Chapter 13.04
WATER SYSTEM

Sections:

13.04.010    Definitions.

13.04.020    Service area.

13.04.030    Description of service.

13.04.040    Classes of water service.

13.04.045    Water rates, fees, and charges.

13.04.050    Application for service.

13.04.055    Expansion charges.

13.04.060    Deposits and establishment of credit.

13.04.070    Customer service line.

13.04.080    General requirements for water service installation.

13.04.090    Number of service connections on premises.

13.04.100    Customer’s plumbing.

13.04.110    Joint service connections.

13.04.120    Standby fire protection service connections.

13.04.130    Temporary service connections.

13.04.140    Easement.

13.04.150    Main extensions.

13.04.160    Service charges.

13.04.170    Meters.

13.04.180    Commercial customers required to have metered water service.

13.04.190    Meter error.

13.04.200    Charges defined.

13.04.210    Charges for metered commercial water service.

13.04.220    Charges for standby fire service.

13.04.230    Estimated consumption.

13.04.240    Charges for residential water service.

13.04.260    Notices.

13.04.270    Billing and payment.

13.04.280    Discontinuance of service.

13.04.290    Restoration of service.

13.04.300    Unusual demands.

13.04.310    Fire hydrants.

13.04.320    Responsibility for equipment.

13.04.330    Access to property.

13.04.340    Suspension of rules.

13.04.350    Penalties.

13.04.010 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section:

“Applicant” means the person, persons, firm, corporation, or other entity making application for water service from the department under the terms of this chapter.

“Customer” or “user” means an applicant who has been accepted and who receives water service from the department.

“Department” means the borough water utility department.

13.04.020 Service area.

The water service area shall be such area within the corporate limits of the borough and such contiguous territory as is immediately adjacent to the borough’s water distribution system for which the borough has been certified by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska to operate the utility.

13.04.030 Description of service.

A. Supply.

1. Water service shall be supplied by the department, which will exercise reasonable diligence and care to deliver a continuous and sufficient supply of water to customers at adequate pressure and to avoid so far as reasonably possible any shortage or interruption in delivery.

2. The borough shall not be liable for damage resulting from interruption in service or lack of service. Temporary suspension of service by the department for improvements and repairs will be necessary from time to time. Whenever possible, and when time permits, all customers affected by a temporary suspension of service will be notified prior to the suspension by notice through news media.

B. Quality. The department will exercise reasonable diligence to supply safe and potable water at all times.

C. Ownership of System. All water mains, valves, meters, fittings, hydrants, and other appurtenances, except “customer service lines,” as defined in HBC 13.04.070(A), shall be the property of the borough.

13.04.040 Classes of water service.

The classes of service shall be “residential,” “commercial,” “standby fire” and “contract,” as further qualified and defined as follows:

A. Residential service shall consist of all services for domestic purposes supplied to a multi-dwelling building (apartments, duplexes, etc.), to an individual dwelling, whether it be a house, a cabin, a single apartment attached to or within a commercial building, or a mobile home, within or outside of a mobile home park. For billing purposes, each individual dwelling unit shall be considered as one unit and the residential flat rate shall apply.

B. Commercial service shall consist of all services not falling under the residential, standby fire, or contract classifications.

1. For billing purposes, the number of commercial units shall be determined by the size of the meter serving the connection as shown in this schedule:

Meter Size

Number of Units
For Billing Purposes

5/8" or 3/4"

1

1"

1 1/2

1 1/2"

2

2"

2 1/2

3"

4

4"

6

6"

10

2. Apartments in Multiple Use Commercial Building. The minimum water rate for this type of building shall be not less than the total of the flat rate residential fees for each apartment. The owner shall be billed for the building.

If more than one building is served by the same meter, the units for each building will be computed and billed separately, according to the size of the water meter (HBC 13.04.170(E)).

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

D. Contract service shall consist of those services for industrial or independent water districts under contracts authorized by the borough assembly.

13.04.045 Water rates, fees, and charges.

All rates charged or assessed for water service shall be charged or assessed either as set forth in this chapter or as specified in the current assembly-approved water-sewer rate schedule. The assembly shall review the rates during the annual budgetary process. (Ord. 07-11-173 § 4)

13.04.050 Application for service.

A. Application Form. Each applicant for water service shall sign an application form provided by the chief fiscal officer giving the date of application, the date the applicant desires service to begin, purpose for which service is to be used, the address for mailing of the billings, the size of water meter required, and such other information as the borough may reasonably require.

