Chapter 13.04
SEWER ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS Revised 2/19

Sections:

13.04.010    Definitions. Revised 2/19

13.04.015    Abbreviations and Acronyms.

13.04.020    Administration. Revised 2/19

13.04.030    Required Use of Public Sewer System. Revised 2/19

13.04.035    Unlawful Use of Public and Private Sewer Facilities.

13.04.040    Development Review. Revised 2/19

13.04.045    Pretreatment Requirements. Revised 2/19

13.04.047    Commercial Sewer Conservation Loan Program.

13.04.048    Residential Side Sewer Conservation Loan Program.

13.04.050    Types and Methods of Providing Sewer Service.

13.04.055    Sewer Service Permits and Sewer Line Extension Permits. Revised 2/19

13.04.060    Construction of Sewer Facilities. Revised 2/19

13.04.070    Connection Charges. Revised 2/19

13.04.075    Deferral of Connection Charges. Revised 2/19

13.04.080    Calculation of Connection Charges.

13.04.085    Connection Charge – Rates. Revised 2/19

13.04.090    Payment Provisions and Delinquencies. Revised 2/19

13.04.095    Fees. Revised 2/19

13.04.100    Violations and Penalties. Revised 2/19

13.04.110    Compliance with Other Regulations.

13.04.120    Severability.

13.04.010 Definitions. Revised 2/19

Unless the context specifically indicates otherwise, the meaning of terms used in this Sewer Code (Title 13 PCC) shall be as set forth in this Section. In certain circumstances, a term may only apply to an individual Chapter of this Sewer Code. Any terms not listed in this Sewer Code shall be defined in accordance with other Titles of the Pierce County Code (PCC). Any inconsistency in definitions between Titles or Chapters in the PCC shall be resolved in favor of the later adopted definition. Any term not listed in the PCC shall be defined in accordance with the latest definition in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) or the Washington Administrative Code (WAC).

"Applicant" means the person, party, firm, corporation, or other legal entity that proposes to develop real property by submitting an application for any of the activities covered by these Regulations.

"Appurtenances" means any structures, devices, and appliances other than pipes or conduits that are integral parts of a sewer system. Manholes are a common example of a sewer appurtenance.

"Biochemical Oxygen Demand" (BOD) means a measure of the amount of oxygen consumed in the biological and chemical processes that break down organic matter in water. It is a standard test used in assessing wastewater strength. For testing purposes, BOD means the quantity of oxygen utilized in the biochemical oxidation of organic matter under standard laboratory procedures for five days at 20° Celsius, usually expressed as a concentration [milligrams per liter (mg/l)].

"Building Sewer" means that portion of a sewer pipe connecting one or more structures from the plumbing outlets to a sewer main. The building sewer, including that portion called the "side sewer stub," may include pretreatment devices and/or pump systems and is constructed in accordance with Pierce County Sewer Standards and is not part of the public sewer facilities. Building sewers shall be maintained by the property owner.

"Certified" means to present written, formal communication attesting as being true as represented or as meeting a standard and guaranteed by signature.

"Cesspool" means a pit receiving untreated wastewater and allowing the liquid to seep into the surrounding soil or rock.

"Collector Line" means a sewer pipe that connects side sewer stubs to an interceptor line.

"Commercial Development" means any commercial, industrial, or other non-residential facilities, uses, buildings, or structures that generate wastewater. It includes any development that is not herein defined as residential development.

"Connection Charges" means charges or assessments by the County against a property owner for connection to the public sewer system. These charges are further defined in PCC 13.04.070 and do not include permit fees, plan review and inspection fees, or sewer service charges.

"Department" means the Pierce County Planning and Public Works Department or in the future, that department of Pierce County responsible for the administration of the public sewer facilities owned by Pierce County.

"Developer" means the person, party, firm or corporation who applies for said development.

"Director" means the individual designated by Pierce County as the Director of the Pierce County Planning and Public Works Department or their designee.

"Effluent" means treated or untreated wastewater that flows out of a treatment plant, sewer, or industrial outfall. It also refers to wastewater discharged from a septic tank or on-site sewage system.

"Force Main" means a sewer pipe connected to a pump station that transports wastewater under pressure and/or against the force of gravity.

"Holding Tank" means a tank that is a component of an on-site sewage system designed to receive and temporarily store wastewater from one or more facilities or dwellings for removal, dispersal, and ultimate disposal of the wastewater at another location.

"Industrial Wastes" means any liquid, solid, or gaseous substance or combination thereof, resulting from any process of industry, manufacturing, commercial food processing, business, trade or research, including development, recovering, or processing of natural resources.

"Interceptor Line" means a sewer pipe that transmits larger volumes of wastewater from collector lines to the wastewater treatment plant.

"Manager" means the individual designated by Pierce County as the Manager of the Sewer Division of Pierce County Planning and Public Works Department or designee.

"Mutual Maintenance Agreement and Easement" means a legally binding agreement between two or more property owners for the purpose of connecting two or more structures to a single building sewer located on private property and specifying for the mutual maintenance of the single building sewer by the property owners.

"On-Site Sewage System" (OSS) means any system of piping, treatment devices, or other facilities that convey, store, treat, or dispose of sewage on the property where it originates or on adjacent or nearby property under control of the user where the system is not connected to a public or approved private sewer system.

"Permit" means written authorization from the Department granting the property owner, applicant, registered sewer contractor, or the owner's duly authorized representative permission to make the required building sewer connections to the side sewer stub or to make repairs, alterations, disconnections, caps, or any other sewer construction or repair, or commence, continue, amend, or increase the wastewater discharge from a residential or commercial development as stipulated in this Sewer Code.

"Pierce County Sewer Standards" means any and all requirements and limitations identified in the specifications, details, plans, manuals, guidelines, and checklists as developed and updated by the Department for public and private sewer facilities.

"Plumbing Outlet" means the part of the lowest horizontal piping of a drainage system of a structure that receives waste from other drainage pipes inside the walls of a structure and conveys it to a building sewer.

"Pretreatment" means the reduction of the amount of pollutants, the elimination of pollutants, or the alteration of the nature of pollutant properties in wastewater prior to (or in lieu of) introducing such pollutants into the public sewer system. This reduction or alteration can be obtained by physical, chemical, or biological processes; by process changes; or by other means (except by diluting the concentration of the pollutants unless allowed by an applicable pretreatment standard).

"Private Sewer Facilities" means any wastewater collection, transmission, storage, treatment, or disposal facility owned by the owner(s) of the property or properties that are served by said facilities. Private sewer facilities, which include side sewer stubs, shall be operated and maintained by said private property owner(s) unless responsibility for operation and maintenance is otherwise assigned through an agreement, easement, or contract with a public sewer provider or private entity.

"Public Right-of-Way" means the property in which the County has any form of ownership or title and which is held for public utilities purposes, regardless of whether or not any public sewer or water facilities exists thereon or whether or not it is used, improved, or maintained for public sewer or water facilities.

"Public Sewer Facilities" means any wastewater collection, transmission, storage, treatment, or disposal facility constructed within the public right-of-way, perpetual easement dedicated to the County, or on property owned by the County within the County's service area. Public sewer facilities shall be owned, operated, and maintained by the County.

"Public Sewer System" means all public and private sewer facilities used in the collection, transmission, storage, treatment, or disposal of wastewater and connected, directly or indirectly, to the County's public sewer facilities.

