Chapter 12.20


12.20.010    Waterworks division.

12.20.020    Connection requirements.

12.20.030    Permits and costs.

12.20.040    Building water service line installation.

12.20.050    Water main extensions.

12.20.060    Water meters.

12.20.070    Water service charges.

12.20.080    Power and authority of inspectors.

12.20.090    Violations.

12.20.100    Penalties.

12.20.010 Waterworks division.

A.    Waterworks Division Responsibility. The waterworks division shall be responsible for the water supply serving the city.

B.    Waterworks Management. The public works director (hereinafter “director”), under the direction and control of the city manager, shall be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the waterworks and shall have charge of all matters concerning the water supply, enforcement of waterworks regulations, accountability for materials and the manner in which the same are used or disposed of.

C.    Rules and Regulations. The director shall recommend such rules, ordinances or regulations for adoption to the city manager as may be required to ensure safe and efficient operation of the water supply system, for a water supply sufficient to satisfy the public needs, and for water quality, by protecting the water supply from polluting or unsanitary substances and conditions.

D.    Definitions.

1.    “Business or commercial buildings” means any building housing one or more spaces or rooms from which a mercantile pursuit, transaction, industry, occupation, trade or commerce is conducted for the primary purpose of financial gain.

2.    “Capital improvement fee” means a fee charged to pay for the installation and replacement of the water system infrastructure and is a one-time fee to use the system.

3.    “Capital improvements” means new facilities, expansion or extensions of the city waterworks system which are not considered general maintenance, repair, or operations.

4.    “Connection permit” means written authorization to connect to the water main or expand the size of the customer line that will be served by the city water system.

5.    “Developer” means a person, persons, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity requesting extension of water mains.

6.    “Dwelling unit” means as is defined in GMC Title 15.

7.    “Homeowner” means a person occupying and owning a residential dwelling unit and not building for resale, rental, or similar purposes.

8.    “Housekeeping facilities” shall include at least a cooking stove, heating facilities, bathroom group, refrigerator, and kitchen sink.

9.    “Immediately accessible” means access to something that does not require moving objects other than the access cover and where removal of the access cover does not require tools to open.

10.    “Licensed plumber” means a licensed plumber as defined in and licensed pursuant to the Colorado Revised Statutes 1973, as the same may be now or hereafter amended.

11.    “Opened for public use (street or alley)” means a street or alley legally platted or accepted by the city as a street or alley and which is being used by the general public as such.

12.    “Tap fee” means a fee charged for city materials and labor for the physical tap of the service line into the city’s distribution main.

13.    “User” means any person who uses, takes water from, or is connected to the water supply system of the city.

14.    “Water distribution main” means that dedicated portion of the waterworks system which transmits and distributes water of the city from treatment facilities (wells) and storage facilities to the users, excluding service lines. Water distribution mains are a minimum of six inches in diameter.

15.    “Water service line/building” means that portion of the waterworks located on private property connecting the user’s building or premises to the distribution main, and includes all piping to the user’s side of the water meter.

16.    “Water service line/city” means that portion of the waterworks which is located within the public street right-of-way or utility easement dedicated to and accepted by the city, to which one or more water service lines/buildings are connected, which connects to a water distribution main.

17.    “Waterworks facilities” means any and all rights and property of the city concerning water and water supply facilities. Any and all devices, facilities, structures, equipment or works owned or used by the city for the purpose of collection, storage, transmission, treatment, regulation or distribution of potable water, including land, wells, distribution mains, pumping facilities, metering devices and their appurtenances. (Ord. 11-2003 §§ 7, 8, 9; Ord. 16-1998 § 3; Code 1997 § 12-2-1).

12.20.020 Connection requirements.

A.    Connection Required.

1.    Connection to Water Distribution Main. The owner of any house or other building utilized for business or residence purposes which requires water-using devices situated within the city and abutting any public street, alley, right-of-way, or easement in which there is now located a water distribution main of the city is required, at owner’s expense, to connect such building by means of service lines to the distribution main in accordance with this chapter. New buildings or lots requiring water-using devices shall be required to extend the main to serve property in accordance with GMC 12.20.050 if a water main does not abut the property in question, but is located within 400 feet of any property line of the lot or parcel of land upon which the building is to be located, unless a waiver is granted by the city council pursuant to the provisions set forth herein. For the purposes of this section, the term “property line” shall include the city of Gunnison boundary if the boundary transects a single parcel of property.

