Chapter 12.09
WATER SYSTEM CODE

Sections:

12.09.010    Definitions.

12.09.020    General provisions.

12.09.030    Service connections and charges.

12.09.040    Turn ons and turn offs.

12.09.050    Water meters.

12.09.060    Water rates.

12.09.070    Mains and main extensions.

12.09.080    Private water systems.

12.09.010 Definitions.

Interpretation of Definitions. For the purpose of this chapter the following words or phrases have the meaning set forth herein, unless context indicates otherwise.

A.    “Council” means the city council of the city of Bridgeport.

B.    “Cross connection” means any physical arrangement connecting any part of the water system directly or indirectly, with anything other than another potable water system and capable of contaminating the water system.

C.    “Customer” means all persons obtaining water service from the water supply system of the city of Bridgeport.

D.    “Department” means the public works department of the city of Bridgeport.

E.    “Director” means the public works superintendent of the city of Bridgeport.

F.    “Industrial services” means the water service connections to a business enterprise engaged in the manufacture of products, materials, equipment, machinery and supplies on a substantial or major scale.

G.    “Main” means a water line designed or used to serve more than one premises.

H.    “Multiple dwelling units” means duplexes, apartment buildings, condominiums, mobilehome parks, trailer courts, etc.

I.    “Permanent main” means a main of PVC, cast iron, asbestos-cement or other materials as approved by the public works superintendent which are constructed to Uniform Plumbing Code standards as adopted in Chapter 15.04 of the Bridgeport Municipal Code, as now exist or as may be hereafter amended.

J.    “Person” means natural persons of either sex, and associations, partnerships and corporations, whether acting by themselves or by a servant, agent or employee.

K.    “Premises” means a private home, building, apartment house, condominium, trailer court, mobilehome park, a group of adjacent buildings or property utilized under one ownership and under a single control with respect to use of water and responsibility for payment therefore.

L.    “Residential service” means a water service connection to a single-family dwelling unit.

M.    “Service installation, service connection, or connection” means all piping and fittings from the main to the property owner’s side of the water meter assembly.

N.    “System” means all water source and supply facilities, transmission pipelines, and storage facilities, pumping plants, distribution mains and appurtenances, and materials storage facilities.

O.    “Temporary main” means mains which do not conform to city standards with respect to size, location, type of material and/or method of installation.

P.    “Treasurer” means the city treasurer of the city of Bridgeport.

Q.    “Water service area” means that area consisting of the corporate limits of the city of Bridgeport and those areas that have been or may be designated for water service by the city council. (Ord. 483 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 1997)

12.09.020 General provisions.

A.    Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to establish fees for service, and general rules and regulations for the service and extension of service from the water system of the city; and to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare of the users of the water system, in accordance with standards established by the city, county, state and federal governments.

B.    Applicability. The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all water services provided by and to all work performed by the department and the city. Except as otherwise specifically provided in Section 12.09.080, the city shall be the exclusive provider of water within the city limits.

C.    Inspection.

1.    Authorized employees of the city, properly identified, shall have access, at reasonable hours of the day, to all parts of a premises to which water is supplied by the city, for the purpose of assuring conformity to these regulations.

2.    Whenever the owner of any premises to which water is supplied by the department restrains authorized city employees from making such necessary inspections, water service may be refused or discontinued.

D.    Unlawful Acts Defined.

1.    Any person causing damage to any property belonging to the city shall be liable to the city for any and all damages resulting either directly or indirectly therefrom including costs and attorneys’ fees.

2.    It is unlawful for any person to wilfully disturb, break, deface, damage or trespass upon any property belonging to or connected with the water system of the city, in any manner whatsoever.

3.    It is unlawful for any person to store, maintain or keep any goods, merchandise, materials or rubbish within a distance of five feet of, or to interfere with, the access or operation of any water meter, gate valve, fire hydrant, or other appurtenance in use on any water service connection, water main, or fire protection service.

E.    Hydrants—Authorized Use. It is unlawful for any person, other than authorized employees of the fire and public works departments of the city, to operate fire hydrants and hose outlets, unless proper arrangements have been made for payment thereof and permission has been granted by the department.

F.    Emergency Interruption of Service.

1.    In case of emergency, or whenever the public health, safety, or the equitable distribution of water so demands, the director may authorize the department to change, reduce or limit the time for, or temporarily discontinue the use of water. Water service may be temporarily interrupted for purposes of making repairs, extension or doing other necessary work. The city reserves the right to shut off the water without notice in the case of an emergency.

2.    Except as set forth in subsection (F)(1) above, before so changing, reducing, limiting or interrupting the use of water, the department shall notify, insofar as practicable, all water consumers affected. For the purposes of this section, notice may be given by local radio broadcast, printed in the city’s official newspaper, mailed or served in writing.

3.    The city shall not be responsible for any damages resulting from interruption, change or failure of the water supply system.

G.    Cross Connections Prohibited.

1.    The installation or maintenance of a cross connection, which could endanger the water supply of the city, is prohibited.

