Chapter 13.04
WATER SYSTEM

Sections:

13.04.010    Applicability.

13.04.015    Definitions.

13.04.020    Application for service.

13.04.030    Termination of service by property owner.

13.04.040    Reconnection charge.

13.04.050    Maintenance responsibility of property owner – Service changes.

13.04.060    Shutoff for work on systems.

13.04.065    Water conservation restrictions during water shortages or other system-limiting circumstances.

13.04.070    Rates, charges and fees.

13.04.080    Rates – Schedule of charges.

13.04.085    Repealed.

13.04.090    Repealed.

13.04.100    Repealed.

13.04.110    Repealed.

13.04.120    Excess service.

13.04.130    Main extensions.

13.04.140    New connections – Connection charges.

13.04.145    Additional fees and charges.

13.04.150    New connections – Reimbursement.

13.04.160    New connections – Main extensions.

13.04.170    New connections – Fire hydrants required.

13.04.190    New connections – Fire hydrant fees and charges.

13.04.191    Application – Outside areas.

13.04.200    Separate meters required – Exemptions.

13.04.210    Meters – Cost – Ownership.

13.04.220    Meters – Testing.

13.04.230    Disconnection valve.

13.04.240    New buildings on old service.

13.04.250    Furnishing water to others.

13.04.260    Cross-connections.

13.04.270    Interference with system.

13.04.280    Fire hydrants – Fire-protection service.

13.04.290    Violations, enforcement and penalties.

13.04.010 Applicability.

The rules and regulations contained in this chapter are adopted by the city for furnishing water to consumers. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018; Ord. 1223, 1965; prior code § 3-101)

13.04.015 Definitions.

The definitions set forth herein shall apply throughout this title, unless expressly stated otherwise. Any definition contained in any other chapter or section of this title shall apply to all chapters and sections of this title, unless context clearly indicates otherwise, along with the following definition:

A. “Service extension” shall mean any service either extending beyond 60 feet from a property line, a single property, or a through meter that is greater than one inch in size. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018)

13.04.020 Application for service.

Service and supply of water shall be furnished only after property owner completes an application, as provided by the city public works department. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018; Ord. 2202 § 1, 1995; Ord. 1223, 1965; prior code § 3-102)

13.04.030 Termination of service by property owner.

Service shall be terminated upon the property owner submitting a written request for termination. Upon receipt of such written request, the city shall remove the meter and cap the sewer line. The date that the meter is removed and the sewer line capped shall be the date of termination of services. Charges for water and sewer service shall cease upon the effective date of termination. A request by a property owner for termination of water service shall not be effective unless made in writing on forms provided by the public works department. A property owner or their tenant may not terminate water service without approval in advance from the city public works department. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018; Ord. 2202 § 2, 1995; Ord. 1223, 1965; prior code § 3-103)

13.04.040 Reconnection charge.

Any reconnection shall be considered a new connection. Payment of the full GFF and the costs of connection shall be required prior to reestablishing a connection. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018)

13.04.050 Maintenance responsibility of property owner – Service changes.

A. The property owner assumes all responsibility on their premises for water furnished by the city. All service pipes, fittings and equipment on the property owner’s side of the meter must be kept in good repair and protected from freezing at the property owner’s expense. Where there are leaking or defective pipes, fittings or fixtures, the water may be turned off at the option of the city until proper repairs are made.

B. Any change in location or elevation of the city’s service or meter requested by the property owner shall be at the property owner’s expense. Any construction by the property owner shall not cover or interfere with the accessibility of any city main, service or meter, or it shall be moved at the expense of the property owner. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018; Ord. 2202 § 3, 1995; Ord. 1223, 1965; prior code § 3-105)

13.04.060 Shutoff for work on systems.

The city will endeavor to furnish an uninterrupted supply of water. In cases where shutoff is necessary for repairs, reconstruction, damage, prevention or other causes the city will, if conditions permit, furnish advance notice to its consumer; provided, however, that the city will not be responsible for any damage which may result from any cessation of service. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018; Ord. 1223, 1965; prior code § 3-106)

13.04.065 Water conservation restrictions during water shortages or other system-limiting circumstances.

The city reserves the right to implement conservation limitations on service as determined by the city council during periods of high usage or water shortage, and/or where water supply or distribution system limitations could create adverse impacts to the water system and/or its capacity to be used to fight fires. These restrictions shall normally pertain to irrigation practices and be approved by city council resolution. Short-term emergency conservation requiring water conservation and water use limitations and/or restrictions may be enacted and imposed on water users by the city manager when recommended by the city public works director where the specific circumstance necessitates action before the next regular council meeting. Such emergency conservation measures shall be recommended by the public works director, and reviewed and approved, modified or rescinded by the city council at the next regular council meeting if the emergency condition still exists and an extension of the conservation measures is required. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018; Ord. 2666 § 1, 2007)