"Pump Station" means a mechanical device installed in a sewer that moves the liquids to a higher elevation or through a force main.

"Registered Professional Engineer" means an individual or corporation holding a currently valid license to practice engineering in the State of Washington.

"Registered Sewer Contractor" means any contractor who is duly registered pursuant to the requirements of this Sewer Code to construct, install, repair, reconstruct, excavate, or connect any building sewer, side sewer stub, or sewer line extension to the public sewer system.

"Residential Development" means any facilities, uses, buildings, or structures for human habitation that generates wastewater including, but not limited to: private houses; accessory dwelling units; each unit of a duplex, triplex, fourplex, apartment building, condominium, or townhouse; or a mobile home.

"Residential Equivalent" (RE) means that service unit which, for purposes of sewer service measurement, is 220 gallons per day (GPD), having a waste strength of not greater than 225 milligrams per liter of BOD and not greater than 225 milligrams per liter of Total Suspended Solids (TSS).

"Septage" means a semisolid substance consisting of settled sewage solids combined with varying amounts of water and dissolved materials generated from an on-site sewage system with a septic tank.

"Septic Tank" means a watertight treatment receptacle receiving the discharge of wastewater from a building sewer or sewers and designed and constructed to permit separation of settleable and floating solids prior to the discharge of the liquid wastes.

"Sewer" means a pipe or conduit that collects and carries wastewater away from a source to a wastewater treatment plant.

"Sewer Code" means Title 13 of the Pierce County Code.

"Sewer Development Review Application" means an application submitted by an applicant for the review of a commercial development (pretreatment review), land use application, or any other proposal by an applicant as required by the Department or the local jurisdiction. A sewer development review application is not an authorization to repair or construct sewer improvement or make a new connection to the public sewer system.

"Sewer Facility Plan" means a plan that identifies the sewer facilities required to convey and treat wastewater within a given area. The Sewer Facility Plan shall include location and description of disposal facilities, collector and interceptor lines, pumping and monitoring stations, and control and treatment facilities, if appropriate. It may also include preliminary engineering to insure the feasibility of any future proposed facilities which are proposed as part of the plan. The preliminary engineering for the Sewer Facility Plan shall include all criteria necessary to establish sizing of the sewer facilities identified in the plan.

"Sewer Line Extension" means the following: (1) The construction, upgrading, and/or extension of public or private sewer facilities including, but not limited to, collector lines, interceptor lines, and or pump stations; or (2) Those sewer facilities of sufficient complexity to require a Sewer Facilities Plan by a registered professional engineer as determined by the Director.

"Sewer Line Extension Permit" means a permit issued to an applicant as authorization for the construction of a sewer line extension and the Department's plan review and inspection thereof.

A sewer line extension permit does not authorize the connection of plumbing outlets or the discharge of wastewater to the public sewer system.

"Sewer Main" means a collector line or interceptor line. Sewer mains generally begin and end with a manhole.

"Sewer Service Area" means the geographical area identified in the Unified Sewer Plan for existing or planned sewer service. It represents the area served by the public sewer system.

"Sewer Service Permit" means a permit issued to an applicant for the repair, capping, abandonment, and/or construction of sewer improvements that do not meet the definition of a "sewer line extension" and the Department's plan review and inspection thereof. A sewer service permit may also be issued to an applicant as authorization for the connection of plumbing outlets or the discharge of wastewater to the public sewer system, or a proposed increase in wastewater discharge to the public sewer system with or without proposed sewer improvements.

"Side Sewer Stub" means that portion of a building sewer constructed from a sewer main to a property line or the edge of a perpetual easement of a property being served. The side sewer stub shall be considered part of the building sewer and shall be maintained by the property owner.

"Side Sewer Tee" means the tee fitting at the point at which the side sewer stub joins the sewer main.

"Structure" means a combination of materials constructed and erected on or under the ground or attached to something having location on or under the ground, including but not limited to, trailers, mobile homes and house trailers, but shall not include residential fences, retaining walls, and similar improvements of a minor character.

"Total Suspended Solids" (TSS) means a measure of the particulate matter contained in wastewater.

"Treatment" means chemical, biological, or mechanical procedures applied to wastewater to remove, reduce, or neutralize contaminants.

"Unified Sewer Plan" (USP) means the planning document prepared by the Department to identify the system of the sewer facilities required to convey and treat wastewater within the Sewer Service Area. The Unified Sewer Plan serves as the "sewerage general plan" that is required to be adopted by the County pursuant to Chapter 36.94 RCW.

"Wastewater" means water-carried wastes from residential, commercial, or industrial facilities together with other waters which may inadvertently enter the system through ground water infiltration and surface water inflow. This term is used interchangeably with the term "sewage."

"Wastewater Facilities" means the structures, equipment, and processes required to collect and treat wastewater and to dispose of its effluent and waste by-products.

"Wastewater Treatment Plant" (WWTP) means a publicly owned facility used to provide treatment to any liquid or waterborne waste of residential, commercial or industrial origin. For purposes of this Sewer Code, it specifically refers to the Chambers Creek Regional WWTP and any other WWTP facility in which the County has ownership interest.

(Ord. 2018-99s § 1 (part), 2018; Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2015-25s § 2 (part), 2015; Ord. 2013-25s § 2 (part), 2013)

13.04.015 Abbreviations and Acronyms.

The following acronyms shall have the designated meanings in this Sewer Code:

"BOD" means Biochemical Oxygen Demand.

"DOE" means Washington State Department of Ecology.

"DOH" means Washington State Department of Health.

"GPD" means gallons per day.

"mg/l" means milligrams per liter.

"OSS" means On-Site Sewage System.

"PCC" means Pierce County Code.

"RCW" means Revised Code of Washington.

"RE" means Residential Equivalent.

"TPCHD" means Tacoma Pierce County Health Department.

"TSS" means Total Suspended Solids.

"ULID" means Utility Local Improvement District.

"USP" means Unified Sewer Plan.

"WAC" means Washington Administrative Code.

"WWTP" means Wastewater Treatment Plant.

(Ord. 2013-25s § 2 (part), 2013)

13.04.020 Administration. Revised 2/19

A.    Responsibilities of the Department. The Sewer Division of the Department has the responsibility for the maintenance, operation, preservation, improvement, and administration of sewer and water utility facilities owned by Pierce County.

B.    Authority of the Director. The Director shall be the administrator of the public sewer system. Overall authority for the execution, administration, and interpretation of the rates and regulations in this Sewer Code resides with the Director. Such authority shall include the power to determine questions of applicability or interpretation of rates or regulations, to adopt or modify implementing procedures, to enforce regulations or grant exemptions, to order specific actions or forbearance, and to impose other additional requirements in furtherance of this Sewer Code. These decisions shall be made when deemed reasonably necessary in the interest of the public. All such decisions shall be documented and an annual report summarizing these decisions shall be submitted to the Pierce County Council by October 1st of each calendar year. The Director shall have the authority to delegate, as necessary, specific authority to carry out the execution, administration, and interpretation of these rates and regulations.

C.    Interdepartmental Cooperation and Agreements. The Director may, insofar as practicable, make use of services of the other County departments, offices, and agencies. Interdepartmental agreements between the Department and other departments of the County may be authorized when necessary.

