Chapter 13.36


Article I. General Provisions

13.36.010    Title.

13.36.020    Statutory authority.

13.36.030    Intent.

13.36.040    Definitions.

13.36.050    Notices.

13.36.060    Special conditions or circumstances.

13.36.070    Review by board.

Article II. Service Requirements

13.36.080    Service area.

13.36.090    Delivery standards.

13.36.100    Water main requirements.

13.36.110    Service to property not adjacent to water main.

13.36.120    Emergency interruptions.

13.36.130    Scheduled interruptions.

13.36.140    Apportionment during shortages.

13.36.150    Regulation of water usage.

13.36.160    Waste of water prohibited.

13.36.170    Damage to property.

13.36.180    Tampering with county property.

13.36.190    Miscellaneous.

Article III. Service Installations

13.36.200    Classifications of service.

13.36.210    Size determination.

13.36.220    Meters.

13.36.230    Location.

13.36.240    Ownership.

13.36.250    Private fire service.

13.36.260    Combined service.

13.36.270    Temporary service.

13.36.280    Nonstandard service.

13.36.290    Separate service installations for separate units.

13.36.300    Multifamily developments.

13.36.310    Installation of county facilities by developer.

13.36.320    Cross-connections prohibited.

13.36.330    Service installation restrictions.

13.36.340    Design and construction.

13.36.350    Master house or building shut-off valves.

13.36.360    Pressure regulators.

13.36.370    Backflow protection.

Article IV. Service Applications and Terminations

13.36.380    Application for service.

13.36.390    Termination of service.

Article V. Bills and Payments

13.36.400    Basis for billing.

13.36.410    Rendering of bills and payments.

Article VI. Rates and Charges

13.36.420    Water rates and other charges.

Article VII. Main Extensions

13.36.430    Requirements generally.

13.36.440    Oversized main extensions.

13.36.450    Main extensions to single residential properties.

Article VIII. Water Resources and Will-Serve

13.36.460    Will-serve statements.

Article IX. Enforcement and Penalty Provisions

13.36.470    Penalty for violation.

Article X. Miscellaneous Provisions

13.36.480    Rulings to be final—Appeal.

13.36.490    Relief on application.

13.36.500    Relief on motion.

Article I. General Provisions

13.36.010 Title.

This chapter will be known and may be cited as the Humboldt County water utility ordinance. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.020 Statutory authority.

The ordinance codified in this chapter is adopted pursuant to NRS 244.151 and 244.157. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.030 Intent.

The board of county commissioners intends to operate a publicly owned water enterprise to provide water service for residents of Humboldt County. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.040 Definitions.

“Applicant” means the person making application for water service, a change in service, main extension or other service provided by this chapter.

“Application” is a written request for water service, change in service, main extension, or other service provided by this chapter as distinguished from an inquiry as to the availability of, or charges for, such service.

“Backflow preventer” means a county approved device or means to prevent backflow into the potable water system.

“Billing period” is the period for which a billing is made. It may be for an average month and need not coincide with the calendar month (i.e., may be billed on a cycle of twenty-nine to thirty-one days).

“Board” means the Humboldt County board of commissioners.

“Commercial” means any building, structure or facility or a portion thereof devoted to any use other than single-family residential including, but not limited to, churches, schools, mobile home parks, recreational vehicle parks, apartments, condominiums and townhouses.

“Contractor” is a person duly licensed by the State of Nevada to perform the type of work to be done under the application and/or permit.

“County” is Humboldt County, Nevada, or when the context requires it means an authorized representative of the county or county employee.

“Cross-connection” means any connection or arrangement, physical or otherwise, between a potable water supply system and any plumbing fixture or any tank, receptacle, equipment or device, through which it may be possible for nonpotable, used, unclean, polluted and contaminated water, or other substances, to enter into any part of such potable water system under any condition.

“Cubic foot” is the volume of water which occupies one cubic foot. A cubic foot is equal to 7.481 gallons.

“Customer” is a person who receives water service or who is the owner of the property to which water is served.

“Date of presentation” is the date upon which a bill or notice is either postmarked or hand delivered to the customer.

“Delinquent” means an account that has not been paid by the first day of the calendar month following the payment due date specified on the bill.

“Developer” means any person engaged in or proposing development of property.

“Development” means a property being improved and requiring water service and/or installation of water mains to and possibly on the property being improved.

“Easement” means an acquired legal right for the specific use of land owned by others.

“Emergency” means a sudden, unexpected occurrence demanding immediate action.

“Employee” means any individual employed by the county excluding independent contractors, consultants, and their employees.

“Flat rate service” is a service charge allowing unfettered water service irrespective of the measured quantity of water used.

“Gallon” is the volume of water which occupies two hundred thirty-one cubic inches.

“Inspector” means an individual designated by the county to inspect facilities provided for in this chapter.

“Main” means:

1. A pipe or conduit within a distribution system which is used or intended for the conveyance of water to more than one service connection; or

2. A dedicated pipeline for the conveyance of water from its source or a pumping station to a treatment facility, storage structure or distribution system.

“Main extension” is the alteration, extension or replacement of water distribution mains and necessary facilities.

“May” is permissive (see “shall”).

“Meter” is a mechanical device for the purpose of measuring the quantity of water used.

“Meter box” means a pit-like enclosure that protects one or more water meters installed in the ground outside a building and allows access for a person to read the meters.

“Meter installation” is the facility, fixture and/or meter box in which the meter is located.

“Metered service” is a service for which charges are computed on the basis of measured quantities of water.

“Must” is mandatory (see “may”).