2.    Connection to Individual Well. A building or lot requiring water-using devices may connect to an individual water well in lieu of connection to a water distribution main provided all of the following conditions are met:

a.    The parcel of land upon which the well is to be constructed is not less than two acres in size and is not located within an existing subdivision as defined in GMC Title 15, or was not created by a prior subdivision of land.

b.    The nearest water distribution main is located not less than 400 feet from any property line of the parcel of land on which the individual water well is to be constructed. This requirement may be waived by the city council upon a finding that the connection to the water distribution main is not feasible for economic or physical reasons.

c.    There shall be no more than one individual water well on any parcel of land.

d.    A valid permit for the construction and use of such well shall have been issued by the Colorado Division of Water Resources.

3.    Connection Required When Water Distribution Main Available. Within one year after written notification by the city that a water distribution main is available within 400 feet from any property line of the parcel of land served by an individual water well, the owner or user thereof shall connect the building utilizing said well to the water distribution main in accordance with this chapter. This requirement may be waived by the city council upon a finding that connection to the water distribution main is not feasible for economic or physical reasons.

4.    Interconnection Prohibited – Separate Service Line. Service lines shall not be connected in any manner to serve buildings or parcels of land which are not part of the site being developed, and which are not owned by the permittee. Separate buildings on existing platted lots are required to have an individual service connection if lots can be sold separately under current zoning. In cases where service lines have been constructed from a single tap on a distribution main to parcels of land under different ownership prior to enactment of this chapter, and where a shutoff has been installed so water may be turned off to each parcel under separate ownership, and where a meter has been installed to measure the use of each parcel, these extensions shall be permitted until a distribution main is laid in a street, alley, or public right-of-way abutting these parcels of land. Within one year of notification by the city that a distribution main is available in the street, alley, or right-of-way abutting the property, any improvements thereon shall be connected thereto as required in this section. (Ord. 11-2003 § 10; Ord. 12-1998 § 1; Code 1997 § 12-2-2).

12.20.030 Permits and costs.

A.    Connection Permit Required.

1.    A connection permit shall be required before any person may make a connection to the city distribution main or expand the size of an existing connection to a city distribution main. Buildings destroyed or razed and rebuilt will be given credit for the size of the preexisting service line connection to the distribution main.

2.    Any increase in the size of a water service line connected to a city distribution main shall be subject to the existing connection permit fees existing on the date such connection is made. Credit shall be given for the size of the preexisting water service line.

3.    There are two components to the connection permit fee which are associated with the use of the city water system. Those fees are: (a) the tap fee; and (b) the capital improvement fee.

B.    Connection Permit – Issuance – Requirements. A connection permit will not be issued nor will fees therefor be accepted until: (1) a needs exists; or (2) a building permit and/or state plumbing permit has been issued.

    The physical installation and connection of the service line and/or water-using devices for existing and new structures shall be completed within 180 days of acquiring the connection permit.

    One extension of the preceding time limits may be granted by the community development department for undue and unforeseen delays caused by circumstances beyond the control of the permittee.

    If the permittee fails to complete the physical connections within the prescribed time limit, the connection permit shall become null and void, permit fees refunded less $10.00 for administration fees, and a reapplication for a permit will be necessary. Prior to issuance of a connection permit, all fees shall be paid. (Ord. 16-1998 § 4; Code 1997 § 12-2-3).

12.20.040 Building water service line installation.

A.    General. New water service lines/buildings shall not serve properties that are not owned by the permittee.

1.    Subdivisions or sales of land that will create situations where a water service line/building could serve properties under different ownerships shall require the installation of a separate water service line/building to serve each of the new parcels. Original abandoned water service line/building must be disconnected. One or more water service lines/building may be connected to a water service line/city that is of adequate size and capacity to deliver sufficient water to all buildings and uses connected thereto.

2.    Location of service line connections to the water distribution main must be approved by the public works department, and as-built locations of water service lines shall be furnished to the department after connection. No water service line/building which is located underneath a building in separate ownership or any improvements located on property in separate ownership shall be approved.

3.    City/water service line installation within the city right-of-way, including excavation, bedding, compaction, and backfill, shall be done by authorized agents of the city. A person holding a current certification from the department of public works or a licensed plumber under the supervision of a master plumber and licensed by the state shall install water service line/buildings, including meter installation on private property, except that a homeowner may do the installation of a water service line/building on private property on which is placed a single dwelling unit of which he is a resident. Unauthorized persons doing water service line/building installation shall be deemed in violation of this chapter.