13.04.070 Rates, charges and fees.

The property owner shall pay when due all rates, fees, charges, penalties, interest and deposits for water service and related service and facilities as set forth in the unified fee schedule established by the city council and as may be set forth in this chapter. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018)

13.04.080 Rates – Schedule of charges.

The rates, fees, charges, penalties, interest and required deposits for water service are set forth in the unified fee schedule established by the Blaine city council. Any rate fee, charge or similar set forth herein are in addition and supplemental to those set forth in the unified fee schedule established by the Blaine city council. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018)

13.04.085 Rates – Wholesale – Schedule of charges.

Repealed by Ords. 2216 and 2222. (Ord. 2114 § 1, 1993)

13.04.090 Payment of bills – Late penalty.

Repealed by Ord. 2201. (Ord. 1761 § 1, 1985; Ord. 1619 § 1, 1981; Ord. 1483 § 1, 1977; Ord. 1330 § 1, 1971; Ord. 1259 § 1, 1968; Ord. 1223, 1965; prior code § 3-109)

13.04.100 Deposit.

Repealed by Ord. 2201. (Ord. 1914 § 2, 1988; Ord. 1408 § 2, 1974; Ord. 1246 § 1, 1967; Ord. 1223, 1965; prior code § 3-110)

13.04.110 Tapping charge – Service size and materials.

Repealed by Ord. 2216. (Ord. 1832 § 1, 1987; Ord. 1578 § 1, 1980; Ord. 1531 § 1, 1979; Ord. 1483 § 1, 1977; Ord. 1387 § 1, 1974; Ord. 1239 § 3, 1967; Ord. 1223, 1965; prior code § 3-111)

13.04.120 Excess service.

A. Any service extending beyond 60 feet shall be classed as service extension, and the total cost of such service extension shall be paid by the party making application for service. All services larger than one inch shall also be classed as service extension, and the total cost of such service connection and fittings, including the meter, shall be borne by the applicant for water service.

B. When in the interest of future growth or expansion of the water system it is found by the city council advisable to install service capacity in excess of the amount requested by the property owner extending service or building excess capacity, the cost of such extra capacity shall be paid by the city public works department water fund.

C. Any service extension shall be subject to the property owner’s execution of a public facilities agreement, and compliance therewith, including without limitation the submission of surety bonds or deposits as required therein. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018; Ord. 1578 § 1, 1980; Ord.1483 § 1, 1977; Ord. 1387 § 1, 1974; Ord. 1239 § 3, 1967; Ord. 1223, 1965; prior code § 3-111)

13.04.130 Main extensions.

A. Where an extension of a main is requested by one or more owners of property or consumers that is consistent with the city’s service area boundary, the size of such main shall be determined by the city public works director as outlined in the current city comprehensive plan and/or the city’s water system plan and development guidelines. Any water main extension shall be (1) either consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan and/or the city’s water system plan or approved by the city public works director, and (2) subject to the property owner’s prior execution of a public facilities agreement following approval of engineer’s stamped drawings, and compliance therewith, including without limitation the submission of any performance and/or payment bonds, or deposits as required therein.

B. An estimate in writing of the total cost of installation of the requested extension shall be furnished to the parties concerned on either a lump-sum or per-foot basis and a deposit of such amount shall be made before actual construction is begun. In cases where installation of the proposed extension is to be made by contractors or owner-developers, deposit shall be made to cover the estimated costs of design engineering, staking, inspecting and other related costs. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018; Ord. 2021 § 2, 1991; Ord. 1832 § 52, 1987; Ord. 1483 § 1, 1977; Ord. 1387 § 2, 1974; Ord. 1239 § 4, 1967; Ord. 1223, 1965; prior code § 3-112)

13.04.140 New connections – Connection charges.

The property owner shall pay when due all connection charges related to water service and facilities as set forth in the unified fee schedule established by the city council and as may be set forth in this chapter. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018)

13.04.145 Additional fees and charges.

The property owner shall pay when due all additional fees and/or charges related to water service and related service and facilities, including fire hydrants, as set forth in the unified fee schedule established by the city council and as may be set forth in this chapter. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018)

13.04.150 New connections – Reimbursement.

The city may, in accordance with state law, grant the person constructing a new water main the right to reimbursement from other abutting property owners benefited by the improvement pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 13.12 BMC. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018; Ord. 2379 § 2, 1998; Ord. 1483 § 1, 1977; Ord. 1387 § 3, 1974; prior code § 3-114)

13.04.160 New connections – Main extensions.

It shall be the policy of the city to require any owner or developer desiring water service to extend the water distribution main to the further edge or line of the property to be served, whether such lines are to be utilized or not. In reference to connecting water lines to the water system, such connections shall be made at the developer’s or property owner’s sole expense at such places and under such conditions as directed by the city. The city reserves the right to require a connection or connections to be made to lines which may not necessarily be the closest lines to the developer’s or property owner’s property at the developer’s or property owner’s sole expense.