2.    Any such cross connection, now existing or hereafter installed, is declared a nuisance and shall be abated immediately. The control or elimination of cross connections shall be in accordance with the cross connection control program as adopted by the city as required under WAC 246-290-490 which is adopted by this reference herein as if fully set forth as now exists or as may be hereafter amended, together with any future manuals of standard practice pertaining to cross connection control approved by the Director of the state of Washington Department of Social and Health Services.

3.    Water service will be discontinued to any premises for failure to comply with the provisions of this section.

4.    Furnishing of water service shall be contingent upon the customer providing cross connection control approved by the appropriate health authority and the public works superintendent for protecting the city supply from backflow.

H.    City Not Liable for Damages. The city shall not be liable for damages, including costs and attorneys’ fees, nor will allowances be made for loss of production, sales or service, in case of water pressure variations, or in case the operation of the city’s source of water supply or means of distribution fails or is curtailed, suspended, interrupted or interfered with, for any reason. Such pressure variation, failure, curtailment, suspension, interruption or interference shall not be held to constitute a breach of contract on the part of the city, or in any way affect any liability for payment for water made available or for money due on or before the date of such occurrence.

I.    Discontinuance of Service.

1.    The city may discontinue service by reason of a failure to pay a bill for service or the failure to comply with the terms of this chapter, in accordance with the procedures established pursuant to RCW 35.21.290 and RCW 35.21.300, as now exist or as may be hereafter amended.

2.    Service to any premises upon which a private water supply system is used or operated contrary to the provisions of this chapter may be discontinued or refused.

J.    Administration.

1.    The director and the city clerk may make such administrative determinations for the proper operation of this chapter as are not inconsistent with its provisions.

2.    The director shall promulgate and enforce such customer service policies and related additional rules as may be deemed necessary from time to time to encourage and facilitate the use of water, pursuant to city council resolution approving the same.

K.    Violations—Penalty. Any person wilfully violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be punished as set forth in Section 1.20.020 of the Bridgeport Municipal Code. (Ord. 600 § 1, 2009; Ord. 483 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 1997)

12.09.030 Service connections and charges.

A.    Application for Service.

1.    An application shall be made for all service connections, for the use of fire hydrants, and for work to be performed by the department. Such application shall be on forms provided by the department.

2.    An application shall be accompanied by all fees required by this chapter.

3.    The application shall provide all information required by this chapter, as well as all other information determined by the director to be necessary for consideration and action upon the application.

4.    The application, when approved by the director or city clerk, shall constitute an agreement whereby the applicant agrees to conform to the provisions of this chapter, as now enacted or hereafter amended.

5.    A change of use of the served premises shall require a new application for service as set forth in Section 12.09.030(B)(7) and (8).

B.    Conditions Applicable to All Water Service Connections.

1.    No application shall be accepted or approved without being accompanied by a current valid building permit for the premises to which water service is requested.

2.    All service connections shall be metered.

3.    Each served premises must have a separate connection to a main, unless otherwise approved by the city council when impossible or impractical as recommended by the director.

4.    Water will not be provided to more than one customer or dwelling through a single service connection, and separate service applications are required for each dwelling. When two customers are being served by a single service connection on the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, the director may require the installation of a new service, when necessary, for efficient operation of the system, at the cost of the customer.

5.    When the premises for which service is sought does not abut a main with sufficient pressure and capacity to provide the required flow at the property line, the application for service shall be rejected, unless a private booster pump is installed.

6.    No application for water service shall be accepted or approved for locations outside of the city water service area.

7.    The furnishing of water by a customer to premises other than that serviced by the customer’s service is prohibited, except as may be approved by the public works superintendent and except during emergencies, provided that emergency service cannot continue for more than thirty days and an application for emergency service shall be made to the department within forty-eight hours of the onset of the emergency.

8.    A request for a change in the size of service connection shall be treated as a request for a new service installation.

9.    A change of use of the served premises will require a new service connection, unless the existing service is adequate for the changed use, as determined by the director.

C.    Conditions Applicable to All Connections.

1.    All water service connections shall be made by the department.

2.    The cost of such connections shall be paid by the customer at the time of application.

3.    The fees established by this chapter are for the water service connection only. Where special conditions exist, including but not limited to, the inability to bury service lines, the actual cost of installation shall be charged to the customer in addition to any administrative fees and water service connection fees and such charges shall be a lien upon the premises and property served.

4.    When buildings are replaced by new buildings, the existing water service connection shall not be used, when the director determines that such connection is not acceptable. In such instance, the customer shall be required to install a new service connection, in accordance with the terms of this chapter.

D.    New Residential Service Connection Fee.

1.    The fee for new residential water service connections including the meter shall be set by the city council by resolution as may be necessary.

2.    Whenever residential water service connections are to be installed by the department at the same time a water main is being installed, and the trench is open, and/or when ten or more adjacent connections are installed simultaneously, the fee for new connections may be reduced by ten percent for each such connection.

3.    This fee shall include, but is not limited to, the cost of tapping the city’s water main for the necessary size of service, installing the copper tubing, Type “K” or Schedule 80 PVC or P>E> necessary to reach to within two feet of the property line, to a maximum distance of sixty feet, and provide and install a yoke, shut off, meter and meter box. For any additional length of service pipe beyond sixty feet, the customer shall be billed for the additional cost plus administrative overhead as established by city council resolution.