“Owner” means a person who holds legal title to the real property or who is under contract to purchase the real property to which service is provided. Any owner of real property served by water pursuant to this chapter is deemed a customer, whether or not such owner was the applicant for service.

“Permit” means any written authorization required pursuant to this or any other regulation of the service area for the installation or operation of any water works.

“Person” means any individual, firm, association, organization, partnership, trust, company, corporation or entity, and any municipal, political, or governmental corporation, district, body or agency.

“Pressure regulator” means a valve with a horizontal disk or diaphragm for automatically sustaining or reducing water pressure in a main, lateral or service line at or to a preset value, including a pressure reducing valve, a pressure-sustaining valve and a valve that incorporates both features.

“Private fire service” means a service installation through which water is obtained for fire protection exclusively.

“Property” means all of the real property employed in a single, integrated activity operating under one name in one or more dwellings, buildings or locations; provided, that such dwellings, buildings and/or locations are situated on a single unit of property.

Service Area. See HCC 13.36.080.

“Service installation” means all work and materials required to bring water service from a water main to the property including actual tapping of water main, installation of corporation stop and required clamps, pipe to property line, curb stop valve, meter coupling, meter box with lid, meter or spacer, insulation blanket, pavement cut, trenching, backfill and patching.

“Shall” is mandatory (see “may”).

“Spacer” means a length of pipe installed in lieu of a meter.

“Water resource” means water rights and facilities necessary to bring a drought resistant, fully dependable water source to the county’s water system. (Ord. 1-02-24 Exh. A; Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.050 Notices.

A. Notices from the county to a customer will normally be given in writing, and either delivered or mailed to customer’s last known address. Where conditions warrant and in emergencies, the county may resort to notification by any other means. Failure by the customer to accept a certified letter notice will not relieve the customer of responsibility for contents of notice.

B. Notices from the customer to the county may be given in writing at: Humboldt County Comptroller-Auditor, 50 W. Fifth Street, Room 203, Winnemucca, NV 89445. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.060 Special conditions or circumstances.

In the event that conditions or circumstances arise which are not specifically covered by this chapter, the board may take any type of action, including establishing temporary rates and charges, which, in the board’s discretion, are reasonably warranted under the circumstances. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.070 Review by board.

This chapter may be reviewed from time to time by the board to ensure that the provisions of this chapter are kept up to date, and that the charges and fees are adequate to meet the costs of operating and maintaining the water system, capital improvements and debt retirement. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

Article II. Service Requirements

13.36.080 Service area.

“Service area” means that portion of Humboldt County approved by the Nevada State Engineer as a place of use for water rights now owned by the county or as may be acquired by the county for service described in this chapter or as may be described in any amendment hereto. Only properties within the boundaries of the service area are eligible to receive water from the county in accordance with this chapter. The county will determine the system’s ability and water resource to serve development proposed within the service area in accordance with the water resources and will-serve policies set forth in this chapter. (Ord. 1-02-24 Exh. A; Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.090 Delivery standards.

The county will supply only such water at such pressure as may be available from time to time as a result of the normal operation of the county water system. All applicants for service installations or water service will be required to accept such conditions of pressure and service as are provided by the distribution system at the location of the proposed service installation, and to hold the county harmless for any damages arising out of low pressure or high pressure conditions or interruptions in service. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.100 Water main requirements.

New applications for water service will be accepted only if a water main extends or is extended to property being served and the water main is within a dedicated right-of-way or easement granted to the county. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.110 Service to property not adjacent to water main.

In order to obtain service to property not immediately adjacent to a water main, the applicant will be required to provide a main extension or the applicant may make application for a nonstandard service if the property meets the requirements of this chapter. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.120 Emergency interruptions.

The county will make all reasonable efforts to prevent interruptions to service and, when such interruptions occur, will endeavor to reestablish service with the shortest possible delay consistent with the safe operation of the system, and safety to customers and the general public. Where any emergency interruption of service affects the service to any public fire protection device, the county will promptly endeavor to notify the fire chief of such interruption and of subsequent restoration of normal service. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.130 Scheduled interruptions.

Whenever the county finds it necessary to schedule an interruption to its service, it will, where feasible, notify all customers to be affected by the interruption, stating the approximate time and anticipated duration of the interruption. Scheduled interruptions will be made at such hours as will provide the least inconvenience to the customers consistent with reasonable county operations. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.140 Apportionment during shortages.

During times of threatened or actual water shortage, the county will apportion the supply in the manner that appears most equitable under prevailing circumstances, and with due regard to public health and safety. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.150 Regulation of water usage.

The county may from time to time: (A) require that a watering schedule be followed; (B) require that use of water be curtailed; or (C) provide incentives for off peak use of water, by notice to each customer. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.160 Waste of water prohibited.

No customer may knowingly or negligently permit leaks or waste of water on a customer’s property or onto adjacent properties, roads, or drainage ditches. The county may discontinue the service if such conditions are not corrected within five days after giving the customer written notice. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.170 Damage to property.

The county will not be liable for damage to property resulting from water running from open or faulty piping or fixtures on the customer’s property. Customers who request activation of a service will be responsible for damage resulting from such activation due to open or faulty piping and fixtures on the customer’s property. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.180 Tampering with county property.

No person except an authorized employee or authorized representative of the county may at any time, in any manner, perform any work on any part of the county’s system or interfere with the use or operation of the system. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.190 Miscellaneous.

When an abnormally large quantity of water is desired for filling a swimming pool or for other purposes, arrangements must be made with the county prior to taking such water. Permission to take water in unusual quantities will be given only if it can be safely delivered through the county facilities and if other customers are not inconvenienced thereby. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

Article III. Service Installations

13.36.200 Classifications of service.

All services installed by or for the county will be classified as follows for billing purposes:

A. Domestic. Domestic service includes all service installations through which water is delivered for all purposes except private fire protection.

