Chapter 14.08


14.08.010    Purpose.

14.08.020    Definitions.

14.08.040    Water connection and extension permit.

14.08.050    Water meter installation.

14.08.060    Disconnection due to nonpayment.

14.08.070    Frozen pipes – City not liable.

14.08.075    Operation of water valves, fire hydrants and curb stops.

14.08.080    Discontinuance of water.

14.08.090    Priority use of water.

14.08.100    Surplus water – Sale.

14.08.110    Water shortage or emergency declaration.

14.08.120    Water shortage or emergency – Interruption of sale of surplus water – Other measures.

14.08.130    Water shortage or emergency – Appeal.

14.08.150    Service deposits.

14.08.160    Bulk water sales.

14.08.170    Water filling station permit.

14.08.010 Purpose.

It is the intent of this chapter to establish laws for the operation of the Homer public water system. The Homer public water system may also be called “HPWS” or the “water system” in this chapter, permit applications, and/or City regulations and policies. The provisions in this chapter also provide for the financial management of the water system. [Ord. 19-23(S-2)(A) § 4, 2019].

14.08.020 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings set forth below:

“Bulk water” means water purchased from the City and supplied to the customer by means of fire hydrant, tanker truck, or by any other means other than through a direct connection from a water main to the premises where the water is consumed.

“Bulk water customer” means a person who purchases bulk water from the City.

A “directly adjacent” water main either (1) extends the entire length of the frontage of the lot along a public easement or right-of-way; or (2) extends at least 10 feet into the easement or right-of-way adjacent to the lot and the Public Works Director has determined that at no time will the water main be extended to serve additional lots.

“Multiple-family dwelling” means a building or portion thereof designed for occupancy by two or more families living independently in separate dwelling units which may or may not share common entrances and/or other spaces.

“Off-site water connection line” means the part of the water connection line located in a public easement or right-of-way.

“On-site water connection line” means the part of the water connection line located on the property being serviced by that line.

“Premises” means a lot, parcel of land, building or establishment.

“Reseller” or “reseller of water” means a person who purchases water from the City and, for valuable consideration, provides any quantity of such water to another person, but it shall not include any eating or drinking establishment that provides its customers City water only by the glass.

“Spaghetti line” means a pipe or line connecting to a water main that is not directly adjacent to the lot being serviced by the line or pipe.

“Standard service account” means an established City water utility account for metered water service through a direct connection from the City water main to the premises served.

“Surplus water” means water that the City administration has determined, in its sole discretion, is in excess of the water needed to meet the consumption, sanitation, and fire protection needs within the boundaries of the City.

“Water connection line” means a line or pipe carrying water from the water main to a premises.

“Water extension” means an extension of the water main.

“Water filling station” means a non-City facility used to supply bulk water from the water system to a tanker truck or other means of conveyance. [Ord. 19-23(S-2)(A) § 4, 2019].

14.08.040 Water connection and extension permit.

a. All property owners connecting to the water system must obtain a permit prior to starting construction.

b. The water system connection and extension permit application shall be available at the City Clerk’s office, the Public Works Department, and/or on the City’s website. The permit fee must be paid at the time the application is submitted. The criteria for the permit shall be included in the application.

c. The Public Works Director or his or her designee may revoke, modify or impose conditions upon a water system permit if he or she finds, in his or her sole discretion, that revocation, conditions or modifications to the permit are required to prevent or stop damage to the water system or protect public health or sanitation.

d. Installation of a water system connection or extension of a water main must meet the standards and specifications in the permit application, the Homer City Code, and any applicable State or Federal law or regulations, including but not limited to State of Alaska Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health requirements. Except as otherwise provided for in the Homer City Code, permits for connections to the water system or an extension of a water main to properties that are not served with City sewer service will not be issued.

e. The Public Works Director may authorize a waiver of the requirement that connection to the City’s sewer system is a prerequisite to a connection to the City’s water system, under the following conditions:

1. The property served will be developed as a single-family residence.

2. The water main to which the property will be connected must be directly adjacent to subject property.

3. The design, installation and operation of the on-site wastewater disposal system must be in accordance with Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (“ADEC”).