E.    Industrial Service Connection Fee.

1.    For all industrial services, and for residential services larger than one-inch diameter irrespective of meter size, the owner or applicant shall pay a deposit in an amount of the city estimate of cost for the construction work and the work shall be thereafter billed on the basis of actual cost of installation plus administrative costs. The applicant shall be refunded any underrun or billed any overrun of the actual cost difference in the estimation including administrative costs.

2.    In no event shall the charge for industrial services be less than the charge for a one-inch diameter residential service with a one-inch meter.

F.    Ownership of Permanent Facilities.

1.    The ownership of all water mains and service connections in public rights-of-way shall be solely vested in the city.

2.    The ownership and responsibility for the maintenance of individual service pipe extensions from the meter to the premises served shall be that of the owner of the premises service and the city shall not be liable for any part thereof.

G.    Owner’s Service Piping Specifications.

1.    All water service piping leading from the water main to the meter and from the meter to the premises shall be laid not less than thirty inches below the surface of the ground.

2.    Water service pipes or any underground water pipes shall not be laid in the same trench with building sewer or drainage piping.

3.    Water service pipes, parallel to building sewers or drainage piping shall be installed pursuant to the Uniform Plumbing Code as adopted in Chapter 15.04 of the Bridgeport Municipal Code, as now exists or as may be hereafter amended.

4.    Shut-off valves of approved full-flow pattern with key or hand wheel shall be installed before any branch connections in the water service pipe leading from the city meter to the building, within the premises served, in accordance with the Uniform Plumbing Code as adopted in Chapter 15.04, as now exists or as may be hereafter amended. Shut-off valves where buried shall be properly enclosed in a minimum six-inch pipe, or box, of concrete, plastic, or iron with an approved cover, protected from freezing and readily accessible.

5.    Valves or customer-owned equipment are not permitted to be installed within the city’s meter box.

6.    Service connections and extension pipes laid underground shall be sized in conformance with the applicable provisions of the Uniform Building Code as adopted by the city in Chapter 15.04 of the Bridgeport Municipal Code, as now exists or as may be hereafter amended.

7.    Service connection and extension pipes shall be constructed of standard weight galvanized iron or steel pipe, cast or ductile iron pipe, copper tubing, or nonmetallic material as approved by the director.

8.    The department may require any customer to install a pressure reducing valve, backflow preventative device, pressure relief valve or similar device at any location where the director determines a need, to protect the department’s facilities.

9.    The customer shall provide and install copper tubing Type “K,” Schedule 80 PVC, or P>C> or such other material as approved by the director as a service line from the meter to the structure to be served.

H.    Plumbing Specifications.

1.    All persons installing fixtures or appliances to be supplied with water from the city water mains shall be subject to the requirements of the Uniform Plumbing Code adopted by the city in Chapter 15.04 of the Bridgeport Municipal Code, as now exists or as may be hereafter amended. Persons installing plumbing in new buildings shall leave the valve at the meter in the “Off” position upon completion of their work.

2.    Persons making additions or repairs to existing plumbing systems shall not operate the valve at the meter.

3.    The director shall have the right to refuse water service or discontinue water service in any situation where it is discovered that applicable code sections or federal, state or city standards have not been complied with in making the installations.

I.    Lawn Sprinkler Specifications.

1.    A lawn sprinkler system connected to a domestic, or commercial connection shall be equipped with a vacuum breaker and/or backflow preventer, placed between the sprinkler stop and waste valve and the first sprinkler outlet. The approved vacuum breaker shall be placed at a height as provided in the Uniform Plumbing Code adopted by the city in Chapter 15.04 herein, as now exists or as may be hereafter amended. The stop and waste valve and vacuum breaker shall be in the sprinkler line after it branches from the water service pipe or the building plumbing.

2.    The stop and waste valve for a lawn sprinkler system shall be at the same depth as the water service pipe; however, the lawn sprinkler system proper may be laid to a lesser depth at the option of the owner.

3.    Such additional stop and waste valves as are required to properly drain the sprinkler piping, shall also be installed.

4.    All sprinkler piping shall be inspected by the public works superintendent or his designee prior to backfilling the trenches.

5.    Water service may be refused on existing lawn sprinkler systems which are not equipped with a stop and waste valve and an approved vacuum system.

J.    Fire Protection Service.

1.    A water service connection to be used solely for fire protection purposes may be installed to service any premises, subject to the provisions of this section.

2.    Fire protection systems shall be provided in accordance with the Uniform Fire Code adopted by the city in Chapter 15.04 and in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association Standards, as now exist or as may be hereafter amended.

3.    A plan of the proposed required fire protection system showing the general installation detail shall be required and shall be approved by the director and the fire chief prior to construction.

4.    Service of more than one premises by a fire protection service shall not be permitted.

5.    Fire protection systems shall be installed and maintained by the customer in a manner approved by the director and the system shall contain an approved, tested backflow prevention device.

6.    Fire protection systems shall be installed with a detection check meter of a size and type approved by the director.

7.    Indications of unauthorized use of water through a detector check meter more than once per calendar year shall be cause for installation of a fire line meter at the expense of the customer.

