Chapter 14.06
SEWER COLLECTION AND DISPOSAL CHARGES

Sections:

14.06.010    Applicability.

14.06.020    Intent.

14.06.030    Definitions.

14.06.040    Universal collection service.

14.06.050    Lien on property.

14.06.060    Rates – Sanitary sewer.

14.06.070    Rates – Storm and surface water.

14.06.080    Billing, due date and late charges.

14.06.090    Calculation of charges.

14.06.100    Insufficient water consumption experience.

14.06.110    Suspension of service.

14.06.120    Adjustments to charges.

14.06.130    Credits – Stormwater.

14.06.140    Violations deemed civil infractions – Penalties – Forfeitures.

14.06.010 Applicability.

This chapter applies to all territory embraced within the corporate limits of the city. [Ord. 1487 § 1, 2011; Ord. 1101 § 2, 1990.]

14.06.020 Intent.

The maintenance of health and sanitation require and it is the intent hereof to make the collection and disposal of sewage compulsory and universal. [Ord. 1487 § 1, 2011; Ord. 1101 § 2, 1990.]

14.06.030 Definitions.

(1) “Commercial” means any business that is advertised by sign of any type, or is listed in the telephone directory as a business, or has obtained a city business license.

(2) “Equivalent residential unit” or “ERU” means and is equal to 3,700 square feet of impervious groundcover, which approximates the median impervious surface area contained on single-family residential parcels within the service area. An ERU is the unit of impervious groundcover to be used in calculating service charges for each parcel of property.

(3) “Impervious surface” is a relatively hard surface area, which either prevents or slows down the entry of water into the soil as under natural conditions prior to development. It is a hard surface area which causes water to run off the surface in greater quantities or at an increased rate of flow different than the natural conditions prior to development. Common impervious surfaces include, but are not limited to, rooftops, walkways, patios, driveways, paved parking lots or storage areas, concrete or asphalt paving, gravel roads, packed earthen materials, and oiled surfaces which similarly hinder the natural infiltration of stormwater.

(4) “Person” means any institution, public or private corporation, individual, partnership or other entity. For classification purposes for sewer billing, each person shall be designated either residential or commercial. At those locations where a residence is combined with a business, the service shall be designated “commercial” if the business is conducted at the residence, and the service shall be designated “residential” if the business is conducted away from the residence.

(5) “Nonresidential” means a structure or use intended or used for business purposes, such as a retail store, a restaurant, an office, a service establishment or industrial use. It also includes multifamily residential structures with more than four units, churches, schools and medical facilities.

(6) “Rainwater harvesting system” means a properly engineered system used on a commercial building to capture and put to beneficial use stormwater that would otherwise run off the property. Beneficial uses include toilet flushing and retention for grounds irrigation.

(7) “System of sewerage,” as defined by RCW 35.67.010, includes both sanitary sewer and storm or surface water sewers. [Ord. 1487 § 1, 2011; Ord. 1171 § 1, 1993; Ord. 1101 § 2, 1990.]

14.06.040 Universal collection service.

(1) Each person within the city shall accept sewer collection and disposal service as provided by the city. Properties not connected to the city’s sanitary sewer system shall not be assessed charges for sanitary sewer service.

(2) It is unlawful for any person other than authorized agents or employees of the city to collect, remove or dispose of sewage in the city. [Ord. 1487 § 1, 2011; Ord. 1370 § 1, 2004; Ord. 1101 § 2, 1990.]

14.06.050 Lien on property.

All delinquent and unpaid charges for sewer services shall be a lien against the premises to which the same are furnished as provided for in the laws of the state in RCW 35A.21.150. [Ord. 1487 § 1, 2011; Ord. 1101 § 2, 1990.]

14.06.060 Rates – Sanitary sewer.

(1) The city council shall establish, by ordinance, rates for sewer service as provided in RCW 35.67.190.

(2) The following rates are hereby established, effective January 1, 2020:

Classification

Monthly Base Charge

Monthly Sewer Charge per 100 Cubic Feet of Water Consumed

Average Monthly Rate by Classification

Residential

$15.86

$3.35

$37.54

Commercial

$30.54

$3.35

$75.07

(3) The following accounts shall be billed at a rate equivalent to the monthly average for their classification:

(a) Greenhouses;

(b) Accounts not connected to the public water system.

(4) Automatic car washes shall be charged three times the commercial average.