B. Private Fire Service. Private fire service includes all service installations through which water is delivered onto private property for fire protection exclusively.

C. Combined. Combined service includes all service installations through which water is delivered for domestic use and for on-site private fire protection.

D. Temporary. Temporary service includes any type of nonpermanent connection for delivery of water. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.210 Size determination.

A. The county reserves the right to determine the size of the service installation and meter (if any) to be installed, giving consideration to the needs of the applicant and the capacity of the main to which the service is to be connected. No service installation will be approved of a size larger than can be supplied by the main without adversely affecting service to other customers.

B. In the event an existing main is determined to be inadequate to meet the requirements of an applicant and a main extension will provide for those requirements, provisions of this chapter applying to main extensions will be followed.

C. Whenever two mains are available from which service can be provided, the county will, at its option, determine the main to which the service installation will be made. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.220 Meters.

All commercial service installations and all residential service installations over three-fourths inch must have meters and will be billed according to the appropriate metered rate schedule unless the board approves other methods of measuring water. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.230 Location.

Unless otherwise authorized by the county, service installations must be installed at right angles to a main and the point of connection must not be within a street intersection. The meter location must be within the public right-of-way or easement adjacent to existing or proposed curb line. In alleys or easements, meters must be located at a point as close as practicable to the property line near which the main is located. All meters must be located outside of driveways and other areas where access by county employees for operation and maintenance may be restricted. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.240 Ownership.

Service installations, including laterals, meters, boxes and other appurtenances are the property of the county, and the county is responsible for the maintenance and repair of such facilities, subject to any agreements covering the installation of such facilities. All pipe and fittings on the property owner’s side of the meter must be installed by and maintained by the property owner. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.250 Private fire service.

A. Any person desiring to connect a private fire line to a county water main must make application to the county as provided in this chapter and gain approval prior to initiating any work.

B. The connection of the fire protection facilities to the distribution main will be installed at the cost of the applicant. Such cost will not be subject to refund.

C. If a distribution main of adequate size to serve a private fire protection system in addition to all other normal service does not exist in the street or alley adjacent to the property to be served, then a service main from the nearest existing main of adequate capacity must be installed in accordance with this chapter.

D. No unauthorized connections to this fire protection line will be allowed. The county may require installation of an approved detector check valve.

E. Monthly charges will be assessed to the customer for private fire protection service in accordance with this chapter. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.260 Combined service.

Unless otherwise authorized by the county, combined service installations must be equipped with a meter of a size, type and quality approved by the county. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.270 Temporary service.

Temporary service may be authorized for limited periods of time when the usual source of supply fails or is declared to be potentially harmful or in an emergency or other circumstance that endangers health or property. Temporary connections may be provided, at the discretion of the county, to a fire hydrant or any available outlet from county facilities. The applicant must pay all installation costs and applicable fees. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.280 Nonstandard service.

Nonstandard service may be authorized when in the opinion of the county a main extension is not necessary for orderly development of the system, fire protection, service to other property or other reasons. Nonstandard service laterals from the meter to the customer must not be located within public thoroughfare. A copy of the recorded easement grant over private property for the service lateral must be made available to the county. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.290 Separate service installations for separate units.

Each residence or commercial unit must have an individual service installation and shutoff whether or not the units are constructed on the same lot. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.300 Multifamily developments.

A multifamily development may consist of attached or detached single-family units, townhouses, cluster units, condominiums, garden apartments, mobile home parks, recreational vehicle parks or any combination thereof. A separate metered service installation is required for each dwelling unit within the development. Separate service installations are required for common areas, including irrigation, recreation and utility. Such areas or buildings must not be interconnected or served directly from services providing water to dwelling units. If the circumstances are such that separate services to each dwelling unit are not practical, as determined by the county, each building or park containing individual dwelling units must have a separate service. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.310 Installation of county facilities by developer.

Subject to this chapter, the following apply to the installation of all facilities which are to be owned and operated by the county:

A. The developer must pay to the county, prior to the approval of any installation of water facilities, all applicable fees and charges in accordance with the rates set forth in this chapter.

B. All water facilities to be owned by the county must be located within rights-of-way dedicated to the county. Water meters must be located outside of travel lanes and driveways and must be protected from vehicular traffic, as determined by the county.

C. The county must have inspected and approved the installation of the water service facilities before a meter is set or service is provided other than water for construction purposes.

D. Fire hydrants to be connected to a county main must be approved by the fire department or district having jurisdiction, prior to installation. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.320 Cross-connections prohibited.

No connections will be permitted between the county’s water supply system and: (A) any sewer or draining system; (B) any steam, gas or chemical line, pipe or conduit; (C) any device, boiler, tank or container whereby any contamination or pollution or any dangerous, impure, unsanitary or unpotable substance may be introduced into any portion of the county’s water supply system by backflow, back-siphonage, or any other method; and (D) any property where water supply system other than the county’s exists. Any connection where possibility of contamination or pollution exists must be equipped with a county approved backflow prevention installation constructed, tested and maintained at the customer’s expense. Any subsequent testing, inspection or maintenance must be done at the customer’s expense. At the customer’s option a properly licensed contractor may install the device. The installation must be approved and inspected by a county representative. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.330 Service installation restrictions.

The county reserves the right to prohibit connections to certain mains when, in the county’s opinion, such installations may impair the integrity of such mains or when the location of such connection would not be conducive to orderly development and planning of the distribution system. When connection is prohibited, consideration may be given to a main extension or alternate means of supply. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.340 Design and construction.