8.    Delinquency in payment of expense for fire protection service or failure of the customer to make changes in meter installation as herein provided, after reasonable notice from the department, shall be sufficient cause for filing a lien on the property and/or discontinuance of the service. (Ord. 483 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 1997)

12.09.040 Turn ons and turn offs.

A.    Turn On—New Installation. When new water service connections are installed by the department for any premises, the valve at the meter shall be turned to the “Off” position and remain off until a turn on is applied for and an order shall be issued by the department upon written application therefore by the owner of the premises to be supplied after inspection and approval by the department, and after the building inspector has issued a certificate that all provisions of the applicable plumbing code have been complied with.

B.    Turn Off—No Charge. After written application or verbal request, any water service will be turned off without charge where such turn off can be accomplished at a time convenient to the department.

C.    Special or Emergency Turn On or Turn Off Fees. Whenever a request is made of the department for an emergency turn off or turn on or temporary discontinuance of water service to any premises which necessitates immediate action, charges shall be assessed as established by city council resolution for the following:

1.    Emergency turn off, turn on during regular working hours;

2.    Emergency turn off, turn on outside of regular working hours.

D.    General Requirement as to Fees.

1.    Emergency turn on charges shall not be pro-rated for services started during a billing period.

2.    All unpaid water service charges and penalties against the premises shall be required to be paid at the time of application for turn on, before water is supplied to the premises.

E.    Turn On—Unauthorized.

1.    It is unlawful for any person, except duly authorized employees of the city to turn on the water supply to the premises after a turn-off is made at the meter by the city.

2.    A water service to any premises turned on by an authorized person, after said water supply has been turned off by the department, may, upon discovery, be disconnected by the city from the water main in the street, and shall not be connected again until all fees due as a result of the disconnecting and reconnecting of such service are paid.

F.    Turn On—Liability Disclaimer. The city shall not be liable for any damage, including costs and attorneys’ fees, to persons or property resulting from a properly performed and authorized turn off or turn on of the water service including, but not limited to, situations where water service is left on between a change of customers occupying the premises, at the request of one of the customers, or the services disconnected for nonpayment or no contract.

G.    Disconnection of Service—Condemned Buildings. Whenever a premises supplied with water has been found by the proper authorities to be dangerous to human life and unfit for human habitation, and notice of such finding has been received by the department from said authorities, the director shall cause the water service to such premises to be turned off. Water service to such premises shall not be restored until the owner and/or his agent has secured a release or clearance from the proper authorities. (Ord. 483 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 1997)

12.09.050 Water meters.

A.    Meter Ownership and Installation. All meters installed on water service connections by the department shall be and remain the property of the city and shall be removed only by the department.

B.    Meters—Exchange and Reinstallation.

1.    Whenever the owner of any premises desires to change the size of a meter an application shall be made to the department, as provided for in Section 12.09.030(B)(7), and upon approval, the exchange will be made at the expense of the owner. Whenever the relocation of a permanent main is necessitated, all existing customer meters will be reinstalled and connected to the new or relocated permanent main at no expense to the customer. Any expenses incurred to connect the premises to the newly installed meter shall be borne by the customer.

2.    Whenever demand periodically exceeds the rated capacity of a meter to the extent that the meter may be damaged, the department shall notify the owner of this fact. After evaluating the owner’s requirements, the department shall advise what size meter is necessary to give proper service without damage to the meter. The estimate of cost covering such change shall be furnished by the department, upon request by the owner, without charge. If the owner does not make the required deposits for the installation of the larger meter within thirty days after the date of the notice, then the department shall install the proper size meter, charging the total cost to the owner, or the department may discontinue service.

C.    Meter—Maintenance and Repair.

1.    The department shall maintain and repair all domestic, commercial and industrial service meters and shall replace meters periodically, when necessary, if rendered unserviceable by ordinary use.

2.    When replacement or repairs to any meter are made necessary due to the intentional or negligent acts of the owner or occupant of the premises, all expenses of such replacement, including but not limited to costs and attorneys’ fees, shall be borne by the owner or occupant of the premises.

D.    Meter Tests and Adjustment of Bill.

1.    Upon request from a customer, based upon a complaint that the water bill for any period has been excessive, the department shall have the meter reread.

2.    Should the customer then request that the meter be tested for accuracy, he shall make a deposit, as established by city council resolution, with the city clerk-treasurer. The customer shall have the privilege of being present when such test is made. In case the test discloses an error of more than three percent in favor of the city, the deposit shall be refunded to the customer, a correct registering meter shall be installed and the customer’s account shall be credited with the excess consumption over the average consumption for the last previous reading, unless otherwise approved by the director. When the test discloses either no error or an error of three percent or less, the amount deposited will be retained by the department to cover a part of the cost of such test.

E.    Water Meter Test Deposit.

1.    The amount of the deposit as set by city council resolution shall be categorized as follows:

a.    5/8 inch meter

b.    3/4 inch meter

c.    1 inch meter

d.    1 1/2 inch meter

e.    2 inch and larger

2.    The person requesting the meter test shall be billed the actual cost for the meter test minus the deposit made. (Ord. 483 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 1997)

12.09.060 Water rates.

A.    Monthly Rates. The monthly fees shall be set by the city council by resolution.

B.    Rates—Temporary Water Use.

1.    For billing purposes where two or more premises are served on a temporary basis through a single meter, each shall be considered a separate premises.