B.    State of Colorado Plumbing Code. All water service lines and service pipes connected to the city water system shall be installed in accordance with the Uniform Plumbing Code, current edition, state of Colorado, and amendments thereto, which have been legally adopted by the city and requirements of this chapter.

C.    Water Service Line Specifications.

1.    All service lines and pipes appurtenant thereto which are laid in streets, alleys, or other public ways shall be of type “K” copper.

2.    All service lines shall be laid at a depth of not less than six feet below the finished surface of the ground.

3.    All service lines shall be connected to a curb stop located at the property line and such stop shall be protected by an adjustable iron box or cylinder which shall be adjusted to be level with the adjacent ground surface.

4.    Backfill and compaction shall be in accordance with specifications adopted by the department of public works.

D.    Costs. Tap fees for water service line installation by the city within the city right-of-way, including material, labor, hardware, equipment use, and surface replacement (due to excavation) shall be paid by the permittee. This payment will be calculated by the public works department and is a part of the connection permit fee paid at the time of building permit issuance.

E.    Inspection – Tests. The permittee shall make arrangements for inspections of the service line, giving ample time (minimum of 24 hours) for the inspector to schedule same. The following inspections must be accomplished:

1.    Service line, curb stop, and adjustable cylinder (before backfill).

2.    Inspection of the service line piping from the curb stop to five feet outside of the exterior wall of the building in a manner approved by the community development department.

3.    The service line shall be tested for leaks in the presence of the community development department inspector (prior to backfill).

4.    Bedding, compaction, and backfill (during backfill).

F.    Maintenance Responsibility. The city shall be responsible for any problems with the service line within the public right-of-way. The city shall be responsible for and shall repair the excavation if and when settlement occurs within the public right-of-way.

    The property owner shall bear all responsibility for maintenance of the service line and excavation on private property.

G.    Abandonment of Service Lines. The public works department shall determine practical means for abandonment of a service line. (Ord. 8-2004 § 3; Ord. 11-2003 § 11; Ord. 7-1997 §§ 1, 2, 3; Code 1997 § 12-2-4).

12.20.050 Water main extensions.

A.    General – Applicability. These water main regulations apply to those portions of the city that have been legally subdivided and platted prior to the effective date of these regulations. Any portion of the city which has not been platted prior to enactment of this chapter shall comply with the requirements stated in the subdivision regulations.

B.    Length and Location of Extended Mains. All new water main extensions shall extend the full length of the property being served or developed and to the centerline of any adjacent street right-of-way.

    Water mains shall be located in a public right-of-way and location must be approved by the public works department.

C.    Engineering and Design.

1.    The city shall provide the engineering and design work at no cost to the developer for extensions of water mains that will be located in developed city streets or alleys that have been previously platted, accepted, and opened for use as a public right-of-way.

2.    In those instances where the streets, alleys, or rights-of-way have not been opened for public use (in platted areas), the developer shall furnish engineering data and plans conforming to city regulations and specifications. The design and engineering work shall be done by a professional engineer licensed by the state of Colorado and these engineering and design costs shall be borne by the developer. All plans shall require approval of the public works director.

D.    Excavation and Installation of City Water Mains. The developer shall be responsible for installation of the main and shall secure all permits and inspections as required by this chapter.

    All water mains installed in the city water system shall be formed of ductile iron manufactured in accordance with the requirements of ANSI/AWWA C151/A21.51. Mechanical joints for such pipe shall be in accordance with ANSI/AWWA C111/A21.11. Pipe thickness shall be Class 52 or greater and be designed in accordance with ANSI/AWWA C150/A21.50. Pipe and fittings shall have cement mortar lining and seal coating in accordance with ANSI/AWWA C104/A21.4. All pipe shall be provided with CAD welded continuity straps.

    Before any work is commenced, approval of the public works director must be secured.

    Upon completion of the main, prior to dedicating the line to the city, the developer shall furnish as-built plans stamped by a professional engineer licensed by the state of Colorado to the public works department. The plans shall show materials, location, elevations, and profiles of all components of the new water main.

    Required inspections:

1.    All contracted excavations for main line extension shall be installed and inspected to meet city specifications.

2.    Inspections shall be required before and during the bedding of the water main. The developer must notify the public works department inspector 24 hours prior to backfill placement.

3.    A leakage test, with the public works department inspector present, must be conducted either before or after the main is buried.