Unless otherwise authorized by the county, all service installations must be constructed by the county. Service installations must be properly designed and constructed in accordance with applicable building codes, laws and regulations. The county must approve the size, type and quality of materials. Construction must be in conformance with the latest edition of the “Standard Specifications for Public Works Construction” (referred to as the Orange Book) and the “Standard Details for Public Works Construction” as published by Washoe County et al. The county may permit modifications of the design/construction standards or may require higher standards where unusual circumstances or conditions are encountered. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.350 Master house or building shut-off valves.

Every water service line must have a master house or building valve installed at the expense of the owner, in addition to the county valve, so that the occupant or owner can shut off the water supply to the building or property without using the county valve or requiring the county to close any county or other valves to permit repairs or to shut off the water to the property for any purpose. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.360 Pressure regulators.

As a protection to the customer’s plumbing system, a suitable pressure regulator must be installed and maintained by the customer, at customer expense, when check valve or other protective devices are used. The relief valve must be installed between the check valves and the water heater. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.370 Backflow protection.

Whenever backflow protection has been found necessary on a water supply line entering a customer’s property, then any and all water supply lines from the county’s mains entering such property, buildings or structures must be protected by an approved backflow preventer, regardless of the use of the additional water supply lines. The backflow preventer must be inspected and tested annually by a person certified by the California/Nevada Section of the American Water Works Association or as required by then current provisions of the Nevada Administrative Code. Backflow preventers must be serviced, overhauled or replaced whenever they are found defective and all costs of repair and maintenance must be borne by the customer. The service of water to any property may be immediately discontinued by the county if any defect is found in the check valve installations or other protective devices, or if it is found that dangerous unprotected cross-connections exist. Service will not be restored until such defects are corrected. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

Article IV. Service Applications and Terminations

13.36.380 Application for service.

Each applicant for any new water service or changes to an existing service will be required to sign appropriate application forms provided by the county and to pay all required fees and charges. The application must include an agreement to abide by all applicable rules and regulations, and applicants must furnish such information as the county may reasonably require. Each application must be for service to a particular property, and the applicant must describe the type of development proposed for the property.

A. Existing Service Installation. Applicants for service through existing service installations must provide required information on forms provided by the county.

B. New Service Installation. Applicants must provide any and all information which will assist the county in properly sizing and locating the service lateral and meter including: (1) a description of the development; (2) the use of water; and (3) plumbing plans of the private facilities, if required. A written legal description of the property to be served must accompany any application for service to property not within an approved subdivision. The county will determine the system’s ability and water resource to serve development use within the service area in accordance with the will-serve policies set forth in this chapter. If the county lacks water resources, the applicant will be required to locate and dedicate acceptable water resources to the county.

C. Amended Application for Service. A customer making any change in the size, character or extent of the equipment or operations for which the service is utilized must immediately file with the county an amended application for the changed service.

D. Continued Service Agreement. An owner may guarantee continued service by signing a standing order agreement with the county. This agreement will provide for the owner to be billed directly upon termination of service by a customer other than the owner.

E. Correct Information. In the event that an applicant provided incorrect information as to the size and location of a service installation or requests a change in the size or location after work has commenced, the applicant must pay any costs included by reason of such corrections and changes.

F. Rejection of Application. Applications for water service through existing or new service installations may be rejected if:

1. The Nevada State Engineer does not recognize the proposed use of the water as a beneficial use of water.

2. The application contains information that cannot be verified by the applicant to the satisfaction of the county.

3. The proposed use of the water is outside the service area.

4. The application exceeds the county’s ability to provide adequate water service for the proposed use.

5. In the opinion of the county, the applicant’s installation for utilizing the service is unsafe or hazardous, or subject to freezing, or of such nature that satisfactory service cannot be rendered.

6. The applicant is delinquent in any water charges or any other obligation owed to the county, current or past.

7. In the opinion of the county, the purpose of the application is to circumvent discontinuance of service to the property.

8. The applicant or customer fails to comply with any other provision of this chapter or any other applicable law or regulation.

9. The county does not have adequate water resources to provide water to the project.

G. Responsibility. The customer is responsible for the payment of all water service charges until such time as the customer requests termination of service in accordance with this chapter or until another application is received for the same service address.

H. Water Used Without Application Being Made. A person taking possession of a property and using water from an existing service installation without having made application to the county for water service is liable for the water delivered from the date of the last recorded metered or flat rate billing and, if there is no meter or the meter is found inoperative, the quantity consumed will be estimated. If proper application for water service is not made upon notification to do so by the county and if accumulated bills for service are not paid immediately, the service may be discontinued by the county without further notice. (Ord. 1-02-24 Exh. A; Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.390 Termination of service.

A. Termination by Customer. A customer may have service terminated according to the terms of his contract or by providing written notice to the county at least twenty-four hours in advance of termination.

B. Termination by County. If public safety or water supply is endangered or in emergency situations, service may be discontinued without notice. The county may also terminate service for noncompliance with any of the following when notice has been given at least forty-eight hours prior to the termination.

1. For nonpayment of bills within the time frame set forth in this chapter.

2. For use of water in any illegal enterprise or activity, when notified of such illegal activity by a qualified government official.

3. For obtaining water service by fraudulent means, or where an unauthorized service exists.

4. For use of the water for a purpose determined to be a nonbeneficial use by the Nevada State Engineer.

5. For use outside the service area.

6. For any condition found to exist on a customer’s property which constitutes a hazard to health or which may contaminate the water supply or which threatens to damage any portion of the county water system, or if the use of water thereon by apparatus, appliances, equipment or otherwise is found to be detrimental or damaging to the water supply, the county or its customers, the service may be terminated without notice.