2.    The use of water for construction purposes shall be allowed, where available, to construct or reconstruct any building or structure or settle trenches or fills. Before commencing such usage, application therefor shall be made to the department and a fee, established by city council resolution, paid. Water used shall be paid for at a rate set forth in subsection (A) of this section.

C.    Service Charge. Whenever the department responds to a request outside of regular working hours for assistance to investigate a deficiency in water service to any premises and it is determined that the deficiency is the result of improper operation or maintenance of the customer’s plumbing, a charge set by city council resolution will be made to defray a portion of the cost of responding to the request.

D.    Reading of Water Meters. All water meters will be read monthly, March through October. A flat rate established by city council resolution will be charged November through February.

E.    Estimate of Charges Upon Failure of Meter. When a meter is determined to be malfunctioning by the director based upon inaccuracies in the meter information, out of order, water shall be charged for in accordance with the average consumption during the three months previous to failure of the meter.

F.    Discontinuance of Utility Services.

1.    The city may discontinue or refuse a particular utility service to any customer, without notice or hearing, for any of the following reasons:

a.    When the customer so requests;

b.    When it is determined by the public works superintendent or his/her designee, fire department or police department that the continuance of a particular utility service constitutes a dangerous condition presenting a likely immediate threat to health or safety of persons or to property on or near the customer’s premises.

G.    The city may discontinue or refuse a particular utility service to any customer, following compliance with the notice and hearing requirements of subsection (J) of this section, for the following reasons:

1.    Nonpayment of utility bills and charges as provided in subsection (I) of this section;

2.    When the customer misrepresents his or her identity or otherwise intentionally provides false information for the purpose of obtaining utility services from the city.

H.    The city may discontinue or refuse a particular utility service to any customer, following notice to the customer and legal owner, for any of the reasons set out in this subsection. The customer shall have the right to a hearing within a reasonable time, not to exceed ten days.

1.    When the customer refuses to grant employees of the city’s utility department access to equipment installed upon the premises of the customer for the purpose of inspection, meter reading, maintenance and replacement;

2.    When the customer violates any rule, regulation or ordinance of the city pertaining to utility services, which violation adversely affects the safety of the customer or other persons, or the integrity of the city’s utility services’ delivery system;

3.    When the customer attempts, causes or permits unauthorized interference, diversion, theft, tampering, damage or use of utility services or the utility services’ delivery system situated or delivered on or about the customer’s premises.

I.    Utility Billing Dates—Delinquency Date.

1.    Water/sewer/garbage service (hereafter “utility service”) shall be billed on a monthly basis. The payment for utility service shall be the responsibility of the owner of the property for which utility service has been requested. The city shall send a duplicate bill to the tenant of any leased premises receiving utility service in the name of the property owner to the extent such relationship is known. In the event of an owner’s failure or refusal to pay for the utility services provided to the tenant’s property, the tenant shall be entitled to open an account in the tenant’s name or make payments on the owner’s account for services provided to the property occupied by the tenant in order to prevent termination of services as set forth in this chapter. Payment for city utility service is due and payable at the office of the city clerk on the first day of each month (for the prior month’s service) and shall be paid in full on or before the eighteenth day of the month. Failure to make payment before the eighteenth day of the month shall result in the mailing of an account delinquency and service discontinuation notice. It shall be the responsibility of the owner to notify the city in writing of any address changes.

2.    Budget billing or an equal payment plan shall be available to residential customers as set forth in RCW 35.21.300(4) pursuant to such customer’s request.

J.    The city may terminate water services to the property for nonpayment or delinquent payment of utility service account balances. Termination for account delinquencies shall be subject to the following procedures:

1.    If no timely payment in full of utility service charges is made as set forth in this chapter and the owner or tenant’s account thus becomes delinquent, the city clerk or duly authorized representative shall mail to the owner and occupant/tenant of the property, if different (hereinafter collectively the “customer”), a notice in writing, postage prepaid, to the last known address of such customer stating that, if such delinquent utility service charges are not paid within ten days of mailing or service of the notice, water service to the property may be terminated in accordance with RCW 35.21.300, as presently enacted or hereafter amended, and the city shall have a lien against the property in accordance with RCW 35.21.290, as presently enacted or hereafter amended, and such a lien shall be superior to all other liens or encumbrances except those for general taxes and special assessments. The notice shall specify the amount past due and any charges associated with such delinquency. The notice of service termination shall advise the customer that, if the customer disputes the charges alleged to be owed and/or past due, the customer may appeal the charges prior to service termination by requesting an informal hearing before the mayor, or in the absence of the mayor, the mayor pro tempore. Any such informal appeal hearing request by a customer shall be in writing and provided by the customer to the city clerk’s office prior to the scheduled date of water service termination. Any informal hearing on the appeal must be scheduled to occur within ten days of the date of receipt of the written appeal by the city clerk’s office. The mayor’s decision following the informal hearing shall be issued, in writing, no later than five days following the hearing. During the pendency of the appeal hearing proceedings, the customer shall continue to receive utility service to the property. Failure to appeal or request a hearing prior to service termination will result in the loss of any ability to appeal the charges, and any reconnection of service will require payment of all applicable charges as set forth by city resolution. Failure to appeal the mayor’s decision following the hearing to the Douglas County superior court within ten days of the date of issuance of the appeal hearing decision shall render the decision final and binding on the customer, and the city may terminate the water service without further notice to the customer unless the customer has made payment, in full, of the delinquent charges.