B. An application for water service hook-up shall be processed as follows:

1. The applicant shall provide the information required by subsection (A) of this section and shall submit the required fees and charges as set out in HBC 13.04.045, if applicable.

a. Application Fee. There shall be a nonrefundable water hook-up application fee for individual water hook-ups. There shall be a special nonrefundable application fee if the application is for water service in a subdivision or development involving an extension of water mains or the installation of four or more water hook-ups (HBC 13.04.045). The purpose of the application fee is to cover administrative costs to review the application.

b. Permit Fee. If the proposed hook-up requires permits or approvals from other agencies, the borough may either require the applicant to obtain these approvals at the applicant’s expense prior to approval of the hook-up application, or the applicant shall submit the permit fee and an administrative charge (HBC 13.04.045) to the borough and the borough shall make application for the required permits.

2. The applicant shall sign a statement on the application verifying that the applicant agrees to be responsible for any and all of the borough’s costs above the minimum hook-up fee. By signing the application, the applicant agrees to abide by the requirements of this chapter. The application is a request for service and does not bind the borough to furnish service.

3. Hook-Up Fee. The purpose of the hook-up fee is to pay for the borough’s cost of material, labor, and equipment to install the water service line from the water main to the applicant’s property line. The hook-up fee shall be the minimum fee amount, plus any additional cost to the borough related to the actual hook-up installation. When the department approves the application, the applicant shall submit the minimum hook-up fee as required in subsection (B)(2) of this section, as well as the expansion charge as required by HBC 13.04.055. Following full payment of these fees, the chief fiscal officer shall acknowledge payment on the application form. Provided all other approvals are complete, the chief fiscal officer’s record of receipt of fees constitutes final approval of the application. The hook-up shall not occur prior to full payment of fees and final approval of the application. The water service hook-up fee and any other fees shall be a lien against the property served in the same manner and to the same extent as a lien for special assessments and shall be enforced in the same manner provided for special assessment liens.

4. Inspection Fee. If, in situations such as subdivisions or in local improvement district projects, the borough does not perform the work to connect the water service from the water main to the adjacent property line, the applicant shall pay an inspection fee for each hook-up in lieu of a hook-up fee. If the project involves a water main extension, there shall be an additional minimum inspection fee for the inspection of the first 100 feet of main extension or portion thereof, and an additional charge for each foot over 100 (HBC 13.04.045). (Ord. 13-10-352 § 4)

13.04.055 Expansion charges.

A. Minimum expansion charges are established for all water connections on real property.

B. The purpose of the expansion charge is to allocate to new customers a share of the nongrant-supported costs incurred by the borough for prior investments in plant and equipment used for the benefit of providing utility services to new areas within the area served by the utility and to allocate to new customers the cost of expanding water treatment or storage facilities to meet demands placed on those facilities by new customers.

C. Revenue received for new customer expansion charges shall be regarded as restricted assets and may be used only for reduction of debt incurred for the water system, for capital outlays to replace water system plant and equipment at the conclusion of its useful life, or for expansion of water treatment or storage facilities.

D. All applicable expansion charges, as set out in HBC 13.04.045, shall be paid in full prior to the final connection of the customer’s service.

E. Expansion charges shall be based upon the size of the line used for domestic or commercial water service. There shall be no expansion charge for fire protection equipment water supply lines.

F. The expansion charge for water service lines larger than four inches shall be negotiated based upon the quantity of water consumed, but in no event shall the expansion charge be less than the charge listed for a four-inch line.

13.04.060 Deposits and establishment of credit.

At the time application for service is made, the applicant shall establish the applicant’s credit with the borough.

A. Establishment of Credit. The credit of the applicant will be deemed established if the applicant has made a cash deposit to secure the payment of bills for service as specified in the current assembly-approved water-sewer rate schedule. No service shall be furnished until the deposit has been made.

B. Deposit Procedure. At the time the deposit is made, the applicant will be given a receipt for the same. The deposit is not to be considered as a payment on account. In the event the service is discontinued before the deposit has been refunded, the deposit will be applied to the closing bill and any amount in excess of the closing bill will be refunded. The borough will not pay interest on any deposit.

