections shall be in accordance with the applicable sections of the Washington Administrative Code, the Mercer Island City Code and the policies and procedures of the city’s cross-connection control program. (Ord. 15C-09 § 1; Ord. A-38 § 1, 1985. Formerly 15.14.020).

15.14.050 Approved backflow preventers required.

A. Approved backflow preventers shall be installed at the city’s water service connection commensurate with the assessed degree of hazard. The consumer shall install and maintain all approved backflow preventers deemed necessary by the standards established by the city. The approved backflow preventers shall be installed in accordance with these standards. The consumer, at the consumer’s expense, shall have all approved backflow preventers installed, inspected and tested in accordance with this chapter.

B. Premises isolation is required for the following:

1. Severe and high health cross-connection hazard premises listed in WAC 246-290-490(4)(b), Table 9; and

2. New nonresidential buildings or substantial alteration of nonresidential buildings; and

3. New single-family dwellings or substantial alteration of a single-family dwelling with access to an unapproved auxiliary water supply. (Ord. 15C-09 § 1; Ord. A-38 § 1, 1985. Formerly 15.14.030).

15.14.060 Certification response and enforcement.

A. Certification Response Required. The city will periodically send a certification to identify consumers with property features which may require approved backflow preventers. Consumers shall return the certification within 30 days.

B. Enforcement. In the event the consumer has failed to respond to the certification within the specified time period, the consumer shall be subject to the following penalties:

1. Warning. Written notice shall be sent to the consumer or, alternatively, a copy of such written notice shall be posted on the premises involved. The notice shall provide that the certification shall be returned within 30 days of the date the notice is mailed or posted on the premises.

2. First Violation. If the consumer does not correct the violation by returning the certification within 30 days of the first written notice, the consumer shall receive a $50 penalty.

3. Second and Subsequent Violations. If the consumer does not correct the violation by returning the certification within 30 days of the issuance of the first or subsequent penalty, the consumer shall receive an additional $50 penalty. (Ord. 15C-09 § 1).

15.14.070 Inspection and testing procedures of approved backflow preventers.

A. Approved backflow preventers shall be inspected and tested within 30 days:

1. Of the time of initial installation;

2. After the approved backflow preventer is repaired;

3. After the approved backflow preventer is moved, relocated, or reinstated; and

4. After the approved backflow preventer fails testing or inspection.

B. Approved backflow preventers shall also be inspected and tested:

1. Annually after initial installation; and

2. More often if tests indicate repeated failures.

C. Approved backflow preventers must successfully pass the annual test and others set forth in subsections A and B of this section. Approved backflow preventers failing any test shall be repaired and retested.

D. The city will send a courtesy reminder letter to the consumer regarding the required annual inspection and test of the approved backflow preventers. Failure of the city to provide the reminder shall not affect the consumer’s duty to conduct such an inspection and to obtain testing under this section. The consumer shall have all required inspections and tests performed by any person certified as a BAT (backflow assembly tester) by the Washington State Department of Health, and the results shall be delivered to the city on a form acceptable to the city.

E. If any inspection and/or test is not performed within the time required in subsection A or B of this section, or if the approved backflow preventer does not successfully pass the required tests, the city may initiate enforcement proceedings as set forth in MICC 15.14.080(B), abatement procedures as set forth in MICC 15.14.090, or both. (Ord. 15C-09 § 1; Ord. A-38 § 1, 1985).

15.14.080 Enforcement.

A. The city shall have the authority to terminate water service, take abatement action as set forth in MICC 15.14.090 and impose monetary penalties for violations of the inspection, testing and installation requirements in this chapter.

B. Water Service Termination and Monetary Penalties. In the event that the water purveyor, or his/her designee, determines that an unlawful cross-connection exists and/or that the consumer has failed to meet the inspection and testing requirements for backflow preventers, the consumer shall be subject to the following penalties:

1. Warning. Written notice shall be sent to the consumer or, alternatively, a copy of such written notice shall be posted on the premises involved. The notice shall provide that the unlawful cross-connection shall be corrected by testing or installation within 30 days of the date the notice is mailed or posted on the premises.

2. First Violation. If the consumer does not correct the violation by testing or installation within 30 days of the first written notice, the consumer shall receive a $100 penalty and notice that water service to the premises may be terminated after 30 days.

3. Second Violation. If the consumer does not correct the violation by testing or installation within 30 days of the issuance of the first penalty, the consumer shall receive an additional $150 penalty and water service to the premises may be shut off immediately.

4. If the water purveyor determines that service should not be interrupted, the city may hire a contractor to abate the unlawful cross-connection as set forth in MICC 15.14.090. (Ord. 15C-09 § 1; Ord. A-38 § 1, 1985).

15.14.090 Abatement of unlawful cross-connection and installation of approved backflow preventers –Procedures.

Unprotected cross-connections which are declared by this chapter to be unlawful, whether presently existing or hereinafter installed, and/or services requiring approved backflow preventers, are hereby declared to be public nuisances. In addition to any other provisions of the city code or ordinances of the city pertaining to abatement of public nuisances, these nuisances shall be subject to abatement in accordance with the following procedures:

A. In the event that the water purveyor, or his/her designee, determines an unlawful cross-connection exists, written notice shall be sent to the consumer as set forth in MICC 15.14.080(B). The notice shall provide that the unlawful cross-connection shall be corrected within 30 days of the date the notice is mailed or posted on the premises.

B. In the event such unlawful cross-connection is not abated within the prescribed period of time as set forth in MICC 15.14.080(B), water service to the premises may be shut off immediately or, if the water purveyor determines that service should not be interrupted, the city may hire a contractor to abate the unlawful cross-connection as required by the city, including the installation of approved backflow preventers. In such event, the city shall bill the consumer and/or property owner for all costs incurred (including its reasonable attorneys’ fees). The city shall provide written notice to the consumer and/or property owner after 10 days in default; subsequent to the 10 days the city shall have the right to lien the real property. The city will follow all applicable state laws throughout the abatement process.

C. Any new service with unlawful cross-connections shall be refused water service by the city until such time as the prospective consumer has installed approved backflow preventers as required by the city. (Ord. 15C-09 § 1; Ord. A-38 § 1, 1985. Formerly 15.14.060).

15.14.100 Appeal procedure.

A. A consumer may appeal the termination of water service and/or the assessment of a monetary penalty to the water purveyor by filing a written request for consideration within 10 days of receipt of notice of a monetary penalty or termination of water service.

B. The water purveyor shall consider the explanation provided by the consumer and shall make his/her decision on the basis of the explanation and steps taken to comply with installation of backflow preventers and/or to comply with the required inspection and testing of backflow preventers. The water purveyor shall affirm, reverse or modify the assessment of monetary penalty and shall affirm or reverse the termination of water service.

C. A consumer may appeal the water purveyor’s decision by filing a written notice of appeal to the city clerk within 14 days of the water purveyor’s decision. The city’s hearing examiner shall hear the appeal. The decision of the hearing examiner is final as to administrative remedies with the city. (Ord. 15C-09 § 1).