Property owners or developers requesting a three-fourths-inch or one-inch residential service may petition the city public works director to allow for installation of a temporary service and enter into an agreement on terms and conditions as prescribed by the city for payment of the future front footage fees in lieu of the extension of a water main provided their property is situated more than 200 feet (within city limits) and 500 feet (outside city limits) from a publicly owned existing distribution main, as measured from the existing distribution main, parallel along the centerline of the public right-of-way to the property owner’s nearest property line. Such agreement and obligation of the property owner shall run with the land and be binding upon the heirs, successors and assigns of all parties and said agreement shall be recorded with the Whatcom County auditor. The decision to grant or deny the petition for temporary service and payment of applicable fees and/or charges shall be made by the public works director and/or his or her designee. (Ord. 2935 § 2 (Att. A), 2019; Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018; Ord. 2186 § 1, 1995; Ord. 1483 § 1, 1977; Ord. 1387 § 3, 1974; prior code § 3-114)

13.04.170 New connections – Fire hydrants required.

A property shall install approved fire hydrants as required in Chapter 13.20 BMC. In the absence of any buildings or improvements on a frontage along the main extensions, hydrant valves and tees shall be installed at approved locations for future hydrants or as required by the city fire marshal. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018; Ord. 1832 § 4, 1987; Ord. 1483 § 1, 1977; prior code § 3-114)

13.04.190 New connections – Fire hydrant fees and charges.

The property owner shall pay when due all fire hydrant fees and/or charges as set forth in the unified fee schedule established by the city council and as may be set forth in this chapter. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018)

13.04.191 Application – Outside areas.

A. For Requests of Water Service outside the City Limits. The city public works department will require each prospective customer to submit a complete application for water service. Application must be made in writing on a standard form available at the public works department. The application shall set forth the location of the premises, address to which the bills shall be mailed or delivered, and such information as the public works department may require to determine which rate applies, or such other information as the public works department may reasonably require, and must be signed by the applicant. The application is merely a written request for service and does not in itself bind the city to provide service. Only authorized city employees will turn water on, only after credit has been established.

B. The city, in addition to the application for water service set out in subsection (A) of this section, will require, from all applicants residing outside the territorial limits of the city, execution of an outside utility agreement or other such documents as are deemed necessary to ensure that the property of the applicant, or any person claiming title through him, will be annexed to the city when it becomes reasonably contiguous. In the event that the applicant refuses to execute any document as required or attempts to impair or repudiate any document or agreement executed either by himself or a prior property owner, any city obligation to provide water service shall cease and the city shall not supply or provide water services. If the property owner attempts to impair or repudiate any document or agreement executed either by himself or a prior property owner, the city may terminate such water service three business days after posting the property with notice of termination of water service and delivery of notice of termination to the customer of record for the property. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018; Ord. 2625 § 1, 2005; Ord. 707 § 2, 1984)

13.04.200 Separate meters required – Exemptions.

A. Except in the case of an accessory dwelling unit, as defined in BMC 17.142.027, every separate single-residence building, condominium, and every separate single-occupancy, commercial or other property shall have its own separate meter.

B. Separate businesses within a multiple-occupancy unit not utilizing water service are exempt from rate charges as provided in the uniform fee schedule. Exempt businesses shall notify the city to establish exemption. Failure to do so will result in the assessment of the minimum charge, as provided in the uniform fee schedule.

C. Multiple-occupancy residential buildings such as hotels, motels, trailer courts, or apartment buildings may be metered by one meter if under single ownership.

D. Each accessory dwelling unit shall be served by a meter shared with the primary residence.

E. Upon change of any of these conditions to more than one owner, a minimum charge shall be made for each owner, or a new service and meter may be installed as set forth in this chapter. (Ord. 2935 § 2 (Att. A), 2019; Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018; Ord. 2785 § 1, 2011; Ord. 2746 § 2, 2009; Ord. 2202 § 3, 1995; Ord. 1920, 1989; Ord. 1483 § 1, 1977; Ord. 1239 § 5, 1967; Ord. 1223, 1965; prior code § 3-113(A))

13.04.210 Meters – Cost – Ownership.

The city public works department shall own and furnish all meters up to and including one inch in size. The cost of larger meters shall be paid by the customer prior to installation as a payment in aid of construction, and right of ownership shall remain with the city public works department. Where meters are presently owned by the customer, the city claims the right to replace in kind, equal or better, repair or inspect at any reasonable hour any such meters. All costs of repairs on meters larger than one inch shall be at the customer’s expense. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018; Ord. 1483 § 1, 1977: (Ord. 1223, 1965; prior code § 3-113(E))