D.    Contracts – General. The Department may enter into contracts with entities such as an existing water and/or wastewater district, municipal corporation, other government agency, political subdivision, person, firm, or corporation for the establishment, maintenance and/or operation of any sewer or water facilities. The Director shall not be authorized to obligate the Department to any such contract, but shall perform all preparatory work necessary prior to presentation of such proposed contracts to the Pierce County Executive for execution.

Such contracts may include, but are not limited to, the following types:

1.    Contracts with such entities whereby the Department agrees to establish, maintain, or operate sewer and/or water facilities for such entity;

2.    Contracts with such entities whereby such entity agrees to establish, maintain, or operate sewer and/or water facilities for the Department;

3.    Contracts with such entities whereby the Department may utilize any sewer and/or water facilities owned and/or operated by such entity for any lawful purpose;

4.    Contracts with such entities whereby such entity may utilize all or a portion of Pierce County's sewer and/or water facilities for any lawful purpose;

5.    Contracts with property owners whereby such owners agree to construct off-site sewer and/or water facilities; and

6.    Contracts with property owners of large job-producing developments for the amortization of connection charges pursuant to Pierce County Ordinance No. 2010-67s.

E.    Contract Requirements. All contracts entered into between the Department and other entities shall contain the minimum following information:

1.    complete description of all the duties, obligations, and commitments of both parties;

2.    legal description of all properties covered under the contract;

3.    required payments, connection charges, fees, deposits and assessments;

4.    other information/items deemed necessary by the Director; and

5.    requirements of other agencies, the State of Washington, and/or United States Government for the type of service being provided in the contracts.

F.    Review, Inspection, and Construction of Proposed Sewer Facilities. Prior to the construction, installation, and operation of any public or private sewer facility governed by the provisions of this Sewer Code, the Department shall require any property owners, developers, or other entities to submit a Sewer Facility Plan to the Department for approval and/or obtain a sewer service permit and pay all required fees and connection charges, except as otherwise provided in PCC 13.04.075. A Sewer Facility Plan required by this Sewer Code shall conform to Pierce County Sewer Standards and include information of sufficient scope and detail so as to allow the Director to make a determination that the Sewer Facility Plan meets the minimum requirements of the Department.

The Department shall conduct the review of any Sewer Facility Plan prior to commencement of construction and shall also conduct inspections of the sewer facility installation prior to operation to ascertain whether the installation complies with the approved Sewer Facility Plan and all other requirements, standards and/or provisions of this Sewer Code. The Department will conduct a television inspection of all interceptor and collector lines installed by the property owner, developer, or other entity. If defects are discovered by the Department, the property owner, developer, or other entity will be responsible for reimbursing the Department for all costs incurred to re-televise the lines after the defects have been resolved.

G.    Design Criteria and Construction Standards. The Department shall ensure that the design and construction of new or improved sewer facilities are consistent with the most current version of DOE's Criteria for Sewage Works Design and Pierce County Sewer Standards as prescribed and interpreted by the Director.

In cases where specific design or construction criteria are not prescribed by the Sewer Code or Pierce County Sewer Standards, the following guidelines shall be followed to determine the required criteria:

1.    All sewer facilities shall be designed and constructed in a manner that minimizes inflow and infiltration into the public sewer system.

2.    All sewer facilities shall be designed and constructed in a manner that minimizes the number of pressure sewer connections.

3.    All sewer facilities shall be designed and constructed in a manner that provides the least lifecycle cost to the Department.

4.    All sewer facilities shall be designed and constructed in a manner that allows perpetual and unrestricted access for maintenance and operation of the facilities.

5.    All sewer facilities shall be designed and constructed in a manner that minimizes public exposure to sewage spills and sewer-related odors and noise.

H.    Sewer Utility Funds. The County shall by separate resolutions/ordinances create the necessary Sewer Utility Funds to properly account for any and all revenues received for the use of sewers as set forth herein, from revenues received from the sale of by-products from the WWTP, or from any other source for rentals or services rendered by the Department. All expenses for the maintenance, operation, preservation, improvement, and administration of the public sewer system shall be charged to these funds.

I.    Authorization of Inspection of Existing Sewer Facilities. The Department shall be authorized to enter upon premises connected to the public sewer system at all reasonable hours for inspection purposes. In the event that entry is refused, necessary steps shall be taken to make application for a search warrant to accomplish the appropriate inspection. If the sewer facilities or its appurtenances are in conflict with the provisions of this Sewer Code, the owner of the premises shall be notified to cause the sewer or its appurtenances to be so altered, repaired, or reconstructed at the property owner's expense so as to make them conform to the requirements of this Sewer Code within a reasonable time limit established by the Director from the time of receipt of such notice.

(Ord. 2018-99s § 1 (part), 2018; Ord. 2013-25s § 2 (part), 2013)

13.04.030 Required Use of Public Sewer System. Revised 2/19

A.    General. All matters pertaining to the collection, treatment, and disposal of wastewater and/or industrial wastes within the Sewer Service Area shall be subject to this Section and all other Sections in this Sewer Code.

B.    Connection Requirements. Within the Sewer Service Area, the following connection requirements are applicable:

1.    Within ULID Areas.

a.    New Development. Any applicant who proposes new residential or commercial development on any lot or parcel of real property within the boundaries of a ULID shall be required to connect the plumbing outlets from any existing and proposed buildings or structures to the public sewer system; and

b.    Existing Buildings or Structures. The owner of any lot or parcel of real property within the boundaries of a ULID shall be required to connect the plumbing outlets from any existing and proposed buildings or structures to the public sewer system.

2.    Outside ULID Areas.

a.    New Development. Any applicant who proposes new residential or commercial development on any lot or parcel of real property within a horizontal distance of 300 feet from any existing available sewers shall be required to connect the plumbing outlets from any existing and proposed buildings or structures to the public sewer system. The horizontal distance shall be measured along a straight line from the available connection point to the closest property line; and

b.    Existing Buildings or Structures. The owner of any lot or parcel of real property within a horizontal distance of 300 feet from any existing available sewers and has existing residential or commercial buildings or structures that are currently served by an OSS shall be required to connect the plumbing outlets from any existing buildings or structures to the public sewer system under any of the following conditions:

(1)    When the TPCHD has determined that the failure of the existing OSS cannot be repaired or replaced;

(2)    When the TPCHD has determined that there is a proposed change in use of any facility, residence, or other structure that exceeds the wastewater strength or capacity of the existing OSS; or

(3)    When the TPCHD has determined that the continued use of the existing OSS threatens public health.

The horizontal distance shall be measured along a straight line from the available connection point to the closest property line.

The owner of any such property connecting to the public sewer system shall be required to submit any required Sewer Facility Plan, obtain the required sewer permits, and pay all applicable fees and connection charges, except as otherwise provided in PCC 13.04.075, and take any other action required by the provisions of this Sewer Code.

C.    Time and Manner of Connections and Repairs. The owner of any lot or parcel of real property required to make a connection to the public sewer system pursuant to subsection B. of this Section shall make such connection within 60 days after the date of written notification of available public sewer facilities from the Director. All required connections to the public sewer system shall be made in a permanent and sanitary manner in accordance with the provisions of this Sewer Code and shall be sufficient to carry all the wastewater from all buildings or structures into the public sewer system. Each toilet, sink, stationary washstand, washing machine, dishwasher, floor drain and other type of equipment discharging wastewater shall be connected to the public sewer system.