7. For any reason which is determined to be detrimental to the public interest of Humboldt County.

C. Restoration of Service. When the cause for the termination has been corrected as determined by the county, service will be reestablished within a reasonable time upon payment of any applicable charges. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

Article V. Bills and Payments

13.36.400 Basis for billing.

All charges for water services hereunder will be based upon a flat rate or periodic measurements of water delivered at the point of delivery specified herein. All charges will be by month according to the rate schedules set forth in this chapter unless the county and the customer agree to some other period. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.410 Rendering of bills and payments.

A. Issuance of Bills. Bills for services rendered will be issued as soon as practicable after the billing period and must use the rates and charges established by this chapter.

B. Payment Due Date. All bills are due and payable by the payment due date specified on the bill.

C. Late Payment Processing Fee. Accounts not paid in full by the first day of the calendar month following the payment due date specified on the bill are delinquent and will be charged a late payment processing fee in accordance with this chapter.

D. Termination for Non-payment. Accounts not paid in full by the first day of the second calendar month following the payment due date will be subject to termination of service as set forth in this chapter.

E. Failure to Receive a Bill. Failure to receive a bill does not relieve the customer of the obligation to pay for services received.

F. Returned Checks. Checks presented in payment of bills that are returned by a bank must be treated as though no payment had been made. A handling charge plus any additional returned check fees charged by a bank to the county will be the responsibility of the customer. Redemption of returned checks may be required to be by cash or equivalent.

G. Proration of Service Charges. If any opening or closing bill is for a period shorter than the regular billing period, the charges will be reduced in the same proportion as the actual period of use is reduced from the regular billing period.

H. Estimated Bills. For those customers with metered service, if a meter cannot be read because of obstructions or other causes, an estimate will be made of the quantity of water used, and a bill based upon such estimate will be prepared by the county and presented to the customer.

I. Billing Adjustments. Billing adjustments may be processed for inaccurate meter recordings or other usage adjustment, if the meter has:

1. Under-recorded the usage of water, the adjustment will be only for the period of the most recent six months of usage.

2. Over-recorded the usage, the adjustment will be made only for the period of the most recent six months of usage.

A customer who, because of an adjustment to his bill, owes the county money for service may pay that amount over a three-month period. The county will credit the customer who was overcharged because of an inaccurate meter not later than thirty days after the overcharge is determined.

J. Arbitration of Dispute. In the event of dispute between the customer and the county regarding any bill, charge or service, the county will forthwith make such investigation as may be required by the particular case, and report the result thereof to the customer. In the event that the complaint cannot be satisfactorily adjusted, the county or customer may make application to the board for adjustment of the complaint. The county will notify the customer that he has the privilege of appeal to the board. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

Article VI. Rates and Charges

13.36.420 Water rates and other charges.

A. Water rates for all classes and types of use and other rates, charges and fees associated with water systems acquired by the county shall continue in effect as established by the Public Utilities Commission or other authorizing body until such rates, charges and fees are amended by the county.

B. Water rates for all classes and types of use and other rates, charges and fees associated with water systems owned by the county will be established and amended from time to time pursuant to the provisions of NRS Chapter 318 then in effect. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

Article VII. Main Extensions

13.36.430 Requirements generally.

A. Prepayment of Charges and Fees. All applicable charges and fees set forth in this chapter are to be paid before any construction work is initiated on the installation or extension.

B. Construction Plans.

1. A person proposing an extension to the county distribution system to provide a water supply to a subdivision or other parcel of property must submit a copy of the recorded subdivision or parcel map, if applicable, and two prints (twenty-four inches by thirty-six inches) of detailed water plans designed by a professional civil engineer registered in Nevada according to criteria approved by the county. Such plans must indicate the size and location of water mains and other facilities, including all service laterals and fire hydrants.

2. The county will review the water plan and return one print to the applicant indicating any necessary revisions to be made at the applicant’s expense. The applicant must prepare and submit to the county a reproducible Mylar and two copies of the water plan conforming to the revised print. Upon execution of the appropriate agreement by the applicant and payment of applicable charges, fees and deposits and after approval of other appropriate governmental agencies, the county will give the applicant written permission to start construction. No water related construction will be started before the county issues written permission.

C. Time Limitation. Approval of the county for any main extension will be valid for a limited time as follows:

1. When an applicant has received a will-serve statement, the main extension approval will be valid as long as the will-serve statement remains in effect.

2. When there is no will-serve statement, the main extension approval will be valid for a period of one year.

D. Compliance with Specifications. All main extensions, service installations and appurtenances must be constructed to conform to county specifications. Mains must be sterilized to the satisfaction of the county and activation of the mains for domestic use must not be permitted until authorized by the county. Connections to existing mains must be made only in the presence of a representative of the county and at all times specified by the county. Shutting down of mains for the purpose of making connections will not be permitted when wet taps are feasible. Mains will be shut down only with the specific approval of the county.

E. Guarantee. Materials and workmanship must be guaranteed to be free of defect for a period of one year from date of acceptance by county. Upon receipt of notice from the county, the developer or customer must immediately cause any defect to be corrected, or must reimburse the county for the cost of correction.

F. Rights-of-Way. Water mains and appurtenances must be located within dedicated rights-of-way or within easement grants to the county not less than twenty feet in width or as the county may specify. All rights-of-way or easements must be indicated on the main extension plans submitted and recorded prior to release of approved plans.