C. Forfeiture of Deposit. If an account becomes delinquent and it is necessary to turn off the service, the deposit shall be applied to the unpaid balance due. Water service will not be restored to those premises or that customer at a different premises until all outstanding bills due the borough from the customer have been paid and the cash deposit replaced, together with the nonrefundable connection fee/service charge as specified in the current assembly-approved water-sewer rate schedule.

D. Refund of Deposit. If a customer has been served by the borough water system for a period of two years without becoming delinquent, the borough shall automatically refund the water deposit. (Ord. 07-11-173 § 4)

13.04.070 Customer service line.

A. The “customer service line” shall be that part of the piping on the customer’s or other private property.

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

13.04.080 General requirements for water service installation.

A. Size. The department will furnish and install a service of such size and at such location as the applicant requests; provided, that the requested size is appropriate for the anticipated use and the location is reasonable. The minimum size of service shall be three-fourths of an inch. The department may refuse to install a service line that is, in the department’s opinion, undersized or oversized.

B. Changes in Service Size. Any changes in the size of the service line requested by the customer shall be paid by the customer on the basis of actual cost to the department for making the change.

C. Location. All water services shall be installed no closer than five feet from a side lot line and must be a minimum of 15 feet from a fire hydrant and a minimum of 10 feet from any other utility appurtenances such as sewer lines, light or power poles, or buried electrical services.

D. Installation. All water services shall be installed in straight lines, perpendicular to the water main, at a uniform grade. If necessary, water mains shall be extended, at applicant’s cost, to allow the service line to be perpendicular to the water main. Water services shall be buried a minimum of six feet.

E. Materials. All water services shall be constructed of a size and of materials meeting borough standards.

F. All water services installed by personnel other than borough personnel shall be installed only after borough approval of the location, materials, and methods of construction of the water service. All such water service installations shall be subject to borough inspection.

G. Where an exemption has been granted to a developer from the requirement to connect to borough sewer service, borough water service shall not be provided unless the following requirements regarding the planned on-site wastewater disposal system are met:

1. On-site wastewater disposal system design must be approved in writing by the Alaska State Department of Environmental Conservation (D.E.C.).

2. Upon installation and before closure, the wastewater disposal system must be inspected and approved by a D.E.C.-approved inspector and evidence of such approval provided to the department.

3. The wastewater disposal system must be inspected by a D.E.C.-approved inspector, at the property owner’s expense, every two years, in the spring of the year, with a written approval of the system submitted to the borough by June 1st of each year.

H. HBC 8.12.020(J) declares as a nuisance any discharge of wastewater resulting from the failure of an on-site wastewater disposal system in the borough limits. Such a nuisance must be abated according to the procedures in Chapter 8.12 HBC. If a wastewater system fails on any property served by the borough water system, the borough may, in order to abate the nuisance, turn off water service to that property until the property owner repairs or replaces the failed wastewater disposal system.

13.04.090 Number of service connections on premises.

The owner of a single parcel of property may apply for and receive as many services as the owner and the owner’s tenants may require, provided the application or applications meet the requirements of this chapter.

13.04.100 Customer’s plumbing.

A. Plumbing Code. The customer’s plumbing, which shall include the customer’s service line and all plumbing, piping, fixtures, and other appurtenances carrying or intended to carry water, shall comply with the Uniform Plumbing Code or other state or federal codes/guidelines which may apply. The customer service line shall be covered to protect from freezing.

B. Control Valves. The borough shall install a suitable control valve in the customer service line at a location determined by the department, 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 borough and the following billing procedure shall apply:

1. The department shall make a cost estimate for the installation which the customer shall pay in advance.

2. Upon completion of the installation as determined by the department, the chief fiscal officer shall bill for any additional expenses or refund any excess from the cost estimate collected so that the borough will collect its actual costs of labor and materials, a reasonable charge for equipment used, and an allowance of 15 percent of such costs and charges for overhead expenses.

C. It shall be a violation of this chapter for the customer to operate, cause, or permit unauthorized operation of the meter stop or any appurtenances on the service connection.

13.04.110 Joint service connections.

A. Joint service connections shall not be allowed.

B. Service extensions from an existing service to other occupancies or ownership other than that for which the existing service was intended shall not be permitted, nor shall separate residences or businesses be permitted to receive service through one meter.