All plumbing outlets shall be connected to the public sewer system before the completion of the construction of any buildings or structures or before any occupancy or use thereof is allowed. Upon connection to the public sewer system, the owner shall decommission any existing OSS in accordance with the TPCHD's Environmental Health Code.

Any needed repair to any public or private sewer facilities shall be made within 30 days after the date of written notification from the Director to the owner of the property served. In the event of an emergency, the Director may establish a shorter time limit for the repair to be made or, if the property owner cannot be located or does not promptly make such repairs, the Department may make the repairs under the procedure of subsection D. of this Section.

D.    Failure to Connect or Repair Sewer Facilities. If any required connections of or repairs to public or private sewer facilities are not completed as prescribed in subsection C. of this Section, the Department may make the connections or repairs for and at the total expense of the property owner or developer provided the Department takes the following steps:

1.    Notifies the property owner or developer that the connections or repairs are delinquent and informs the property owner or developer that the Department intends to make the connections or repairs;

2.    Notifies the property owner or developer that the Department shall charge the property owner or developer for all costs associated with the connections or repairs; and

3.    Notifies the property owner or developer that any failure to reimburse the Department for all costs shall result in the County filing a lien upon the property as provided for in PCC 13.13.045.

E.    Financial Conditions. Except as otherwise provided in PCC 13.04.075, the payment of all connection charges or assessments shall be required as set forth in PCC 13.04.070 from any applicant requesting:

1.    increased usage or other benefits over and above what the property was previously assessed or charged; or

2.    a first-time connection to the public sewer system.

F.    Affordable Housing. Any applicant requesting a waiver of connection charges and sewer permit and/or plan review application fees for a first-time connection to the public sewer system shall be required to meet the requirements for affordable housing as prescribed in Chapter 18A.65 PCC and may only be available if sufficient funds have been appropriated by the Pierce County Council to the Sewer Utility Funds to replace those charges and fees waived or refunded to the applicant.

(Ord. 2018-99s § 1 (part), 2018; Ord. 2013-25s § 2 (part), 2013)

13.04.035 Unlawful Use of Public and Private Sewer Facilities.

A.    Unlawful Wastewater Disposal Facilities. Except as otherwise, provided in PCC 13.04.030, it shall be unlawful for any person or entity to construct or install any holding tank, septic tank, cesspool, portable toilet, or other OSS components within the boundaries of a ULID or within other portions of the Sewer Service Area where any permanent public sewer facilities are available. This restriction does not apply to temporary wastewater disposal systems, such as those used at construction sites.

B.    Unlawful Discharge of Septage. It shall be unlawful for any person or entity to discharge the contents of any holding tank, septic tank, cesspool, portable toilet, or OSS into the public sewer system except in accordance with the provisions in PCC 13.06.190 related to hauled wastes.

C.    Unlawful Deposit of Waste. It shall be unlawful for any person or entity to place, throw, dump, deposit, or permit to be deposited any human excrement, garbage, dirt, rocks, sticks, debris, or other foreign matter into the public sewer system. Any wastewater, waste, or other matter having the characteristics described in the most current Industrial Pretreatment Regulations (Chapter 13.06 PCC) shall, under no conditions, be discharged into or be placed where they might find their way into, or be allowed to run, leak, leach, or escape into any part of the public sewer system.

D.    Unlawful Discharge of Storm and Other Waters. It shall be unlawful for any person or entity to discharge or cause to be discharged any storm drainage water, surface water, roof runoff, or subsurface drainage into the public sewer system without the written consent of the Director. Persons discharging swimming pool water, unpolluted cooling water, or unpolluted industrial cooling or process water into the public sewer system shall be subject to commercial sewer service charges based on flow, BOD, and TSS levels.

E.    Limitations on Discharge Locations. It shall be unlawful for any person or entity to discharge any wastes directly into a manhole or other opening in the public sewer system other than through an approved building sewer without the written authorization of the Director in compliance with this Sewer Code.

F.    Unlawful Damage to Sewer Facilities. It shall be unlawful for any person or entity to willfully or negligently break, damage, destroy, uncover, deface or tamper with any structure, appurtenance, or piece of equipment of the public sewer system.

G.    Unlawful Connections or Disturbances. It shall be unlawful for any person or entity to make or cause to be made any connection to, opening into, use, alteration and/or disturbance of the public sewer system without receiving a permit in compliance with this Sewer Code.

(Ord. 2013-25s § 2 (part), 2013)

13.04.040 Development Review. Revised 2/19

A.    General. The Department shall have the right to review plans, specifications, and application submittals for all proposed development within the Sewer Service Area for compliance with the requirements set forth in the Sewer Code and the Pierce County Sewer Standards. The Department shall also have the right to set conditions of approval of said applications to mitigate their impact on the public sewer system including, but not limited to, payment of additional connection charges, submittal of sewer service or sewer line extension permit applications, installation of pretreatment devices, acquisition and recording of easements, and future development restrictions and conditions.

B.    Sewer Development Review Applications. Prior to the construction, installation, or operation of any development or facility within the Sewer Service Area, the Department may require any property owners, developers, or applicants to submit a Sewer Development Review application to the Department for approval and pay all required review fees as required by PCC 2.05.040. A Sewer Development Review application shall conform to the Department's standard plans and forms and shall include information of sufficient scope and detail so as to allow the Department to make a determination of the impacts that the development or facility may have on the public sewer system.

C.    Terms and Fees. A Sewer Development Review application is valid for 12 months from the date of application.

1.    Extension Requests. Sewer Development Review applications may be extended an additional 12 months from the current expiration date and will be allowed a maximum of two 12-month extensions; provided, that:

a.    The applicant submits to the Department a written request for a 12-month extension prior to the current date of expiration, or within 180 calendar days thereafter; and

b.    The applicant pays an additional application fee as prescribed in PCC 2.05.040.

If an application has been expired for more than 180 calendar days but the applicant still wishes to obtain approval of the proposal, a new application shall be submitted and the County shall again collect all applicable fees as prescribed in PCC 2.05.040.

2.    Application Fees. Sewer Development Review application fees shall be as prescribed in PCC 2.05.040.

(Ord. 2018-99s § 1 (part), 2018; Ord. 2018-99s § 1 (part), 2018; Ord. 2017-68s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2013-25s § 2 (part), 2013)

13.04.045 Pretreatment Requirements. Revised 2/19

A.    Pretreatment Review and User Classification. When a property owner or business owner proposes to change the use, business practices, or ownership of a commercial property, tenant space, or business, they shall first be evaluated to determine in which Industrial User category the business belongs. Each user shall be classified as either an Insignificant, Minor, or Significant Industrial User based on factors affecting the potential of discharge strength. Users determined to be Minor or Significant Industrial Users shall be required to undergo a review of their proposal to determine if pretreatment of their wastewater discharge will be required. Minor and Significant Industrial Users shall submit plans and documents as required by the Manager to determine the likelihood that the wastewater discharged from any existing or proposed uses into the public sewer system will not conform to the standards as prescribed in the most current Industrial Pretreatment Regulations in Chapter 13.06 PCC. The applicant will be notified in writing of any conditions of approval including, but not limited to, required business practices, design and installation of pretreatment devices, testing requirements, installation or repair of sample point(s), and/or payment of additional connection charges. Insignificant Industrial Users shall be exempt from pretreatment review but required to conform to the pretreatment standards prescribed in Chapter 13.06 PCC.