2.    Following the expiration of ten days from the date of mailing the notice of delinquency, if the past due charges remain unpaid and no appeal hearing has been scheduled, the city clerk or duly authorized representative shall personally deliver to and post on the property a notice of imminent service termination, which notice shall advise the customer that service will be terminated within twenty-four hours of delivery of the notice if the past due charges remain unpaid. The notice shall advise the customer that the time period to appeal the past due charges has expired, such that payment, in full, of the past due charges is required to prevent service termination.

3.    In lieu of any notice by mail required in this section, notice may be personally delivered to the customer. Failure to receive mail properly addressed to such owner or tenant/occupant shall not be a valid defense for failure to pay such delinquent charges. Any change in ownership of property or change in mailing address must be properly filed in writing with the office of the city clerk within ten days after such change of status.

4.    Any individual that mails and/or hand delivers the notice shall complete a declaration of service for each notice mailed or delivered. The declaration shall indicate the date the notice was mailed or delivered, the means of service used, the address where service was made, and the identity (name) of the individual making such service. The declaration shall be signed by the individual mailing or delivering the notice under penalty of perjury.

5.    All partial payments shall be applied first to interest, penalties, and attorneys fees, next to capital system charges, next to garbage fees and charges owing, next to sewer fees and charges owing, and next to water fees and charges owing.

K.    Discontinuance of Utility Services. City utility departments are authorized to discontinue and disconnect utility service to any customer pursuant to the procedure set out in this chapter. Customers shall remain responsible for furnishing the city with the correct address for billing purposes.

L.    A penalty shall be assessed in an amount established annually by resolution of the city council for failure to pay the full amount billed for utility service on or before the eighteenth day of the month following the billing notice. Failure by the owner, or tenant on the owner’s behalf, to pay the full amount billed upon expiration of ten days following mailing or delivery of the delinquency notice shall result in a lien against the premises consistent with RCW 35.21.290 as presently enacted or hereafter amended, which lien shall be superior to all other liens or encumbrances except those for general taxes and special assessments, and may also result in termination of water service in accordance with RCW 35.21.300, as presently enacted or hereafter amended, using the procedures set forth in subsection (J) of this section.

M.    Landlord Accounts.

1.    All utility accounts for leased premises shall be established in the name of the owner of the leased property, who shall provide the city with the name(s) and contact information of any tenants or other persons occupying the leased property from time to time.

2.    Owners of leased property served by the utilities furnished by the city are primarily liable for payment of the cost of any utilities furnished by the city to such property, whether such utility service is furnished upon the application and request of the owner or the tenant or other occupant of the property. In the event utilities are furnished to the leased property upon application or request of the tenant or occupant of the leased property, the owner shall be required to sign the application for such service. Except in the event of an owner/landlord delinquency, any application or request by the tenant to open an account shall include a copy of the lease or rental agreement between the tenant and owner of the leased property. The tenant or occupant shall be responsible for making payment of the charges for utility service furnished to the leased property; however, in the event the tenant fails or refuses to make such payment, such that the tenant or occupants account becomes delinquent, the owner shall be responsible for making payment of the delinquent charges on account of the tenant to prevent service termination to the leased property. The owner shall be notified of the tenant or occupant’s delinquency as set forth in subsection (J) of this section, and afforded the rights and procedures to notice and appeals set forth therein.

3.    The tenant or occupant of any leased property shall be notified of an owner’s delinquency, as set forth in subsection (J) of this section, which may result in termination of service to the tenant/occupant’s property. To prevent termination of service due to the owner’s delinquency, the tenant or occupant shall be permitted to open an account in the tenant’s name or make payment on account of the owner for the current period service charges to prevent service termination. In the event the owner is in arrears in excess of the charges for the current service period, the tenant or occupant shall not be required to pay the full arrearage owed by the owner to prevent service termination, but shall only be required to pay for the current service period, and each subsequent period as services are consumed. The tenant or occupant may appeal any notice of the termination due to the owner’s delinquency using the procedures set forth subsection (J) of this section.

N.    Late Payment Charges and Reconnection Fees.

1.    Late Payment Charges. All bills delinquent after the eighteenth day of the month of the billing shall be subject to a penalty as set by city council resolution. Each account, within a calendar year, is allowed one ten-day period exempt from the penalty. Public entities are exempt from the penalty.

2.    Posting Charges. All bills delinquent twenty-four hours prior to shut off will be posted with a written notice and shall be assessed a posting fee as established by city council resolution.

3.    Reconnection Charges. Prior to reconnecting a utility service disconnected following a delinquency, the customer shall pay to the city the entire balance due and owing to the city at the time of reconnection. The customer shall also pay a reconnection charge as set by city council resolution for reconnection of water services.