13.04.120 Standby fire protection service connections.

A. Standby Connections.

1. Purpose. Standby fire protection service connections of two-inch size or larger will be installed only if adequate provisions are made to prevent the use of water from such services for other than fire extinguishing. Sealed fire sprinkler systems with water-operated alarms shall be considered as having such provisions. The department may require that a suitable detector check meter be installed in the standby fire protection service connections, to which hose lines or hydrants are connected. All piping on the customer’s premises shall be installed in accordance with the Uniform Plumbing Code or other state or federal codes/guidelines which may apply.

2. Charges for Service. Charges for standby fire protection service will be stated in the published water rate schedule. 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 customer shall pay the full cost of the standby fire protection service connection, any required detector check meter, and any required special water meter installed for the service to the standby connection.

B. 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 and metered as such. All water used through that service, regardless of its use, will be charged at the regular rates.

13.04.130 Temporary service connections.

For water service of a temporary nature, applicants shall be required to pay in advance the estimated cost of installation and removal of metering equipment and materials, plus a reasonable depreciation charge for the use of the equipment and material furnished by the department. The applicant shall also pay the water bill in advance based upon an estimate of the quantity to be used or the applicant shall otherwise establish satisfactory credit. A deposit equal to the value of any equipment loaned by the department will be required.

A. Time Limit. Temporary service connections shall be disconnected and terminated within six months after installation unless an extension of time is granted in writing by the department.

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

C. Responsibility for Meters and Installation. The customer shall use all due care to prevent damage to the meter or to any other loaned facilities of the department. If the meter or other facilities are damaged, the cost of making repairs thereto shall be deducted from the deposit refund. If the loaned materials are returned in satisfactory condition and all bills are paid, the full amount of the equipment deposit will be returned to the customer at the termination of service.

13.04.140 Easement.

Each applicant and user gives and grants to the borough an easement and right-of-way on and across the applicant’s property for the installation of water mains and the necessary valves and equipment therewith.

13.04.150 Main extensions.

A. Water main extensions may be installed to areas not presently served with water only after authorization of the assembly by resolution and only in accordance with plans, specifications, and methods of funding approved by the assembly.

B. The owners of property adjacent to or benefiting from a water main extension shall bear all costs of the main extension, including fire hydrants and water service lines, unless all or a portion of such costs are paid for by grant funds. The costs borne by the property owners shall also include design, permitting, construction, and inspection costs. The owners shall pay these costs through an owner-built or local improvement district, or any other method of payment or financing authorized by the assembly by resolution.

C. Locations of Extensions. The department 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 borough along with all rights and title to the main at the time of installation.

D. All main extension or customer service line work performed on public property or utility easement, unless performed by the borough, shall be performed by a contractor licensed by the state. As a prerequisite to commencing any work on the utility, the contractor shall furnish the borough with:

1. State of Alaska contractor’s license;

2. Proof of worker’s compensation insurance, if required by law;

3. A bond in the amount of $5,000;

4. Other proof of capability to perform such work as required by the borough.

The contractor shall provide the borough with accurate as-built drawings for the work within 45 days of the completion of the installation. If the borough has not received acceptable accurate as-built drawings by the end of the 45 days, water service shall be discontinued to those properties served by the project.

E. If a property owner makes an application to have the department extend a water main to serve the owner’s property, the department may enter into a refund agreement with the owner under which the owner may receive a refund for part of the cost of constructing the extension. If the department approves the application and enters into a refund agreement with the owner, the owner will pay the department, prior to construction of the extension, a connection charge equal to the estimated cost of constructing the extension as determined by the department. Thereafter, the department will collect a connection charge from any property owner who, within 20 years of the completion of the extension, connects to the extension with a service line. The amount of the subsequent connection charges shall be equal to the actual cost of the construction of the extension, divided by the total number of connection charges collected for that extension. The department will also charge a five percent administration fee whenever a connection charge is assessed. Whenever connections to the extension are approved by the department and connection charges are collected for such connections, the amounts of such connection charges shall be proportionally refunded to all persons or entities that have previously paid a connection charge. Refunds will be allowed only when service line connections are directly tapped to an extension. Refunds will not be allowed when additional extensions are connected to an extension. Refunds to an owner who pays a construction charge will follow the title of the property initially served by the extension. (Ord. 13-10-352 § 5)

13.04.160 Service charges.

A. Service Connection Charges. At the time the applicant files for initial service or for a change in service size or location, the applicant shall submit with the application the minimum service connection charge in accordance with the rates and procedures specified in HBC 13.04.045 and 13.04.050. The final signing of the application form will verify the applicant’s understanding that the applicant will be liable for the borough’s actual cost of installing the connection from the main to the property line. Additional costs, if any, shall be billed at the completion of the work. The chief fiscal officer shall calculate the bill upon completion of the work by the borough for the customer, based upon the actual costs of labor and material, a reasonable charge for equipment used, and an allowance of 15 percent of such costs and charges for overhead expenses.