    Installation of the water main, all components of the main, and backfill, shall be in accordance with this chapter, the Plumbing Code, current edition, and city specifications.

    Work shall not be covered until approved by the public works department.

E.    Testing and Disinfection of Mains. City distribution mains shall be disinfected and tested in accordance with AWWA Standard C601 prior to being placed in service. Hydrostatic tests shall be performed on all water main installations as specified in AWWA Standard C600. Tests will be observed by and meet with the approval of the public works department.

    If chlorine tablets are to be used as a disinfecting means, the installing contractor shall place the tablets as required by AWWA C601.

    Other means of disinfection shall be accomplished by qualified city personnel.

    The city shall test the water for and assure adequate disinfection in accordance with the AWWA Standard C601.

F.    Costs – Responsibility Of. Costs of materials for water main extensions including pipe, manholes, labor and testing shall be borne by the developer. In cases where main lines will benefit multiple land owners or properties, the use of assessment districts (local improvements) is encouraged in order that the costs can be shared by all of those who benefit from the new infrastructure. Local improvements can be initiated by either the city or by petition of land owners and are addressed in Chapter 10.10 GMC.

    If the city requires a main to be installed which is larger than six inches and which is larger than required to serve or provide fire protection to a subdivision, the city shall bear the difference in cost of the hardware.

G.    Dedication of Mains to City. Upon completion of the extended main to the satisfaction of the public works department, the developer for which the water main was extended shall convey said water main to the city, relinquishing all ownership rights. This dedication will be prepared by the developer and approved by the city attorney.

    Upon acceptance by and conveyance to the city, the developer shall warrant the materials and workmanship of the conveyed facilities for a period of one year from date of acceptance. Upon the expiration of the warranty period, the city shall assume all responsibilities of ownership and maintenance of the main. Until the main is conveyed, the responsibility and maintenance shall be borne by the developer.

    No water shall be turned on to the user’s premises except for testing purposes until ownership of the main has been conveyed to the city.

H.    Extension of Mains Outside City Limits. Extension of water distribution mains to areas outside the corporate limits of the city shall require city council approval. (Ord. 7-1997 §§ 1, 2, 3; Code 1997 § 12-2-5).

12.20.060 Water meters.

A.    General. Each city water user shall install a water meter in compliance with the requirements of this chapter.

    Location of every meter shall be approved by the public works department and shall be located within three feet of an access opening which measures at least 22 inches by 24 inches in area. This opening must provide direct and immediate access to the water meter. Water meters shall be located so as to provide a clear area one foot above the meter, nine inches below and three feet in front of the meter to provide space for removal or changing of the meter. Water meters must be kept immediately accessible to city personnel for reading and maintenance and access shall be kept clear from obstructions.

    New location of meters for remodeling must adhere to the rules for installation of new meters as directed by this chapter.

    If the water meter is not equipped with a read-o-matic (remote reading device) for normal monthly meter reading, any access means shall be kept clear of snow, ice, and debris. If the city determines that the meter access is obstructed, the city may request by mail that the user remedy the problem within 48 hours after receipt of the letter or the user’s water bill shall be estimated.

B.    Size and Maintenance of Water Meters. The city shall purchase, retain title to, maintain, and furnish to the user a five-eighths-inch-by-three-fourths-inch water meter for any installation required by the city.

    In cases where the user wishes to install a water meter which is not required by the city, the user shall purchase, maintain, and will be the sole owner of the meter.

    Any meter so installed shall comply with regulations governing water meters. An agreement for testing and maintenance of these meters by the city may be made with approval of the public works department.

    Any required water meter larger than five-eighths inch by three-fourths inch shall be purchased through the city by the user. Only the cost of the new meter, minus the cost of a five-eighths-inch-by-three-fourths-inch meter shall be borne by the user.

    The city shall maintain the larger meters and will retain ownership of same.

    Water meters may be removed at any time for service and repair at the discretion of the public works department.

C.    Water Meter Installation. Valves shall be installed in the water service line on both sides of the water meter within three feet of the water meter at the expense of the water user.

    A removable grounding strap shall be attached to the service line on both sides of the water meter so as to ensure a good conductor for water pipes used as a ground for the house’s electrical system.

    Installation of any new or relocated water meter shall require that a remote reading device be installed next to the electric meters at a height which can be read by the meter reader without use of a ladder, etc.

D.    Pit Meters. Pit meters shall be allowed only when it has been determined by the director that an inside installation is or would be impractical. When pit meters are allowed, they shall be located as near the property line as practical and be kept free from any obstructions.