4. A copy of the annual inspection report for the on-site wastewater disposal system must be submitted to the Department of Public Works, within 30 days of the date of the inspection.

5. In addition to the remedies set forth in subsection (c) of this section, the Public Works Director may revoke the waiver in the event the inspection report for the wastewater disposal system indicates deficiencies and after having been given 60 days of the date of the inspection report, the deficiencies have not corrected and a plan for correcting the deficiencies has not been submitted.

f. A property owner installing an on-site water connection line or extending a water main is solely responsible for all costs and liability associated with or arising from the excavation, connection, and installation of the on-site water line or water main extension. [Ord. 21-27 § 1, 2021; Ord. 20-74 § 1, 2020; Ord. 19-23(S-2)(A) § 4, 2019].

14.08.050 Water meter installation.

a. Property owners must install a water meter and related components before they will be eligible to connect to the water system. Installation of all water meters must comply with installation instructions drafted by the Public Works Department and approved by City Council and available at the City Clerk’s office and Public Works office. A violation of the installation instructions shall constitute a violation of this chapter.

b. The property owner required to install the water meter shall be responsible for all costs associated with installation of that meter and its corresponding mechanisms and a rental fee for the meter from the City.

c. The City shall have the right to install a water meter remote on a building serviced or scheduled to be serviced by the water system. The meter shall be the size and model indicated by the Public Works Director.

d. Water meters remain City property. Persons renting meters shall be responsible for damage arising from external damage and freezing. Internal wear and tear and failure of the meter due to general external wear and tear shall be the responsibility of the City. Customers shall provide reasonable access for City personnel to maintain, monitor, and service a meter. [Ord. 19-23(S-2)(A) § 4, 2019].

14.08.060 Disconnection due to nonpayment.

The City may discontinue water service for nonpayment of any utility service charges, connection fees and related charges. The City shall provide notice to a water system user at least 30 days before discontinuing water service due to nonpayment. [Ord. 19-23(S-2)(A) § 4, 2019].

14.08.070 Frozen pipes – City not liable.

Customers will be solely responsible for all on-property frozen water connections and extensions. [Ord. 19-23(S-2)(A) § 4, 2019].

14.08.075 Operation of water valves, fire hydrants and curb stops.

Only persons authorized by the City may operate water valves, fire hydrants, and/or curb stops. [Ord. 19-23(S-2)(A) § 4, 2019].

14.08.080 Discontinuance of water.

Water may at any time be shut off from water mains without notice for repairs, extensions or other necessary purposes. The City will not be liable to the customer for any loss or damage caused by disruptions in water service. [Ord. 19-23(S-2)(A) § 4, 2019].

14.08.090 Priority use of water.

The first priority of use of the water produced by the water system is to provide for human consumption, sanitation, and fire protection needs of water consumers within the boundaries of the City of Homer. [Ord. 19-23(S-2)(A) § 4, 2019].

14.08.100 Surplus water – Sale.

a. Subject to subsection (b) of this section and other provisions of this chapter, water may be made available for sale to bulk water customers, resellers, and others for export or consumption outside the boundaries of the City of Homer.

b. Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, City Council may by resolution restrict, interrupt, decrease, or terminate the sale of water for export or consumption outside the boundaries of the City if Council determines it is in the best interests of the City to do so. [Ord. 19-23(S-2)(A) § 4, 2019].

14.08.110 Water shortage or emergency declaration.

a. City Council may declare a water shortage and restrict the use of water within the boundaries of the City if it finds, via resolution, and after conducting a public hearing, insufficient water available to meet the sanitation, fire protection, and consumption needs within the boundaries of the City.

b. City Council may declare a surplus water shortage via resolution and restrict use of surplus water as Council deems necessary and in the City’s best interest.

c. The City Manager may declare a water emergency of up to 30 days if he or she finds that there is an imminent threat or actual impairment to the City’s ability to meet water supply demands. The City Manager shall submit a summary of the declaration of water emergency and the reasons for the declaration at the next regularly scheduled Council meeting. [Ord. 19-23(S-2)(A) § 4, 2019].