B. Meter Installation Fee. When a meter is installed by the department as per HBC 13.04.170, the customer shall pay a water meter installation fee (HBC 13.04.045), payable at the date of application. This charge is intended to cover the cost of installation of the meter, not the value of the meter.

C. Meter Rental Fee. When a meter is installed as per HBC 13.04.170, the customer shall pay a one-time water meter rental fee equal to the cost of the meter, payable at the date of application.

D. Meter Inspection Fee. The authorized installation of any meter by other than borough personnel shall require an inspection by the department, or an assigned representative thereof, for a fee as set out in HBC 13.04.045, to guarantee the adequacy of the installation and to seal the meter.

E. Meter Testing Fee. The meter testing fee shall be charged as per HBC 13.04.190.

F. Frost Bottom Replacement. Frost bottoms broken through freezing of the customer service line shall be the responsibility of the customer. A fee as set out in HBC 13.04.045 shall be charged for frost bottom replacement.

G. Meter Repair or Replacement. Meters broken through freezing or abuse of the customer shall be the responsibility of the customer. The costs of meter replacement or repair shall be paid for by the customer as replacement cost, to include the cost of the meter or meter part and the labor and materials required for its repair or replacement, plus a 15 percent overhead charge. (Ord. 13-10-352 § 6)

13.04.170 Meters.

A. Ownership. The department will own and maintain all meters. The department will not pay rent or any other charge for a meter or related facilities, including housing and connections on a customer’s premises.

B. Installation. Installation of water meters shall be performed only by authorized employees of the department, except by special arrangement in writing with the borough. All meters shall be sealed by the department at the time of installation, and no seal shall be altered or broken except by one of its authorized employees.

C. Size and Type of Meter. An applicant may request and receive any size of meter regularly stocked or furnished by the department, provided the request is reasonable; and further provided, that the meter is not greatly oversized or undersized, as determined by the department. The department reserves the right to determine the type of meter to be installed.

D. Location of Meters. Meters shall be placed either inside or under a heated building at such suitable place as is most convenient; provided, that if the department determines that it is impractical to install a meter inside or under a building, it may be installed with the customer’s written permission at another location; and further provided, that every location of a meter must be approved by the department. Each meter shall have a remote recording device which can be read from outside a building on which the same is mounted.

E. Joint Use of Meters. The joining of several customers to take advantage of the single minimum charges and quantity rates is prohibited, except under special contract, in writing, approved by the assembly.

F. Changes in Size or Location. If for any reason a change in the size of a meter and service is required, the installation will be accomplished on the basis of a new connection, and the customer’s application shall be so amended. Meters or services moved for the convenience of the customer will be relocated only at the customer’s expense.

G. The assembly will from time to time determine the premises, or classifications of premises, on which meters shall be required. The department shall make such installations as are directed by the assembly. Before making any installation of a meter, the occupant of the premises on which the meter is to be installed shall be informed that access is necessary to make the installation at a time convenient to the department. If any person refuses to grant access for such purpose and allow the installation at a suitable place approved by the department, the clerk shall give the customer receiving service to the premises five days’ written notice that the water service will be discontinued for failure to allow the installation for such purpose. At the expiration of such period, if the meter has not been installed with the permission of the customer and person in possession, water service to such persons on those premises shall be discontinued. If any person refuses or prevents access to premises for the purpose of reading, repairing, or replacing any meter, service to the premises shall, after such notice, be discontinued.

H. When the assembly determines that meters shall be installed throughout a certain area, on premises facing certain streets, or on certain classifications of premises, the assembly will direct the department to make such installations in connection with water service to all such premises, except where meters have already been installed.