B.    Pretreatment Facilities – Approval and Construction. When the Manager determines that the wastewater from any existing or proposed uses into the public sewer system does not conform or is unlikely to conform in the future to the Prohibited Discharge Standards under Chapter 13.06 PCC, the owner of the discharging property shall be required, at the owner's expense, to bring it into conformance through the use of pretreatment facilities. Pretreatment facilities may include grease interceptors, oil/water separators, chemical or biochemical plants, sedimentation chambers, and any devices or equipment which causes a change of any nature in the characteristics of the matter being treated.

Prior to the construction, operation, or modification of any pretreatment facilities, the owner shall obtain approval in writing from the Manager. The pretreatment facilities shall include all necessary features of construction and allow for the testing of material passing through them. Such pretreatment facilities shall be open to the inspection of the Department at any time. Written approval from the Manager of any pretreatment facilities shall not guarantee that the pretreatment facility will operate as designed; the property owner and/or the owner's registered professional engineer will assume this liability and shall be responsible for compliance with all regulations.

The Sewer Facility Plan and other pertinent information relating to proposed pretreatment facilities shall be prepared by a registered professional engineer and shall be submitted for the approval of the Manager and the DOE and/or the DOH when required by law.

Any expenses incurred by the Department in reviewing the Sewer Facility Plan shall be paid by the property owner or the owner's representative before the Manager's approval shall be granted.

C.    Pretreatment Facilities – Operation and Maintenance. When pretreatment facilities are provided for any wastewaters, such facilities shall be maintained continuously in satisfactory and effective operation by the property owner and/or user at their own expense. The property owner and/or user shall, at the Manager's discretion, submit to the Department certified monthly operational records and tests to monitor the performance of the pretreatment facilities. The form of such operational records and tests shall be prescribed by the Manager.

D.    Determination of Character of Waste Matter. Before any wastewater whose discharge might reasonably be considered a violation of this Sewer Code is discharged into the public sewer system, the controlling characteristics of such matter shall be determined to the satisfaction of the Manager. The responsibility of initiating such determinations and the costs involved with submitting the results of the determinations to the Department shall lie solely with the owner and/or user. Verification of these results and the decision as to whether the matter may be discharged to the public sewer system shall be the responsibility of the Manager. Any previous discharges into the public sewer system do not constitute a valid right to discharge such matter. If at any time the Manager determines that any matter being discharged into the public sewer system does not conform to the requirements of this Sewer Code, the Manager may immediately order the stoppage of the discharge of such matter and/or termination of sewer service to the discharging property.

E.    Tests of Wastes and Location of Sampling. All measurements, tests, and analyses of the characteristics of wastewaters referenced in this Section shall be determined by analysis of the samples obtained at a control manhole or other location as approved by the Manager. Such tests and analyses shall be performed by an appropriately certified, independent testing laboratory and shall be conducted at the sole expense of the owner and/or user.

F.    Commercial or Industrial Wastes – Sample Point. When required by the Manager, the owner and/or user of any property served by a building sewer carrying commercial or industrial wastes shall install a suitable sample point in the building sewer to facilitate observation, sampling, and measurement of the wastes. When required, the sample point shall be fully accessible, safely located, and constructed in accordance with plans approved by the Manager. Such plans shall be in accordance with the most current Pierce County Sewer Standards. The sample point shall be installed by a registered sewer contractor at the property owner's and/or user's expense and shall be maintained by the property owner and/or user so as to be safe and accessible at all times by the Department.

G.    Uncontaminated Wastewater. Whenever any customer of the public sewer system uses water for irrigation, cooling, heating, processing, or any other purpose that produces uncontaminated wastewater satisfactory for direct discharge into storm drains or surface waterways, the property owner shall, at their sole expense, separate this water from other wastewater prior to discharging it into a storm drain or surface waterway as approved by the appropriate county, State and/or federal departments.

(Ord. 2018-99s § 1 (part), 2018; Ord. 2013-25s § 2 (part), 2013)

13.04.047 Commercial Sewer Conservation Loan Program.

The owner of any commercial real property who meets the requirements of PCC 13.04.045 may submit an application to the Department for a commercial sewer conservation loan for up to 90 percent of the estimated total cost for any required sewer pretreatment facilities not to exceed a maximum loan amount of $50,000. Any such loan shall be secured by a lien against the title of the commercial real property and shall be subject to the Department's terms and conditions including, but not limited to, the payment of a nonrefundable application fee and the filing fees for the recording and release of the lien. (Ord. 2014-69s § 1, 2014)

13.04.048 Residential Side Sewer Conservation Loan Program.

The owner of any residential real property experiencing a side sewer failure within Pierce County's Sewer Service Area may submit an application to the Department for a residential side sewer conservation loan to assist in financing the repair of the side sewer. The Department is authorized to provide loans of up to 90 percent of the eligible costs of the side sewer repair not to exceed a maximum loan amount of $10,000. Such loans shall have a maximum loan term of 10 years and an interest rate equivalent to the True Interest Cost of any current Pierce County sewer bonds, and shall be repaid in monthly installments. Any such loan shall be secured by a lien against the title of the property and shall be subject to the Department's terms and conditions including, but not limited to, the payment of a non-refundable application fee, filing fees for the recording and release of the lien, and penalties for delinquent payments. The total value of all loans granted by the Department in any year shall not exceed the appropriation amount for the loan program set forth in the Pierce County Budget for that year. (Ord. 2016-63s2 § 3, 2016)

13.04.050 Types and Methods of Providing Sewer Service.

A.    Permanent Sewer Facilities. The primary means of wastewater collection and disposal in urbanizing areas shall be construction and extension of permanent sewer facilities. This construction shall be in accordance with the USP, the County's Capital Facilities Plan, approved Sewer Facility Plans, and the Pierce County Sewer Standards.

B.    Sewer Service for Areas Outside Pierce County's Jurisdiction. Wastewater originating in any areas outside Pierce County's jurisdiction and outside the Sewer Service Area may be discharged into the public sewer system upon mutual execution of a contract with the municipal corporation having authority to regulate the discharge within the area of origin. Sewer service for areas outside the County's jurisdiction but within the Sewer Service Area shall be in conformance with this Sewer Code and the USP, which has been developed and adopted pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 36.94 RCW

C.    Utility Local Improvement District – Establishment. As prescribed in Chapter 36.94 RCW, Pierce County shall have the power to establish ULIDs for the purpose of constructing or reconstructing sewer and water facilities and to levy special assessments to pay for such improvements.

D.    Connection of Non-ULID Properties to Existing Public Sewer System. Any applicant desiring sewer service by the connection of the applicant's property to an existing ULID or any public sewer facilities may do so provided that:

1.    The applicant obtains the required sewer permits as outlined in this Sewer Code and pays the applicable connection charges and other required fees; and

2.    The capacity of the existing facilities is determined by the Director to be available in an amount to sufficiently accommodate the wastewater generated by the added development.