(5) Properties outside the corporate limits that have not fully participated in a city ULID shall have a rate 50 percent greater than the rate charged for similar service inside the city’s corporate limits. [Ord. 1633 § 1, 2019; Ord. 1610 § 1, 2018; Ord. 1588 § 1, 2017; Ord. 1576 § 1, 2016; Ord. 1552 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1533 § 1, 2014; Ord. 1517 § 1, 2013; Ord. 1507 § 1, 2012; Ord. 1496 § 1, 2011; Ord. 1487 § 1, 2011; Ord. 1478 § 1, 2010; Ord. 1446 § 1, 2008; Ord. 1427 § 1, 2007; Ord. 1414 § 1, 2006; Ord. 1388 § 1, 2004; Ord. 1370 § 1, 2004; Ord. 1101 § 2, 1990.]

14.06.070 Rates – Storm and surface water.

Storm and surface water utility rates shall be based on a commonly accepted rate unit for surface water utilities, the equivalent residential unit (ERU). The ERU is used to relate a base rate fee charged to a single-family residential parcel to that which is charged to a nonresidential parcel. The ERU is determined by using the current best available method, for verification purposes of a representative sample of single-family residences within the city limits and/or utilizing civil design and construction plans or record drawings. Using this methodology, the public works director shall determine the amount of impervious surface area on each nonresidential parcel. The city’s standard ERU amount is 3,700 square feet of impervious surface area. The specific ERU calculation for each nonresidential parcel will be established for each such parcel as the impervious surface information becomes available for such parcel, and will be calculated in accordance with the following table:

Classification

Monthly Rate

Residential

$5.00 per parcel

Duplex, triplex, fourplex

$2.50 x number of residential units

Nonresidential

$5.00 per ERU

[Ord. 1615 § 1, 2019; Ord. 1533 § 1, 2014; Ord. 1517 § 1, 2013; Ord. 1507 § 1, 2012; Ord. 1487 § 1, 2011.]

14.06.080 Billing, due date and late charges.

(1) A charge for sewer services and for storm and surface water shall be imposed by the city council for the services performed by the public works division.

(2) Billings shall be monthly for each mailing address and shall be mailed prior to the fifth working day of the month in which service is provided.

(3) Accounts shall be considered delinquent on the first day of the month following service. A late fee in the amount of $10.00 shall be imposed 45 days from the billing date for each outstanding account with a balance of $20.00 or more. Sewer and stormwater charges are billed on a combined statement with sanitation charges. The late fee shall be based on the combined balance. [Ord. 1487 § 1, 2011; Ord. 1478 § 1, 2010; Ord. 1446 § 1, 2008; Ord. 1427 § 1, 2007; Ord. 1414 § 1, 2006; Ord. 1388 § 1, 2004; Ord. 1101 § 2, 1990. Formerly 14.06.070.]

14.06.090 Calculation of charges.

Sanitary sewer charges shall be based on average actual water consumption for the annual study period months of January and February. Charges shall be recalculated annually no later than May 1st. [Ord. 1603 § 1, 2018; Ord. 1487 § 1, 2011; Ord. 1370 § 1, 2004; Ord. 1155 § 1, 1993; Ord. 1153 § 1, 1993; Ord. 1101 § 2, 1990. Formerly 14.06.080.]

14.06.100 Insufficient water consumption experience.

In the case of new residential construction or when a residential service has not consumed water throughout the entire study period, the account may be billed at a rate equivalent to the monthly average for its classification or consumption history for the previous study period. In the case of new commercial construction or when a commercial service has not consumed water throughout the entire study period, the account will be billed at the lowest commercial rate (base charge plus charge for 100 cubic feet of water consumed) until there are two consecutive months to calculate the average usage. The commercial service will then be charged at the calculated rate until the recalculation of the annual study period. [Ord. 1603 § 1, 2018; Ord. 1487 § 1, 2011; Ord. 1370 § 1, 2004; Ord. 1101 § 2, 1990. Formerly 14.06.090.]

14.06.110 Suspension of service.

(1) Owners or managers of residential and commercial properties may apply to the city for suspension of service prior to the time the premises become unoccupied. Suspension of service shall not apply to multi-unit properties served by one water meter, where individual unit water consumption cannot be determined. Application shall be made on forms provided by the city and approved by the office of the city treasurer. Upon approval, the sewer service shall be suspended and the regular charge for the service shall be suspended and replaced with a service/standby charge until the premises are reoccupied.

(2) No credit for suspension of service shall be given unless the premises remain unoccupied for 30 consecutive days.

(3) Service/standby charges shall take effect the month in which the property owner/manager makes application to the city, provided the property has been vacant for 30 consecutive days. For those properties vacant 15 days or less at the time application is made but anticipated to be vacant 30 consecutive days or more, the effective date shall be the first of the month following application.

(4) Upon reoccupancy, the sewer charge will be set at the average for the appropriate classification. The owner shall notify the city of the reoccupancy.