If any customer refuses to allow such installation on the customer’s premises and the metering of water to the customer, notice of discontinuance of service shall be given and the service discontinued as provided in HBC 13.04.280(F). If a meter is ordered installed on any premises and the customer service line or other piping is in such poor condition that a meter connection cannot be made, the customer shall be given written notice of such time as the department shall consider reasonable, considering weather and other conditions. If such line is not repaired or replaced and in satisfactory condition for installation of the meter within the time allowed in the notice, the service will be discontinued to the customer and his premises after a five-day notice as required by HBC 13.04.280(F).

13.04.180 Commercial customers required to have metered water service.

A. All public, commercial, or industrial buildings constructed after May 5, 1975, and requiring water service shall have metered water service.

B. Building owners applying for a change of use requiring water service shall have metered service. (Ord. 13-10-352 § 7)

13.04.190 Meter error.

A. Meter Accuracy. All meters will be tested prior to installation. No meter will be placed in service or allowed to remain in service which is known to have an error in registration in excess of two percent under conditions of normal operation.

B. Meter Test.

1. Standard Test. Meter tests will be conducted in accordance with standards of practice established by the American Water Works Association.

2. On Customer Request. A customer may, giving not less than seven days’ notice, request a meter test. The department will require the customer to deposit the testing fee as specified in the current assembly-approved water-sewer rate schedule.

The deposit will be returned to the customer if the test reveals the meter to over-register more than two percent under the standard test conditions; otherwise the deposit shall be retained by the borough. Customers may at their own option witness any meter tests which they request.

3. On Borough Request. If, upon comparison of past water usage, it appears that a meter is not registering properly, the chief fiscal officer or department may, at their option, test the meter. No charge will be made to the customer for the meter test under these conditions.

C. Adjustment of Bills for Meter Error. In the case of nonregistering meter, the borough will bill the customer for water consumed which the meter was not registering. The bill will be computed according to the procedure set for estimated billings in HBC 13.04.230. (Ord. 07-11-173 § 4)

13.04.200 Charges defined.

The monthly water charges set forth in this chapter and as specified in the current assembly-approved water-sewer rate schedule are intended to pay for the yearly operation and maintenance costs of the water system according to each user’s fair share of those costs. A significant portion of those yearly costs result not from the volume running through the plant, but from the existence and upkeep of the water supply, water main, and treatment plant.

To defray a portion of these costs, a monthly base charge shall be applied to every unit being served by the system regardless of how much water is being used by that unit, as long as the control valve, as defined in HBC 13.04.100(B), is turned on. Residential and commercial units are defined under HBC 13.04.040, Classes of water service. (Ord. 07-11-173 § 4)

13.04.210 Charges for metered commercial water service.

The monthly bill for metered water shall consist of a base charge, a minimum water charge, and an extra gallonage charge as specified in the current assembly-approved water-sewer rate schedule. (Ord. 07-11-173 § 4)

13.04.220 Charges for standby fire service.

A. The customers shall pay the full costs of standby fire protection service connection, any required detector check meters, and any required special water meter installation for the service to the standby connection, as per HBC 13.04.170(H). If water is used from a standby pipe connection service in violation of this chapter, the customer shall pay a $250.00 penalty fee plus the bulk water rate for every 1,000 gallons of estimated usage as specified in the current assembly-approved water-sewer rate schedule.

B. Charges for contract water service shall be specified in the contract. (Ord. 07-11-173 § 4)

13.04.230 Estimated consumption.

A. If a water meter is not functioning properly as determined by the department, or if a meter reading is not taken for a given month, the billing for that month shall be determined by averaging a customer’s last four reliable water meter readings within the appropriate six-month period (October through March or April through September), as determined by the department and the chief fiscal officer. The readings may be taken from a period as long as three years previous to the billing, as long as a customer occupied the same building at that time. If such reliable readings are not available, the billing may be based upon another customer’s average consumption for four appropriate months (as determined above); provided, that the other customer is reasonably comparable with respect to the number of people living in or using the establishment, numbers of washing machines, dishwashers, showers, water closets, or other facilities requiring a significant volume of water.

B. When weather or other conditions make it impractical to read water meters, monthly billings for metered customers shall be based upon an estimated consumption in accordance with the procedure set forth above. The next month in which the water meters are read, the billings shall be based upon the sum of the average monthly consumption for each month between the most recent and previous actual reading of the water meter, less the amount of estimated usage during the period the billings were based upon estimated usage.