G. Main Extensions—County Ownership. All main extensions provided for in accordance with this chapter will be and remain the property of the county after inspection, final testing and acceptance by the county.

H. Dead-End Lines. No dead-end lines will be permitted except at the discretion of the county.

I. Materials and Construction. The county must approve the size, type and quality of materials. All construction must be in accordance with the latest edition of the “Standard Specifications for Public Works Construction” (referred to as the Orange Book) and the “Standard Details for Public Works Construction” as published by Washoe County et al. The county may permit modifications of the construction standards where unusual circumstances or conditions are encountered.

J. Use of Spacers. Within subdivisions, service lines may be activated through spacers, prior to completion and occupancy of buildings. Use of water through spacers for purposes of irrigation or landscaping is prohibited. Developers and customers will be held responsible for proper use of spacers and continued abuse may be cause for discontinuance of service through mains and services. In trailer parks or other developments in which building construction is not contemplated, spacers must be removed upon completion of the site on which building units are to be located.

K. Minimum Size of Main. The minimum size of any main to be constructed as a part of the county distribution system must be six inches in diameter unless otherwise authorized by the county. The county reserves the right to establish sizes of all mains and appurtenances.

L. Fire Hydrants. Fire hydrant installations must conform to design and location requirements of the governmental agency having jurisdiction.

M. Commitment of Water Supply. Main extensions constructed by persons for development of subdivisions or other property will not be considered as reserved for supply to those properties exclusively. Extensions of and connections to such mains may be permitted when, in the opinion of the county, such connections will not substantially affect supply to the original development or property.

N. Responsibility for Cost. The cost of all main extensions to be constructed under this section, including service laterals, fire hydrants and other appurtenances, must be borne by the developer or customer.

O. Agreement for Payment of Fees. Prior to the county’s written permission to start construction, the developer or customer must execute a standard form of agreement with the county and submit payment of all required fees, temporary water charges, and other fees and deposits as required by this chapter.

P. Construction by Private Contractor or County.

1. A competent registered professional engineer selected by the applicant must design and prepare construction drawings. Construction work must be performed by an appropriately licensed competent person or firm selected by the applicant. In certain circumstances when, in the opinion of the county, the extent of work to be performed is minor and can be accomplished efficiently and economically by county forces, the applicant must deposit an amount equivalent to the estimated cost with the county. Upon completion of construction, the differential between estimated and actual costs will be either billed or refunded.

2. Upon completion of the work, the applicant’s engineer must certify that the work was completed according to the plans and specifications. Water service will not be activated until the engineer’s certification is submitted to the county and the county accepts the construction. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.440 Oversized main extensions.

A. General Conditions. Main extensions proposed for construction under provisions of this section are subject to the general conditions described in this chapter.

B. Applicability. For the purpose of this section, an oversized main is described as a main larger than six inches and which, in addition to providing an adequate water supply to the proposed development (either subdivision, commercial, industrial or single-residential property) is required to be of a size which will be capable of meeting future demands on the distribution system and provide for orderly development of that system. The county reserves the right to determine what constitutes an oversized main.

C. Identification of Mains. The county will indicate and identify on water plans submitted for a proposed development both the standard and oversized diameters of pipelines to be completed.

D. Approval by Board Required. Proposals for oversizing of water mains must be submitted to the board for review and approval. Water plans, confirming with the board’s directive, will then be approved and the county will enter into an agreement with the developer or customer, providing for the county’s participation in construction costs as set forth in this section.

E. Agreement and Payment of Fees. Prior to release of the county approved construction, the developer or customer must execute the agreement referred to in this chapter and must submit payment for all required fees, construction water charges, and deposits as required by this chapter.

F. Participation in Cost. Participation by the county for the oversizing of a main extension will be based on the difference in actual cost of pipe, fittings and valves between the size required for the main extension and the size required for oversizing. The cost difference will be established by a certified price list from the supplier. Prices quoted on the list must be the actual prices charged to the buyer.

G. Alternate Method of Payment. The board may, in lieu of a lump sum payment of the county’s portion of the construction cost, arrange with the developer or customer for an alternate method of payment. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.450 Main extensions to single residential properties.

A. Application. In lieu of the methods described in this article, the owner of a single residentially zoned lot may make application for the county to install the necessary main extension to provide services to the single lot. The applicant for service under this section must submit to the county the following information and fees and meet the following requirements. Such submittal must be in a form prescribed by the county.

1. Legal description of property to be served;

2. Provide a dedicated right-of-way or easement in which the main is to be located;

3. Other information as required;

4. Execution of a residential main extension agreement;

5. The customer must pay for the installation of the main in accordance with this chapter. This charge will be in addition to any other applicable charges. The length of the frontage of the property must be that frontage adjacent to the thoroughfare wherein the main is located. The length of main to be installed must be as necessary to go from the existing main to the point within the property line receiving service. The county will commence construction of the main pursuant to the residential main extension agreement;

6. Main extensions installed under the provisions of this section will be limited to those properties not more than one thousand two hundred fifty feet from an existing main.

B. Rights-of-Way. Mains and appurtenances installed under the provisions of this section must comply with the right-of-way requirements of this chapter. It is the responsibility of the applicant to secure such right-of-way as required by the county prior to application to the county for the installation of the main.

C. Refund of Connection Charges to Residential Main Extension.

1. Where the cost of the main extension has been paid by the property owner, the county may thereafter, but not longer than ten years after the date said extension is originally connected to the water system, collect a portion of the cost of the extension from any water user connecting to such extension.