E.    Sewer Line Extension Facilities. Any applicant electing to obtain sewer service by the construction of a sewer line extension may do so, provided:

1.    The applicant pays connection charges as required under PCC 13.04.070 and the Plan Review and Inspection Fees as outlined in PCC 2.05.040;

2.    The capacity in existing facilities is determined by the Director to be available to sufficiently accommodate the wastewater generated by the added development;

3.    The proposed sewer facility is consistent with the USP, the County's Capital Facilities Plan, and approved Sewer Facility Plans; and

4.    The sewer line extension is designed and constructed in accordance with the current Pierce County Sewer Standards and the requirements of this Sewer Code.

(Ord. 2017-68s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2013-25s § 2 (part), 2013)

13.04.055 Sewer Service Permits and Sewer Line Extension Permits. Revised 2/19

A.    General. A sewer service permit and/or sewer line extension permit shall be required for any new connection to the public sewer system or for any modification, repair, disconnection, inspection, or addition to an existing building sewer or sewer line extension, or discharge of additional wastewater. The applicant shall apply for a sewer service permit and/or sewer line extension permit on a special form furnished by the Department and pay all required review fees as required by PCC 2.05.040. The permit application shall be supplemented by any plans, specifications, or other information considered pertinent at the discretion of the Director or as required by this Sewer Code.

B.    Term and Fees. A sewer service permit application or sewer line extension permit application is valid for 12 months from the date of application.

1.    Application Extension Requests Prior to Permit Issuance. Sewer service permit applications or sewer line extension permit applications may be extended an additional 12 months from the current expiration date; provided, that:

a.    The applicant submits to the Department a written request for a 12-month expiration extension prior to the current date of expiration or within 180 calendar days thereafter; and

b.    The applicant pays an additional permit fee as prescribed in PCC 2.05.040.

2.    Extension Requests After Permit Issuance. At the time a permit is issued, the permit expiration date shall be automatically extended to a date that is 12 months after the date of issuance.

After issuance, but prior to final inspection, sewer service permits or sewer line extension permits may be extended an additional 12 months from the current expiration date and will be allowed a maximum of two 12-month extensions; provided, that:

a.    The applicant submits to the Department a written request for a 12-month expiration extension prior to the current date of expiration or within 180 calendar days thereafter; and

b.    The applicant pays an additional permit fee as prescribed in PCC 2.05.040.

3.    Application Fees. If a permit has been expired for more than 180 calendar days but the applicant still wishes to connect to the public sewer system, a new permit application shall be submitted and the County shall again collect all applicable permit fees as prescribed in PCC 2.05.040.

C.    Sewer Service Permit or Sewer Line Extension Permit Requirements. Sewer service permits or sewer line extension permits shall be obtained in the following manner:

1.    Permits shall be issued only upon proper application to the Department;

2.    All work authorized under a sewer service permit or sewer line extension permit shall be performed by a registered sewer contractor;

3.    Sewer service permits or sewer line extension permits shall not be transferable unless a written request from the applicant is approved by the Director. No person, including any registered sewer contractor, shall perform any sewer work pursuant to any other applicant's permit;

4.    A sewer service permit or sewer line extension permit shall be issued prior to commencement of construction and only after approval of any required Sewer Facility Plan by the Department and only after the applicant pays all applicable fees and connection charges as prescribed in PCC 2.05.040, except as otherwise provided in PCC 13.04.075;

5.    No sewer service permit for residential buildings allowing connection to the public sewer system shall be issued before the construction of the sewer line extension receives final inspection approval and is accepted by the Department. An interim sewer service permit for building sewer construction for model homes and for any applicant-proposed sewer lines not connected to the public sewer system may be issued at the discretion of the Department; and

6.    The permit must be posted on the construction site prior to commencing the work and must be readily accessible to the Department.

(Ord. 2018-99s § 1 (part), 2018; Ord. 2017-68s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2013-25s § 2 (part), 2013)

13.04.060 Construction of Sewer Facilities. Revised 2/19

A.    Plan Review and Inspection of Sewer Line Extensions and Building Sewers. The Department shall require the applicant to submit a Sewer Facility Plan for any new construction or extensions of private or public sewer facilities and/or connections to the public sewer system.

The Sewer Facility Plan shall conform to the most current Pierce County Sewer Standards.

At the time of submittal of the Sewer Facility Plan for review, the applicant shall pay the required Plan Review fees as prescribed in PCC 2.05.040. If, after review of the Sewer Facility Plan, the Department finds that additional Plan Review fees are required, the applicant shall pay said additional Plan Review fees prior to approval of the Sewer Facility Plan.

Prior to issuance of a permit to construct improvements in accordance with said approved Sewer Facility Plan, the applicant shall pay the required Inspection fees as prescribed in PCC 2.05.040. Inspection of construction shall be made by the Department to ascertain that the installation meets all the requirements of the approved Sewer Facility Plan and Pierce County Sewer Standards. Approval by the Department shall be required prior to connection to the public sewer system.

B.    Required Contractor Registration for Sewer Line Extensions and Building Sewers. To assure proper construction in the connection of any building sewers or sewer line extensions, no person may construct, install, repair, reconstruct, excavate, or connect a building sewer or sewer line extension to the public sewer system unless the person is a sewer contractor holding a valid unsuspended current Certificate of Registration issued by the Department of Labor and Industries of the State of Washington pursuant to Chapter 18.27 RCW. The registered sewer contractor shall also be registered with the Department and licensed in construction general or as a specialty sanitation systems or side sewer contractor and shall have filed with Pierce County a currently valid Street Obstruction Bond. Any contractors that violate any portion of this Sewer Code may be suspended or barred from the Department's registration list for a period of time to be determined by the Director.

1.    A Sewer Service Permit may be granted to the owners of a mobile home park to perform the connection of a mobile home and/or the disconnection (capping) of a mobile home when the connection and/or disconnection will be made to or from an existing standpipe without excavation and with the footprint of the mobile home. Any mobile home park owner that is found to have connected or disconnected any mobile homes without the proper permits may be required to hire a registered sewer contractor to perform any sewer work.

C.    Private Operation of Pumping Facilities. Pumping facilities installed on private property by and at the expense of a property owner shall be owned, operated, and maintained by the property owner. No pumping facility will be permitted to serve more than three separate dwelling units (or 3 REs) unless it contains two pumps. The private pumping facility and force main will be permitted to serve only those structures located on a single parcel of property.

The Sewer Facility Plan for the pumping facilities must be prepared by a registered professional engineer and must be submitted to the Department for review and approval. Department approval of the pumping facilities shall not guarantee that the pumping facility will operate as designed.

The Department shall not accept for review the Sewer Facility Plan for any pumping facility prior to the payment of the plan review fee outlined in this Sewer Code.

D.    Building Sewer for Each Building – Exceptions. No more than one building shall be connected to a single building sewer unless said connection is approved in writing by the Director in response to a Waiver Request Application, except as follows:

1.    One single-family (detached) building or duplex building and an accessory structure may be connected to the same building sewer if they are located on the same parcel.

2.    All dwelling units of a single-family (attached) building may be connected to the same building sewer if they are located on the same parcel and building sewer is at least six inches in diameter from the sewer main to the point of common connection.

3.    One single-family (detached) building or duplex building and one single-family (detached) building or duplex on a separate parcel may be connected to the same building sewer if a perpetual reciprocal easement, mutual maintenance agreement, and covenant running with the land have been signed by all affected property owners and recorded with the Pierce County Auditor's Office, and the building sewer is at least six inches in diameter from the sewer main to the point of common connection.