13.04.220 Meters – Testing.

Any user of metered water who claims that the water meter through which the user is obtaining water is not registering correctly may make application to have the meter tested. If the meter is found to be registering correctly, a charge of actual cost of removal, testing and replacement shall be made. If the meter is found to be registering incorrectly, no charge shall be made and the current water bill will be adjusted accordingly. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018; Ord. 1483 § 1, 1977; Ord. 1223, 1965; prior code § 3-113(H))

13.04.230 Disconnection valve.

A stop and waste disconnecting valve shall be furnished and installed by the city public works department as part of the original service, immediately adjacent to the consumer side of the meter and, where reasonably possible, inside the meter box. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018; Ord. 1483 § 1, 1977; Ord. 1223, 1965; prior code § 3-113(B))

13.04.240 New buildings on old service.

A. When new buildings are to be erected on the site of old ones and it is desired to increase the size or change the location of the old service or when a service connection has been abandoned or cut off, a new service shall be installed upon payment of the regular water service and meter charge listed in the unified fee schedule.

B. Where an existing service is adequate and meets present specifications, a meter shall be installed and connection made upon payment of the “meter only” charge as specified in the unified fee schedule. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018; Ord. 2746 § 3, 2009; Ord. 1483 § 1, 1977; Ord. 1223, 1965; prior code § 3-113(C))

13.04.250 Furnishing water to others.

A. No owner or lessee of property supplied with city water or private water supply shall furnish water to any other person or property by use of city streets, alleys or other public property for installation of valves, pipes, meters, etc.

B. Any person allowing city water to be transported from the premises owned or occupied by them shall be subject to a charge of double the minimum rate for each month or portion thereof. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018; Ord. 1483 § 1, 1977; Ord. 1223, 1965; prior code § 3-113(D))

13.04.260 Cross-connections.

A. It is unlawful for any customer or consumer to have or cause to have a cross-connection between the city’s water system and any other service or potential pollution source. In the event the city has cause to suspect or finds in fact that such an unlawful connection or the potential for such a connection exists, the city shall require the installation of an approved backflow-prevention device or assembly, to be installed at the expense of the property owner. If the property owner refuses to install an approved device or assembly, the city has the right to refuse water service.

B. Connections with backflow prevention devices or assemblies must be inspected and tested by a certified backflow assembly tester (BAT) with copies of the reports of inspection and testing provided to the public works director. Certified testing is required at time of installation and then annually thereafter within 30 days of the anniversary of installation. Seasonal connections that are required to have a backflow prevention assembly must be tested before service is allowed to resume. If a service call is necessary to restore service for the duration of the test, the fees enumerated in BMC 13.07.100 may be waived by the public works director. Retesting is required following any backflow incident or immediately following repair, relocation, reinstallation or replumbing of the backflow device or assembly. The city reserves the right to terminate service to customers who fail to submit an inspection test report after testing is due per this section and following subsequent notification by the public works director. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018; Ord. 2639 § 1, 2006; Ord. 1483 § 1, 1977; Ord. 1223, 1965; prior code § 3-113(F))

13.04.270 Interference with system.

It is unlawful for any person to open or shut any valve or disconnect on the city’s side of the meter or tamper with or injure any pipe, valve or meter in the city water system, or break any seal, except by specific permission of the public works director or his/her designee. Such actions shall be a civil infraction and subject to the penalties set forth in Chapter 13.22 BMC. Further, in the event of such violation, the utility service may be shut off and only reinstated after payment of all reconnection fees, plus fines and penalties. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018; Ord. 1483 § 1, 1977; Ord. 1223, 1965; prior code § 3-113(G))

13.04.280 Fire hydrants – Fire-protection service.

See Chapter 13.20 BMC. (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018)

13.04.290 Violations, enforcement and penalties.

A. Violations of this chapter shall be enforced pursuant to Chapter 13.22 BMC, and shall be subject to the penalties set forth therein.

B. Civil Infraction/Misdemeanor. No utility service shall be established, expanded, constructed, altered, moved, maintained, or otherwise changed except in conformance with this title. As established in Chapter 7.80 RCW, a person or business that violates the requirements of this title shall be guilty of a civil infraction subject to enforcement as set forth in Chapter 13.22 BMC. Each and every day that such prohibited act continues shall be considered a separate violation. Each subsequent violation of this section shall be considered a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail per violation, as set forth in Chapter 13.22 BMC, and in particular BMC 13.22.020(B). (Ord. 2909 § 5 (Att. D), 2018)