2. The fraction of the cost of such extension, as approved by the county, shall be as number of front feet held by said water user bears to the total number of front feet which may be served by such extension as determined by the county at the time such extension is connected to the water system. Such sums as are thus actually received by the county shall be paid by the county only to the property owner originally installing such extension unless the property owner has assigned the right to receive such payment. The county shall in no way be obligated to assure that the property owner originally making such extension is paid the total cost thereof not to initiate any action or to incur any expense to collect any sums to be paid to property owners.

3. When different property owners, including the county, contribute to the making of the water main extension, such sums shall be refunded to such property owners pro rata according to the amounts which they finally contributed towards the extension and pursuant to subsection (C)(2) of this section. This shall include the right of the county to recover, on a pro rata basis, the cost of any oversizing participated in by the county.

4. Where special conditions exist, in the opinion of the county, which justify reimbursement to persons paying the cost of main extension on any basis other than that provided in this subsection, the county may authorize a special reimbursement contract by the county and the person or persons requesting the main extension. The special reimbursement agreement shall be made and entered into prior to commencement of the work. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

Article VIII. Water Resources and Will-Serve

13.36.460 Will-serve statements.

A will-serve commitment from the county is a condition precedent to receiving new or expanded water service from the county. The county will state its ability to provide water service for a proposed use within the service area by reviewing the application and assessing water resources as further outlined herein.

A. If the county does not have the water resources available, applicants may purchase and dedicate acceptable water resources to the county for its project. An acceptable water resource must be comprised of the following:

1. Groundwater rights equal to the project demand and permitted for county’s use by the State Engineer within county’s service area. Water rights must be permitted for municipal or quasi-municipal use for residential and commercial projects or for industrial use for industrial projects in Groundwater Basin 070 – Winnemucca Segment for projects within that basin boundary. Water rights must have points of diversion from county’s groundwater wells as designated by county.

2. Groundwater rights equal to the project demand and permitted for county’s use by the State Engineer within county’s service area. Water rights must be permitted for municipal or quasi-municipal use for residential and commercial projects or for industrial use for industrial projects in Groundwater Basin 071 – Grass Valley for projects within that basin boundary. Water rights must have points of diversion from county’s groundwater wells as designated by county.

3. If use of water rights in these basins requires a new well point of diversion within the basin, the applicant will be responsible for all costs related to planning, designing, permitting (including but not limited to changing the point of diversion of the water right(s)), and constructing the new well point of diversion and all other infrastructure required (as determined by county) to meet federal and state water quality/quantity, design and construction requirements and county standards necessary to integrate the new well into county’s system.

B. Application.

1. The applicant shall submit, at the time of application, plans and specifications sufficient to estimate water demand of the new or expanded water service as follows:

a. Subdivision plat or parcel map with square footages of lots, including landscaping plans for common irrigation areas showing turf areas with square footage and drip areas with water use calculations; or

b. Site plan(s) with layout of project, including plumbing and mechanical plans, and landscaping plans showing turf areas with square footage and drip areas with water use calculations;

c. Any other information that the county may reasonably require to estimate annual water demand;

d. In the event that a developer is proposing a residential, commercial or industrial development other than a subdivision or parcel split (such as a shopping center or an industrial development) which would require water service in excess of five thousand gallons per day, the developer may apply to the county for a water will-serve statement;

e. Applications must set forth the amount of water required, the time of day of use and the time of year of use;

f. An application to the Humboldt County regional planning department for a tentative subdivision map or parcel map constitutes a request for a county will-serve water statement to provide domestic water service for each lot or parcel created thereby.

2. Applicants must provide the county with sufficient water resources to meet water demands of new or expanded water service. The applicant may either purchase water sufficient to meet the quantity requested under the will-serve request from county at a price per acre-foot of demand as determined by the county (at the time of issuance, based on appraised price or comparable sales of similar water rights or other factors) or provide another acceptable resource as set forth in subsection (A) of this section. The applicant will be offered a will-serve commitment from the sale of the county’s inventory of water rights only if the following conditions are met:

a. No water rights or an insufficient amount of water rights are appurtenant to the location requiring new or expanded water service; and

b. The applicant will use all uncommitted portions of water rights previously conveyed by the applicant to the county, and additional water rights are needed to meet project requirements.

3. If the applicant provides water resources other than through a will-serve commitment acquired directly from the county, the applicant will be required to pay any costs to research and verify title and cost to transfer the rights, and to furnish, at the time of application, documents and maps evidencing the water rights, including but not limited to:

a. Application to change and supporting map and/or report of conveyance, and abstract of title; or

b. Copies of permits and/or certificates issued by the Division of Water Resources, State of Nevada, evidencing water rights.

Note: If the applicant desires the county to provide items in subsection (B)(3)(a) or (b) of this section, the county will provide such items at the applicant’s cost.

4. The applicant is responsible for delivery of the county-issued will-serve commitment and accompanying documentation to appropriate government entities.

5. If the applicant is receiving a will-serve commitment through purchase from the county inventory, and a well location other than an already permitted county well is needed, it is the responsibility of the applicant to move the water to the proposed new location. The county makes no guarantee that the Nevada Division of Water Resources will approve the change application. The county will retain legal ownership of the water rights for the beneficial interest of the applicant and the county will cooperate with the applicant in the change application process.

C. Responsibilities and Requirements of the County.

1. If the applicant provides water resources from a source other than the county, the county shall verify that the water rights are valid and sufficient to meet the demand of the project pursuant to this section. The county’s water system engineer will review water system availability and make a recommendation thereon to the board for final action on a water will-serve statement.