    The exceptions listed above shall not be construed as a waiver of any other Section of the Sewer Code.

E.    Mutual Maintenance Agreement and Easement. If it is determined that a special condition(s) requires more than one separately owned building or structure to be served by an existing or proposed single building sewer or private collector line, the owners of the properties must enter into a Perpetual Reciprocal Easement, Mutual Maintenance Agreement and Covenant Running With The Land. This agreement shall include perpetual mutual easements for the private sewer facilities and provisions for mutual maintenance and access purposes. This agreement shall be signed by the property owners to be served by the private facility and recorded with the Pierce County Auditor's Office with a copy furnished to the Department prior to the issuance of a permit for the approval of the building sewer or private collector line.

F.    Reuse of Old Building Sewers. Old building sewers, including septic tank lines, may be reused only when they are found on examination and test by the Department to meet all current requirements of this Sewer Code. This examination and test shall be at the applicant's expense.

G.    Protection of Excavations and Restoration of Public Property. All excavations for building sewer or sewer line extension installations shall be adequately guarded with barricades and lights in accordance with Pierce County Sewer Standards and local regulations so as to protect the public from hazard. Streets, sidewalks, parkways, and other public property disturbed in the course of the work shall be restored to original condition or better.

H.    Backwater Valve Requirement. As a prerequisite for connecting to the public sewer system, the Department shall require the property owner of any structure having a plumbing drain located below the rim elevation of the nearest upstream manhole, or as required by the Department, to install an approved backwater valve to prevent wastewater from backing into the structure.

I.    Information from the County. The property owner shall be responsible for obtaining from the Department the approximate location and elevation of the side sewer wye, tee, or stub at the point of connection and, in the case of new construction, for planning the building and plumbing outlet to provide adequate slope for connecting the building sewer to the side sewer stub. The property owner shall be responsible for determining the available grade between plumbing outlet and the side sewer wye, tee or stub. All Department-supplied information shall be field checked by the property owner or the owner's representative prior to design and construction. The County is not liable for inaccurate information provided to the Department by others.

J.    Conveyance of Sewers to the County. Any sewer constructed in a public right-of-way or sewer easement area shall be dedicated to the County and thereafter shall be considered a public sewer facility under the jurisdiction of the County subject to acceptance by the Department and provided that:

1.    All charges, inspection fees, and other payments due to the County as provided for in this Sewer Code shall be paid and, if applicable, legal documents shall be executed dedicating and acknowledging sewer easements for all portions of the facility located on private property. The cost of all aspects of the conveyance shall be at no cost to the County;

2.    At the discretion of the Director, a sewer to be constructed in a private road may be required to be conveyed to the County. The property owner(s) of record of the private road(s) (for all new short plats, formal plats and large lot subdivisions) shall grant a perpetual easement to the County for the right of immediate entry and continued access for the construction, improvement, maintenance and repair of sewer and water facilities;

3.    Prior to the Department accepting such a conveyance, the property owner and/or developer shall certify that the facility, as constructed, complies with Pierce County Sewer Standards as required under PCC 13.04.020 and other applicable Sections of this Sewer Code; and

4.    Upon completion of installation, the sewer facility shall be conveyed to the County free and clear of all liens or encumbrances.

K.    Disconnection of Building Sewer and Sewer Line Extensions. No building or structure may be disconnected from a building sewer and no building sewer or sewer line extension may be disconnected from the public sewer system for any reason without prior written notification to, and approval by, the Director. No approval shall be given unless the disconnection is lawful under this Code and other applicable laws, and satisfactory protection is given by the owner or his contractor to the public sewer system including, but not limited to, the satisfactory capping of the building sewer.

L.    Performance and Maintenance Bonds. Any owner or developer who constructs any sewer facilities pursuant to this Sewer Code shall furnish to the County a performance bond naming the County as beneficiary or payee in a minimum amount of 100 percent of the value of the improvements to be constructed within the existing public rights-of-way and easements dedicated to the County. Said performance bond in a penal sum equal to a minimum of the amount described above shall be conditioned upon the performance by the owner of all undertakings, covenants, terms, conditions, and agreements, and upon the prompt payment by the owner to all persons supplying labor and materials for the completion of the work. Such bond shall be executed by the owner and a corporate bonding company licensed to transact such businesses in the State of Washington and approved by the Pierce County Finance Department.

The performance bond shall be replaced after the construction is completed and accepted by the Department for operation with a maintenance bond equal to the greater of $5,000.00 or 10 percent of the value of improvements of that which is to be dedicated to the County. The maintenance bond shall insure against defects appearing or developing in the material or workmanship within a period of up to two years after acceptance for operation. At the end of the guarantee period, the bond shall be released provided no latent defects have been discovered on the project. The expense of the bond shall be borne by the owner. If at any time a surety on any such bond is declared bankrupt or loses its right to do business in the State of Washington, the owner shall substitute an acceptable bond (or bonds) in such form and sum and signed by such other surety or sureties as may be satisfactory to the County. The premiums on such bonds shall be paid by the owner.

(Ord. 2018-99s § 1 (part), 2018; Ord. 2017-68s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2013-25s § 2 (part), 2013)

13.04.070 Connection Charges. Revised 2/19

A.    Connection Charges – General. The owner of any development within the Sewer Service Area receiving permanent sewer service through the formation of a ULID, by connection to an existing ULID, or by the extension of or connection to the public sewer system shall be required to pay connection charges. Except as otherwise provided in PCC 13.04.075, all connection charges shall be paid in full as follows:

1.    All latecomer charges for residential and commercial development shall be paid prior to sewer line extension or sewer service permit issuance, whichever comes first.

2.    All other connection charges for residential development shall be paid prior to sewer service permit issuance;

3.    All other connection charges for commercial development within unincorporated Pierce County shall be paid prior to final building inspection; and

4.    All other connection charges for commercial development within a city or town shall be paid prior to sewer service permit issuance.

B.    Mode of Connection Charges for Non-ULID Development. The method or mode of determining the required connection charges to pay the cost of providing permanent sewer service to a given service area or development not located within a ULID shall be determined by dividing the total cost of providing the service into three categories and developing respective charges for each category as prescribed in PCC 13.04.080. The three categories of connection charges include the area charge, latecomers charge, and treatment plant capacity charge. For purposes of calculating connection charges under PCC 13.04.080, the following terms are defined:

1.    Area Charge. The area charge shall be defined as a portion of or all the capital cost(s) associated with all pump stations, force mains, collector and interceptor lines, appurtenances, and any incremental capital costs associated with the public sewer facilities and may include other capital costs deemed appropriate by the Director.

2.    Latecomers Charge. The latecomers charge shall be defined as a portion of or all the capital costs associated with applicant-funded public sewer facilities for which the County has contractual obligations to reimburse the applicants from a portion of the connection charges paid by property owners within a designated area that is served by the applicant-funded public sewer facilities. Any capital costs associated with County participation in these public sewer facilities shall be included in the capital cost associated with the formulation of the area charge. The Latecomers Charge shall also include an administrative fee as calculated pursuant to PCC 13.10.050.