O.    Repealed by Ord. 619.

P.    Properties for which city records indicate there is a water service connection, but for which monthly water service charges established by city council resolution adopted pursuant to subsection (A) of this section are not paid, shall be subject to a reserve water service system development charge in the amount of forty percent of the minimum monthly water service charge for the size of the water meter that is inactive and serves the property or, if no meter exists, for a three-quarter-inch water meter, as such water meter charges are established by city council resolution from time to time. As an alternative to the payment of the monthly system development charge set forth in this subsection, the property owner may elect to surrender the connection to the city by executing a form provided by the city, and approved in writing by the city public works director, which form will document surrender of the water connection and meter associated therewith to the city. Failure to make payment of monthly water service standby charges authorized by this subsection for a period of three or more months shall result in disconnection and forfeiture of the water connection to the property served. Notice of the proposed disconnection shall be provided as set forth in subsection (J) of this section. Upon expiration of the notice period and timelines set forth in subsection (J) of this section, city staff shall be authorized to remove water meters and take any further action to disconnect water service to the property. Following disconnection or surrender of the water service connection and/or meter to the city pursuant to the procedure outlined in this subsection, the property may only be reconnected to the city water system upon application for a water service connection and payment of the full water service connection fee in effect at the time of connection. This continuation of water services to the property by disconnection or surrender of the connection pursuant to this subsection relinquishes the right of the property owner to have any priority for receipt of water services in the future.

Q.    In the event the owner of property has committed a violation of this chapter, other than a utility account delinquency, that may result in termination of service to property that the city has actual knowledge is occupied by a tenant or other occupant that is not an owner of the property, the tenant or occupant shall be given written notice no less than ten days before the date and time of termination, which notice shall be posted or affixed in a conspicuous place on the property and mailed to the tenant or occupant, postage pre-paid, to the tenant or occupant’s last known address. A duplicate notice shall be mailed to the owner of the property, postage prepaid. The notice shall set forth the basis for the termination, the curative action necessary to restore utility services, and notice of an opportunity to appeal the termination prior to termination by filing an appeal with the city clerk for a hearing before the mayor or filing an action for an injunction in the Douglas County superior court against the owner of the property to prevent the termination. Any appeal hearing before the mayor shall be governed by the procedures set forth in subsection (J) of this section. (Ord. 672 §§ 1—6, 2017; Ord. 654 §§ 1, 2, 2015; Ord. 619 §§ 1, 2, 2012; Ord. 610 § 1, 2011; Ord. 586 § 1, 2008; Ord. 483 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 1997)

12.09.070 Mains and main extensions.

A.    When Required. A main extension shall be required whenever more than one residence or customer is provided service, and the property to be served does not abut a water main, or the existing water main is not adequate to provide the necessary water pressure for low characteristics.

B.    Applications.

1.    The person desiring a main extension shall apply to the director requesting permission to extend the city’s water system.

2.    The director shall review the application, and if the requested extension is determined to be a proper extension of the water system, shall provide the petitioner with the design requirements for the extension. If the requested main extension is determined to be an improper extension of the water system, the applications shall be denied.

C.    Preparation of Plans and Specifications. Upon receipt of the design requirements from the department, the petitioner shall cause plans and specifications to be submitted in accordance with APWA standards adopted by the department as now exist or as may be hereafter amended. The completed plans and specifications, having a valid professional engineer’s licensed in Washington state seal and endorsement, shall be submitted to the department for review and approval.

D.    Inspection—Fee—Deposit Required. After approval of the plans and specifications, the department shall provide the petitioner with an estimate of the construction inspection fee. A permit for construction will be issued after the inspection fees and estimated main connection charges have been deposited with the city clerk-treasurer. At such time as the director determines the remaining funds are not adequate to provide necessary inspection for project completion, the petitioner shall be notified of such and an estimate of additional inspection fees required will be provided. The additional fees shall be deposited with the city clerk-treasurer prior to depletion of the funds on deposit. All moneys unexpended from the inspection deposit upon completion of the project shall be returned to the petitioner.

E.    Construction of Main Extensions.

1.    Main extensions may be made by private contract, through local improvement district procedure, or by department forces.

2.    Any main extension done other than by the department’s forces shall be done by a licensed and bonded contractor of the state of Washington.

3.    Extension by the department’s forces shall be at the expense of the person requesting construction of the main.

4.    All main extensions must be on the city’s frontage of the applicant’s property or other public right-of-way.

F.    Acceptance of Main Extensions.

1.    The city reserves the right to reject any installation not inspected and approved by the department.

2.    Upon satisfactory completion of all required tests and acceptance of the main extension, the department shall cause the extension to be connected to the city system. All costs incurred in such connection(s) including overhead and administrative charges as established by city council resolution, shall be the responsibility of the petitioner. An adjustment on the actual cost of installation because of variance between the estimate and the actual cost shall be adjusted by refund upon completion of the job by the petitioner, or by payment by the petitioner to the city of any additional expense above the estimate.

3.    No main extension shall be charged other than for test purposes by duly authorized personnel until the main extension has been accepted by the city and all fees and charges have been paid. If charging a main is necessary to restore service to existing customers, fire hydrants will not be activated until acceptance of the main extension.