13.04.240 Charges for residential water service.

Residences shall be charged a monthly flat rate, plus a base charge for water service. See HBC 13.04.045 for rates.

13.04.260 Notices.

A. Notices to Customers. Notices from the department to the customer will normally be given in writing and either mailed or delivered to the customer at the last known address. Where conditions warrant, and in emergencies, the department may notify by either telephone or messenger.

The cost of notifying a customer of pending discontinuance of service due to nonpayment of an account, or any similar correspondence, shall be borne by the customer. These costs shall include all certified mail charges and may also include a reasonable charge for staff time.

B. Notices from Customers. Notices from a customer to the department may be given by the customer or the customer’s authorized representative in writing at the office of the clerk or to an agent of the department.

13.04.270 Billing and payment.

A. Responsibility of Property Owners. The rates and charges established either in this chapter or as specified in the current assembly-approved water-sewer rate schedule shall be collected from the owners of the premises receiving service. Passage and publication of the ordinance codified by this chapter shall be deemed notice to all owners of real estate of their liability for water service supplied to any occupant or user of such service on their property.

B. Meter Reading – Billing. Water meters will be read and customers billed on the basis of those readings. Meters shall be read near the twentieth day of each month and customers billed before the end of that month. Residential customers will be billed every month before the end of the month at the rates specified in the current assembly-approved water-sewer rate schedule.

C. Records. The department will keep an accurate account on its books of all readings of meters.

D. Payment of Bills. Each bill rendered shall be due when mailed. If the bill is not paid by the billing due date specified on the bill, the account shall be considered delinquent.

E. Delinquent Accounts.

1. Delinquent Notice. A reminder of account delinquency may be sent, at the discretion of the chief fiscal officer, to each delinquent customer on or after 10 days after the account has become delinquent.

2. Turn-Off or Court Notice. On or after 15 days after an account becomes delinquent, a turn-off notice or a letter of intent to go to small claims court 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 thereto. Such date will not be less than five and no more than 15 days from the date of notice. A delivery to the premises served or mailing to the address of record of the customer shall be considered a delivery to the customer.

3. Service Turn-Off. On the turn-off date, the authorized department official or other agent of the borough shall turn off the service. The borough shall not be liable to tenants for damages resulting from water turn-off because of a landlord’s failure to pay delinquent accounts.

4. Service Charge. In all instances where water has been turned off because of a delinquent account, a nonrefundable connection/service charge shall be made as specified in the current assembly-approved water-sewer rate schedule for the termination and restoration of services in addition to replacement of the cash deposit as required in HBC 13.04.060(B).

5. Interest Charges. Accounts will be charged one and one-half percent interest per month after becoming delinquent.

6. Liens. If a lien has been recorded, any delinquent amount owed to the utility shall constitute a lien upon the real estate for which water service is supplied, and the utility is authorized to file sworn statements showing such delinquencies in the office of the recorder of the Haines recording district.

F. Charges for Partial Month. A customer shall be considered to be receiving water service as long as the customer’s control valve is turned on. Turn-on and shut-off procedures are specified in HBC 13.04.280 and 13.04.290, and fees are specified in the current assembly-approved water-sewer rate schedule. If service is for only a portion of the billing month, a nonmetered customer shall be billed as follows: up to 15 days in a calendar month – one-half the monthly charge; 16 days or more in a calendar month – full monthly charge. Metered customers shall be billed the flat rate plus standard charges for water usage registering on their meter.

G. Exemptions and Adjustments to Charges. The manager and the chief fiscal officer shall have the authority to make all necessary adjustments or exemptions to the charges established in this chapter when directed to do so by the assembly or if, in the opinion of the manager or chief fiscal officer, such actions are in the public interest. Any adjustments or exemptions shall be made a part of the borough’s public financial records along with an authorizing statement by the responsible party as to the reasons for the action taken. The decision of the manager or chief fiscal officer shall be final unless overruled by the assembly. (Ord. 13-10-352 § 8; Ord. 07-11-173 § 4)

13.04.280 Discontinuance of service.

A. On Customer Request. If the customer requests that the control valve be turned off, the request shall be accompanied by the minimum shut-off fee as specified by the current assembly-approved water-sewer rate schedule. Upon receipt of the shut-off fee, the borough will shut off the valve within four days and will bill the customer for any shut-off fees in excess of the amount paid, computed at an hourly rate as specified by the current assembly-approved water-sewer rate schedule. Once the control valve has been turned off, no monthly bill will be rendered until the customer requests that the valve be turned on.