(5) Service/standby charges for qualifying properties under this section shall be $5.00 per month for residential properties and commercial properties.

(6) There shall be no suspension of service for the stormwater portion of the fees. [Ord. 1588 § 1, 2017; Ord. 1576 § 1, 2016; Ord. 1552 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1487 § 1, 2011; Ord. 1370 § 1, 2004; Ord. 1312 § 1, 1999; Ord. 1101 § 2, 1990. Formerly 14.06.100.]

14.06.120 Adjustments to charges.

(1) A property with no current water consumption history may have its charges based on either the average for its classification or consumption history for the previous study period.

(2) A property documenting a leak during the study period (which is subsequently repaired) may have its sanitary sewer charges based on:

(a) The average for its classification; or

(b) The previous study period.

(3) If an owner or manager of a nonresidential property believes the ERU applied to their property for stormwater is incorrect, the correctness of the ERU may be appealed to the city within 30 calendar days of the initial mailing of the billing for the fee. Such appeals shall be in writing and shall specify the grounds for the appeal and the requested remedy. Upon resolution of the appeal, an appropriate adjustment to the ERU will be made accordingly. [Ord. 1487 § 1, 2011; Ord. 1370 § 1, 2004. Formerly 14.06.110.]

14.06.130 Credits – Stormwater.

(1) Credits for Properties Covered by Industrial or Municipal Stormwater Permits. Parcels or portions of parcels that meet one of the criteria listed below, to the city’s satisfaction, shall receive a reduction of 20 percent from the annual fee charged under CMC 14.06.070 as currently enacted or hereafter amended for that portion of the parcels covered under an applicable NPDES stormwater permit. A copy of the permit and the stormwater pollution prevention plan or stormwater management plan (as applicable) shall be provided to the city.

(2) Credits for Schools Participating in Stormwater and Surface Water Education. Public and private schools can provide regional benefits to the city’s storm sewer and surface water management program by carrying out certain types of educational and community activities related to protection and enhancement of surface water, groundwater and stormwater quality. Kindergarten through grade 12 schools that are in compliance with all requirements for their own stormwater drainage facilities and that are carrying out surface water, groundwater and stormwater quality educational and community activities in cooperation with the city may apply for a credit, up to a maximum of 20 percent, towards their stormwater fees. Schools shall pay the full charge until such time as a credit is granted by the city.

(3) Waiver of Stormwater Fees for Certain Property. The city will waive fees for a parcel falling within the following special categories upon showing that the property meets the following applicable criteria, for so long as the criteria are met:

(a) Fees shall be waived for streets maintained by the jurisdictions that are signatories of the interlocal agreement. City rights-of-way, alleys and the city transportation system continue to be an integral component of the city stormwater control facility.

(b) Fees shall be waived for municipal parks, public trails and bike paths so long as their owners cooperate with the city in the provisions of educational services and water quality control efforts.

(c) Fees shall be waived for all undeveloped parcels. Information that a property categorized as undeveloped has impervious development will result in a loss of this waiver. Issuance of a construction stormwater permit for previously undeveloped property will also cause fees to be assessed.

(4) Credit for Rainwater Harvesting Systems.

(a) The portion of the rate the city may charge that is allocable to storm or surface water system shall be reduced by a minimum of 10 percent for any new or remodeled commercial building that utilizes a permissive rainwater harvesting system. Rainwater harvesting systems shall be properly sized to utilize the available roof surface of the building. The city shall consider reductions in excess of 10 percent dependent upon the amount of rainwater harvested.

(b) Customers desiring this credit shall apply to the city and shall submit engineering design and operational information as deemed necessary by the city to make their evaluation and decision.

(5) Any municipal agency, with prior authorization from the management team, which performs in-kind services consistent with the purposes of the stormwater permit and enabling ordinances, may request an ERU adjustment in consideration of in-kind services pursuant to RCW 35.67.025. [Ord. 1487 § 1, 2011.]

14.06.140 Violations deemed civil infractions – Penalties – Forfeitures.

Any person or entity which violates the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed to have committed a civil infraction and for each violation shall be fined not to exceed the sum of $500.00. In lieu of a court appearance, any person charged with having committed a civil infraction prohibited by the provisions set forth in this section may forfeit to the Asotin County district court a penalty in the sum of $50.00.

For a second infraction of the same provision occurring within a 12-month period, the amount of the penalty forfeiture shall increase to $100.00. For a third and subsequent infraction of the same provision within a 12-month period, the amount of the penalty provision shall increase to $150.00. [Ord. 1487 § 1, 2011; Ord. 1101 § 2, 1990. Formerly 14.06.130.]