14.08.120 Water shortage or emergency – Interruption of sale of surplus water – Other measures.

a. If a water shortage or water emergency is declared, the City shall first restrict, decrease, interrupt, or terminate the sale of surplus water. The City may take any other measures that the City determines, in its sole discretion, are necessary to address the water shortage or emergency so long as it does so without discrimination between similarly situated consumers.

b. Any measures adopted in response to a declared water shortage or emergency shall, for the duration of the period of the declared shortage or emergency, prevail over any conflicting provisions of law establishing rights of persons to receive specific or proportionate amounts of the water supply.

c. Any measures adopted in response to a declared water shortage or water emergency will be made available for public inspection at the City Clerk’s office, at the City Library, and at the Public Works Department while those measures are in effect. Notice of the measures shall also be posted on the City’s website within 48 hours after the declaration of the water shortage or emergency. [Ord. 19-23(S-2)(A) § 4, 2019].

14.08.130 Water shortage or emergency – Appeal.

Any person aggrieved by a City Council declaration of a water shortage or water emergency under HCC 14.08.110, or by any action taken by the City in response to such a declaration, may appeal the declaration or action to the Superior Court. The appeal must be filed within 30 days from the date the declaration was adopted or action taken. The declaration or action of the City shall not be reversed except on the ground that such declaration or action was fraudulent, arbitrary, or capricious. [Ord. 19-23(S-2)(A) § 4, 2019].

14.08.150 Service deposits.

a. All water service users, at the time the service is established, shall pay a deposit based on meter size, established by Council via resolution.

b. Deposits and any accrued interest shall be refunded:

1. After one year of service provided the customer has made all payments owed in full and at the time due; or

2. No more than 45 days after the date customer is disconnected from the water system or stops receiving service. Service deposits and any interest shall first be applied to any outstanding balance owed by the disconnecting customer. If there is a balance, the remaining deposit and interest after the payment of that balance shall be refunded to the disconnecting customer.

c. If a customer has had utility service with the City within the last two years and paid their City utility payments on time, the Finance Department may waive the deposit requirement under this section.

d. Customers requesting an automatic continuance of utility service between renters may enter into a landlord agreement with the City for this purpose. [Ord. 19-23(S-2)(A) § 4, 2019].

14.08.160 Bulk water sales.

a. Bulk water sales rates shall be established by City Council via resolution. The schedule for service fees shall apply to all bulk water service requests.

b. The meter deposit will be returned when the meter is returned undamaged.

c. If a bulk water customer purchases a meter from the City for measuring the quantity of water purchased it shall be exempt from the monthly meter service charge. It is the responsibility of the bulk water customer to maintain that meter so the City can accurately determine the amount of water being purchased. In the event the meter fails, the customer must repair or replace the meter at its sole expense. The City may at any time test the meter for accuracy and reject a repaired meter that it is not accurate. [Ord. 19-23(S-2)(A) § 4, 2019].

14.08.170 Water filling station permit.

a. No person shall establish or operate a water filling station to obtain water from the water system unless that person has a water filling station permit issued by the City.

b. A person shall apply for a water filling station permit on a form provided by the City. The permit application is available at the City Clerk’s office, the Public Works Department, and may be available on the City’s website. The permit fee must be submitted with the application.

c. The water filling station permit criteria shall be included in the permit application and any conditions and terms of the permit shall be included on the face of the permit. Water filling station permit terms and conditions may include, but are not to be limited to, uniform or site-specific flow rate restrictions, storage tank requirements, and other provisions required by the Public Works Department to minimize adverse effects on the water system and promote its efficient operation. [Ord. 19-23(S-2)(A) § 4, 2019].