G.    Construction Drawings.

1.    Upon completion of a main extension, the petitioner shall provide the department a reproducible Mylar drawing that accurately indicates the main extension and appurtenances as actually installed in plan and profile.

2.    No main extension will be accepted until satisfactory as built drawings are provided.

H.    Main Extensions Deeded to City.

1.    The permit holder shall provide the city with a deed of conveyance for all main extensions as a condition of acceptance of the main extension by the city.

2.    The transfer of any main to the city shall be on the condition that the owner, district, company, constructor, or contributor shall transfer or provide for any necessary and proper franchise.

I.    Temporary Mains.

1.    No temporary mains shall be permitted to be installed as a part of the city’s water system.

2.    Temporary mains and main extensions, however, may be acquired, maintained and operated by the department where provisions have been made by the owners of such mains to standardize such installations, in compliance with the standards for permanent mains, under terms of an agreement entered into with the council and subject to approval by the city attorney. Where necessary, said agreement may provide for a surcharge rate or charge to be levied by the city for a specified period of time to provide sufficient revenues to assure compliance with city standards. The director shall, before recommending the acceptance, delineate the temporary mains included in such installations, which are to be brought up to the city standards, on a map to be included as an exhibit under the aforementioned agreement. (Ord. 483 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 1997)

12.09.080 Private water systems.

A.    Purpose. The purpose of this section is to permit the development of independent water systems within the city limits to be privately owned and operated under the terms and conditions set forth in this section.

B.    Private Water Systems Permitted. Privately owned and operated water systems shall be permitted to be established in the city if the following minimum requirements are met:

1.    Eligible Projects. A private water system may be installed, owned and operated if the private water system is created as part of an application for the division of property pursuant to Title 16.

2.    Group B Water System. As a condition of subdivision approval, the private water system shall meet the minimum requirements for a group B water system as defined by the Washington State Department of Health in WAC 246-291-010, as the same exists now or may hereafter be amended.

3.    Well Requirements—Lot Limitations. The water supplied to the private water system shall be withdrawn from a well exempt from permitting requirements under RCW 90.44.050 and that otherwise complies with state law, as the same exists now or may hereafter be amended. The number of lots that may be served by the well exempt from said permitting requirements shall be determined by the Washington State Department of Health prior to subdivision approval.

4.    Designed and Constructed for Connection to the City System. The private water system shall be designed and constructed in a manner that will enable immediate future connection to the city water system without modification. The design and construction shall meet all applicable local, county, and state regulations for a public municipal water system, including, but not limited to, those set forth in Section 16.28.070, as it now exists or is hereafter amended. It is the intent of this subsection that the private system shall be constructed to city standards to enable the city to seamlessly assume ownership of the private system and to integrate the acquired system into the city’s water system in the future.

5.    Water Meters. The private water system shall include the installation of water meters for individual users of the system. The water meters used shall be subject to approval by the city. The water meters shall be and remain privately owned, but ownership of the water meters shall transfer to the city in the event the private system becomes connected to the city system. In the event the private water system is transferred to the city, the responsibility for the maintenance of the water line on the building side of each water meter shall be the sole responsibility of the property owner.

C.    Application to the City.

1.    Application. Upon application to the city for development of an eligible project under subsection (B) of this section, the applicant shall design, construct, and build a private water system pursuant to the provisions of this section. The design for the private water system shall be submitted to and subject to review and approval by the city prior to any construction.

2.    Rates. The private water system shall establish its own rates and charges related to the use, maintenance and operation of the private water system. In the event the private water system is transferred to the city, the water system users shall become city water system customers and shall be subject to city water system customer rates and charges.

3.    Plat Note. The applicant shall place a note on the face of the plat regarding the terms and conditions of this section in a form that is acceptable to the city.

4.    Private Water System Maintenance Agreement. The applicant shall record with the Douglas County auditor a private system maintenance agreement that is binding on all lots within the subdivision and containing the terms and conditions set forth in this section, in a form that is acceptable to the city.

D.    Connection to the City. The city, in its sole discretion, shall have the right, but not the duty, to require the private water system and its users to transfer ownership and control of the private water system to the city and to connect to the city water system at any time. All of the provisions of this chapter, as the same exists now or may hereafter be amended, shall apply in the event the city exercises the aforementioned right, including but not limited to the requirement of the private water system users to pay any and all then-applicable city water system connection fees, system development charges, service charges, and water usage fees.

E.    Decommissioning of Well and Transfer of Water Rights. Upon the completed connection of the private water system to the city water system, the well used by the private water system shall be decommissioned as required by the State of Washington Department of Ecology. The city shall not be responsible for any costs associated with the decommissioning of the private water system well. To the extent any private water rights are associated with the private water system, all such water rights shall be transferred to the city at no cost to the city.

F.    City Not Liable for the Private Water System. The city shall not be liable for any damages, including costs and attorney fees, arising out of or in connection with (1) the maintenance, use, and operation of the private water system; (2) the quality or quantity of water provided by the private water system; (3) whether or not the private water system is in compliance with any state or federal regulations or laws; or (4) any future failure of the water system. (Ord. 600 § 3, 2009)