B. Nonpayment of Bills. A customer’s water service may be discontinued if the water bill is not paid in accordance with the procedures listed in HBC 13.04.270(E) and (F).

C. Improper Customer Facilities.

1. Unsafe Facilities. The department may refuse to furnish water and may discontinue services to any premises without prior notice where plumbing facilities, appliances, or equipment using water are dangerous, unsafe or not in conformity with the Uniform Plumbing Code or other state or federal codes/guidelines which may apply.

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

D. Excessive and Wasteful Use. The department may refuse to furnish water and may discontinue service to any premises where excessive demands by one customer may result in inadequate service to others, where water is wastefully or negligently used, or when deemed necessary to protect the department from fraud or abuse.

E. Unauthorized Turn-On. 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 or the meter removed. Unauthorized turn-on of water service under these circumstances constitutes theft of services and may be punishable by law. The charges for shutting off the water at the main or removing the meter shall be as specified by the current assembly-approved water-sewer rate schedule. These charges will be billed to the offending customer. Until such charges are paid and the borough has reasonable assurance that the violation will not reoccur, the water will not be turned back on. HBC 13.04.290(B) also applies.

F. Noncompliance with Chapter. The department may, upon five days’ notice, discontinue service to a customer’s premises for failure to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 13-10-352 § 9; Ord. 07-11-173 § 4)

13.04.290 Restoration of service.

A. At Customer Request. If a customer requests that the customer’s control valve be turned on, the customer will be billed for the turn-on as specified by the current assembly-approved water-sewer rate schedule. Monthly billings will be rendered from the date of the turn-on in accordance with the procedures specified in HBC 13.04.270.

B. If the department has turned off a customer’s water for nonpayment, unsafe facilities, water waste, fraud, abuse, or noncompliance with this chapter, a restoration of service will only be made after payment of the standard deposit and applicable fees for turning the customer’s water service off and on and after the irregularity has been corrected and the department is assured that the irregularity will not reoccur. (Ord. 07-11-173 § 4)

13.04.300 Unusual demands.

When an abnormally large quantity of water is desired for filling a swimming pool, pond, or for other purposes, arrangements must be made with the department prior to taking such water so that other consumers will not be inconvenienced.

13.04.310 Fire hydrants.

A. Operation. No person or persons other than those designated and authorized by the department shall open any fire hydrant belonging to the department, attempt to draw water from it or in any manner damage or tamper with it. Any violation of this subsection will be prosecuted according to law. 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 received through a fire hydrant, an auxiliary external valve will be provided to control the flow of water. See HBC 13.04.130 for metering and billing procedures to be followed during fire hydrant usage. See HBC 13.04.045 for charges.

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

13.04.320 Responsibility for equipment.

A. Responsibility for Customer Equipment.

1. The borough 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 borough be liable for loss or damage due to interruption of service or temporary changes in pressure.

2. The customer shall be responsible for all outlet valves on the customer’s premises being turned off when the water service is turned on.

B. Responsibility for Department Equipment. Borough equipment on the customer’s premises remains the property of the borough and may not be repaired, replaced, or removed by the customer. No payment will be made to the property owner for the right to install, maintain, replace, or remove borough equipment on the customer’s premises.

C. Damage to Department Equipment. The customer shall be liable for any damage to equipment owned by the borough which is caused by an act of the customer or the customer’s tenants, agents, employees, contractors, licensees, or permittees.

13.04.330 Access to property.

All duly appointed employees of the department shall have free access at all reasonable hours of the day to any and all parts of structures and premises from which water is or may be delivered for the purposes of inspecting connections, the condition of conduits and fixtures, and the manner and extent in which the water is being used. The department does not, however, assume any duty to inspect the customer’s line, plumbing, and equipment, and shall not be responsible therefor.

13.04.340 Suspension of rules.

No employee of the department is authorized to suspend or alter any of the provisions contained in this chapter without specific approval or direction of the assembly, except in cases of emergency involving potential loss of life or property or which would place the water system operation in jeopardy.

13.04.350 Penalties.

Any person violating a provision of this chapter shall be punished by a fine in the amount set forth in HBC 1.24.040, or if no fine is there established, a fine of not more than $300.00. (Ord. 15-06-413 § 34)