2. After the applicant has satisfied its responsibilities under subsections (A) and (B) of this section, and the county has verified the water resource provided, the county shall:

a. If necessary, prepare the necessary documentation to deed the water rights to the county.

b. When water rights are deeded to the county, the county shall record such deeds at the county recorder.

c. Upon execution of deed, or when the applicant has purchased the necessary amount of water rights from the county inventory, the county will issue a will-serve commitment to the applicant for new or expanded water service at the location requested by applicant. The county will set forth the length of time during which the will-serve commitment will remain effective, which time period may be no longer than two years.

D. Methodology for Calculating Demand and Water Rights Requirement.

1. The applicant’s water demand shall be computed as follows:

Type of Unit

Demand (Acre-Feet per Year)

Single-family residential lot up to 1/2 acre in size


Single-family residential lot over 1/2 acre in size

As determined by county

Mobile home parks (per unit) with separate irrigation


Apartments, duplexes, condominiums, or townhouses (per unit) (excluding outside, utility room, laundry room and/or recreation uses)


Commercial or industrial

(including residential utility room/recreation areas)

The best available data and estimating procedures as determined by the county shall be used. Data may include, but are not limited to:

(1) Estimated average annual demand as furnished by the customer and accepted by the county or as furnished by the county; or

(2) Fixture count; or

(3) 1,000 gallons per acre per day.

Landscaping = Generally, the water demand is calculated at 3.41 acre-feet per acre or, for drip systems, the demand as calculated by architect or other qualified professional, and verified by the county.

E. Project Expiration/Termination and Adjustments.

1. If project approval expires or is terminated by the applicable governing body, the will-serve commitment to that project will be revoked by the county. Upon written request of the applicant, the county will:

a. Issue a new will-serve commitment equal in amount to the revoked will-serve commitment to be allocated to another project as designated by the applicant; or

b. Refund any amounts paid to the county by the applicant under subsection (B)(2) of this section; or

c. Return applicant’s water rights previously conveyed to the county from noncounty sources.

2. Except as provided in subsection (E)(1) of this section, valid will-serve commitments issued by the county remain appurtenant to the location for which they were issued. Adjustments to commitment quantity may be made pursuant to subsection (E)(3) or (4) of this section, but transfer of commitments from one location to another will not be allowed, except in the following case:

a. The existing facility must be demolished;

b. The owner of the property at the service location must record a deed restriction in the county records declaring that there is no entitlement to water service or will-serve commitment attached to the property at the same location; and

c. Service at the existing facility is retired.

When these conditions are met, a resource credit as described in subsection (E)(5) of this section will be issued to the owner of property at location of service. Thereafter, any applicant for new or expanded water service to the property must follow the procedures described in this chapter.

3. In the case of an existing facility being removed from a location and a new facility being constructed at the same location, the applicant will be given a resource credit in an amount equal to the previous will-serve commitment for the property, or if no will-serve commitment was issued, the historic demand of the facility being removed. If the projected demand of the new facility is greater than the previous facility, the balance shall be provided by the applicant in accordance with this section. If the projected demand of the new facility is less than the previous facility, the applicant shall be granted a resource credit for the difference.

4. Upon a customer’s request, or at the time application for new or expanded water service is made, if three or more years of continuous metered water usage data indicate the nonresidential customer is using more or less water than resources provided at the time the will-serve commitment was issued, based on resources provided by current and prior applicants at the location, the county shall either:

a. Issue a resource credit to customer if resources exceed usage; or

b. Collect sufficient additional resources in accordance with subsection (B) of this section to make up the resource deficit at the location at the time new or expanded water service is requested.

The customer shall pay the county any costs for conducting research and analysis in fulfilling this provision.

5. Resource credits issued by the county under this subsection (E) shall have the following character:

a. Quantity shall be stated in terms of demand and may be used to meet all or a portion of the demand for new or expanded water service estimated in subsection (D)(1) of this section;

b. Credits may be used in the county’s service area but only on a service property within the same groundwater basin;

c. Credits may be used for nonresidential projects only;

d. Credits shall be issued to the owner of property at location of service.

F. General Conditions.

1. Nothing in this section shall be construed to usurp the planning functions of the regional planning commission or the Humboldt County board of commissioners.

2. In case of disagreement or dispute regarding application of this section, or in circumstances where application of this section appears unreasonable to either party, the county or the applicant may refer the matter to the board. (Ord. 1-02-24 Exh. A; Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

Article IX. Enforcement and Penalty Provisions

13.36.470 Penalty for violation.

A. Any person who willfully violates any of the provisions of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor. Each day’s violation thereof shall be deemed a separate offense.

B. Failure of the customer to comply with all or any part of this chapter will result in discontinuance of service until there is compliance with this chapter. Termination of water service must be in accordance with this chapter. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

Article X. Miscellaneous Provisions

13.36.480 Rulings to be final—Appeal.

All decisions of authorized representatives of the county are final unless appealed in writing within five days to the Humboldt County administrator who will make a determination regarding the appeal. Decisions of the county administrator will be final unless appealed in writing to the board within five days of receipt of the county administrator’s decision. Decisions of the board are final. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.490 Relief on application.

When any person by reason of special circumstances is of the opinion that any provision of this chapter is unjust or inequitable as applied to his property, he may make written application to the board stating the special circumstances, citing the provision complained of, and requesting suspension or modification of that provision as applied to his property. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)

13.36.500 Relief on motion.

The board may, on its own motion, find that by reason of special circumstances any special provision of this regulation and ordinance should be suspended or modified as applied to a particular property and may, by resolution, order such suspension or modification for any such premises during the period of such special circumstances, or any part thereof or as otherwise ordered by the board. (Ord. 12-7-98 § 1)