    Where a pit meter is allowed, the pit and meter shall be installed in accordance with city specifications for pit meters.

E.    Protection Against Freezing. Individual dwelling unit water systems shall be capable of having the water shut off and drained independently of other dwelling units’ systems, if a multiunit configuration.

    Any water user who has an individually metered service shall notify the city at least five working days prior to vacating the premises during the colder months and make arrangements for the city to remove the water meter. When the user intends to reoccupy the premises, he should make arrangements with the city to have the water meter reinstalled, giving the city ample time (minimum of 24 hours) to schedule same.

    It is the responsibility of the user to prevent the meter from freezing by adequate protection. If the water user fails to have the water meter removed prior to vacating the premises, the user shall be liable for any damage to the meter caused by freezing.

    The city assumes no liability for pipes, meters, or other appurtenances on private property.

F.    Safety. Water meter locations, entrances, and accesses to water meters shall be such as to provide safe entrance for city personnel to the meter for removal, repair, or monthly readings.

G.    Failure of Water Meter. If a water meter shall fail to register in any month, the user shall be charged according to the average quantity of water used in a similar period when the meter was in order. The preceding also applies to meters unaccessible due to failure to meet safety requirements of subsection (E) of this section. (Ord. 7-1997 §§ 1, 2, 3; Code 1997 § 12-2-6).

12.20.070 Water service charges.

A.    The User Charge. The user charge shall generate adequate annual revenues to pay costs of annual operation and maintenance, including replacement, of other related waterworks system costs which the city may determine by ordinance to be paid by the user charge. User charges are outlined in the water system fee schedule.

B.    Review of User Charge System. The city will review the user charge system periodically and revise user charge rates as necessary to ensure that the system generates adequate revenues to pay the costs of operation and maintenance, including replacement, and that the system continues to provide for the proportional distribution of operation and maintenance, including replacement costs, among users and user classes.

C.    Charges for Pipe Thawing and Turning on Water. If it becomes necessary to have the service line between the distribution main and the curb stop thawed, the city will provide this service at no cost to the customer. The city will not thaw pipes on private property.

    It shall be unlawful for anyone other than authorized city personnel to turn off or turn on water to a premises at the curb stop unless the person doing so is expressly authorized by the public works director to do so.

D.    Emergency Water Provisions. Whenever there is a shortage of water, and in the opinion of the city council an emergency exists, the council shall have the power to regulate watering hours or ration water use by resolution. Such resolution shall be published at least one time in a newspaper of general circulation in the city, and such power shall continue until such time as the council voids the resolution. Water usage contrary to the emergency regulations may warrant water shutoff by the city. (Code 1997 § 12-2-7).

12.20.080 Power and authority of inspectors.

A.    Entry of Properties. The public works director and other duly authorized employees of the city bearing proper credentials and identification shall be permitted to enter all properties for the purposes of discontinuing service, inspection, observation, measurement, sampling, and testing pertinent to water supply in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

B.    Limitations. While performing the necessary work on private properties, the public works director or duly authorized employees of the city shall observe all safety rules applicable to the premises established by the person, and the person shall be held harmless for injury or death to the city employees, shall indemnify the person against loss or damage to its property by city employees and against liability claims and demands for personal injury or property damage asserted against the person, except as such may be caused by negligence or failure of the person to maintain safe conditions as required.

C.    Entry of Areas Within Easement. The public works director and other duly authorized employees of the city bearing proper credentials and identification shall be permitted to enter all private properties through which the city holds either a duly negotiated easement or a prescriptive easement for the purposes of, but not limited to, inspection, observation, measurement, sampling, repair, and maintenance of any portion of the waterworks facilities lying within said easement. All entry and subsequent work, if any, on said easement, shall be done in full accordance with the terms of the duly negotiated easement pertaining to the private property involved. (Code 1997 § 12-2-8).

12.20.090 Violations.

A.    Water Turned Off. The city reserves the right to turn off water for violations of this chapter if no other means can be found, satisfactory to the city, to correct the violation.

B.    If water for a premises has been turned off for a violation of this chapter or for nonpayment, a reconnection charge shall be paid prior to turn-on.

C.    Each day that a violation exists shall constitute a separate offense. (Code 1997 § 12-2-9).

12.20.100 Penalties.

Any person, firm or corporation convicted of violating the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to the penalties provided in Chapter 4.20 GMC. (Code 1997 § 12-2-10).