3.    Treatment Plant Capacity Charge. The treatment plant capacity charge shall be defined as a portion of or all the capital cost(s) associated with the treatment of wastes and the disposal of wastewater treatment by-products and may include other capital costs deemed appropriate by the Director.

4.    Capital Cost. The capital cost shall be defined as those costs associated with all design, engineering, construction, inspection, financing, latecomer carrying, and administrative costs and any other such costs mandated either now or in the future by federal, State, and/or local government agencies that are associated with the following types of public sewer facilities:

a.    Existing County-funded public sewer facilities;

b.    Existing undersized ULID-funded facilities that benefit non-ULID properties;

c.    Existing applicant-funded public sewer facilities for which the County reimbursed the applicant for all or a portion of the capital costs; and

d.    Future County-funded public sewer facilities as prescribed in the most recent version of the USP or the County's Capital Facilities Plan.

5.    Interest Rate. The interest rate shall be defined as the annual cost to the Department for borrowing funds in any given year.

6.    Bond Interest Rate (BIR). The bond interest rate shall be defined as the percent interest on borrowed funds if the Department sold bonds to finance public sewer facility construction in January of each year following year zero and shall be established by the Department yearly.

7.    Year Zero. The year zero shall be defined as the year in which all public sewer facility construction (for a single ULID or other permanent public sewer facility capital construction project) is completed.

8.    Carrying Costs. The carrying costs shall be defined as all financing costs incurred by the Department resulting from the capital costs associated with a public sewer facility after the facility is built, financed, and operating. These costs shall be established by the Department in January of each year following year zero.

9.    Consumer Price Index. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI U) shall be defined as the data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to measure changes in the prices of goods and services for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (or succeeding index).

C.    Mode of Connection Charges for ULID Development. After the official assessment roll for any ULID has been confirmed, any additional connection charges imposed on any development within the ULID shall be calculated as prescribed in subsection B. of this Section.

D.    Exceptions to Mode of Assessment. When special conditions or circumstances exist, the County may allow deviations from the mode of assessment as prescribed in the specific ordinance that created the ULID, or charge in lieu of assessment as prescribed in subsection B. of this Section, provided that the deviation is consistent for all development within a given service area and that the deviation and resulting mode of assessment, or charge in lieu of assessment, is specifically defined in a County ordinance.

E.    Latecomers Agreements. If an applicant constructs public sewer facilities with capacity in excess of that required to serve the applicant's property, the applicant may be eligible to apply for a Latecomers Agreement with the County pursuant to Chapter 13.10 PCC.

F.    Area Charge Adjustment for Critical Areas and Open Spaces. If any property seeking connection to the public sewer system contains areas within it that are not capable of development due to the existence of wetlands, flood hazard areas, fish and wildlife habitat areas, aquifer recharge areas or geologically hazardous areas (collectively known as critical areas), or has voluntarily set aside certain portions of the property for open spaces as shown on a project plans, and the method prescribed in this Section or in any County ordinance uses the site square footage as a factor in the calculation of the area charge, the square footage of the critical areas may be excluded from the total square footage of the property for purposes of calculating the area charge component of the connection charges. If the ordinances and regulations governing critical areas are amended or repealed such that the area subject to exclusion can be developed, then subsequent connection charges shall include the area previously excluded. Critical areas or open spaces may not be excluded if the areas are used in calculating density to meet a particular zoning criteria for developing the property. Nothing in this Section shall preclude the use of the area charge formula described in PCC 13.04.080 in the calculation of connection charges for a particular property.

G.    Expansion or Increase in Residential Equivalents. If any property already connected to the public sewer system expands its use or produces increased wastewater discharges which are greater than the number of RE units previously purchased for the property through connection charges or ULID assessments, the Department shall have the right to require that the owner of the property pay additional connection charges. Such additional connection charges shall only be imposed for the net increase over and above the number of RE units for which the property has been assessed or for which connection charges have already been paid. Any property owner who fails to pay these additional connection charges is subject to the provisions in PCC 13.04.090.

H.    Excess BOD or TSS Charges. If any property already connected to the public sewer system produces wastewater discharges with BOD and/or TSS levels which are greater than those levels previously estimated or approved for the property, the Department shall have the right to require that the owner of the property pay additional connection charges. Such additional connection charges shall only be imposed for the net increase over and above the BOD and/or TSS levels for which the property has been originally assessed or for which connection charges have already been paid. Any property owner who fails to pay these additional connection charges is subject to the provisions in PCC 13.04.090.

I.    Mode of Connection Charges for Development Outside Sewer Service Area. The method or mode of determining any connection charges to pay the cost of providing permanent sewer service to development outside the Sewer Service Area shall be determined and set forth as part of the contract with the municipal corporation having authority for providing sewer service to the development.

J.    Annual Adjustments. Each year, any annual adjustments to the connection charges in this Section shall be brought forth by ordinance for consideration by the Council concurrent with the annual adoption of the Pierce County budget.

(Ord. 2018-99s § 1 (part), 2018; Ord. 2013-25s § 2 (part), 2013)

13.04.075 Deferral of Connection Charges. Revised 2/19

The owner/seller of single- or multi-family residential property within unincorporated Pierce County that is being constructed or improved for resale may make a request at the time of any sewer service permit application for a voluntary contractual lien against the title to this property for the deferral of payment of all connection charges other than latecomers charges prescribed by this Chapter to the closing of sale; provided, that said owner/seller agrees to the following:

A.    The voluntary contractual lien shall be contingent upon full payment by the said owner/seller of the Lien Administrative Fee prescribed in PCC 2.05.040 C.8. and the availability of complete and accurate information to record the voluntary contractual lien;

B.    The sewer service permit shall not be issued to the said owner/seller until the voluntary contractual lien has been recorded by County staff;

C.    The said owner/seller shall be responsible for payment of interest on the said connection charges based on a rate of three percent per annum and accrued from the date of sewer service permit issuance until the date of full payment of said connection charges;

D.    The said owner/seller shall be responsible for full payment of said connection charges and accrued interest to the County either by no later than the closing date of sale or by no later than two years from the date of sewer service permit issuance, whichever comes first. In no case shall building occupancy occur prior to the full payment of the deferred connection charges and any accrued interest. Notice of the prohibition on occupancy shall be included on all certificates of occupancy issued by Pierce County;

E.    In the event that the said property is sold within two years from the date of sewer service permit issuance, full payment of said connection charges and accrued interest shall be made by the closing/escrow agent or title company to the County from the sale proceeds of the said owner/seller;

F.    Upon confirmation of full payment of said connection charges and accrued interest to the County, the voluntary contractual lien shall be released by County staff;

G.    If the said owner/seller fails to make full payment of said connection charges and accrued interest within the timeframes set forth in this Section, then said owner/seller shall also become liable for a penalty in the amount of ten percent of the unpaid balance of said connection charges (exclusive of any accrued interest); and

H.    If the said owner/seller fails to make full payment of said connection charges, accrued interest, and any penalty within 60 days after the timeframes set forth in this Section, the County may bring suit in foreclosure by civil action in the Pierce County Superior Court.

(Ord. 2018-99s § 1 (part), 2018; Ord. 2017-68s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2013-25s § 2 (part), 2013)

13.04.080 Calculation of Connection Charges.

A.    General. Unless a County ordinance prescribing the method of calculating the connection charges rate for a given area has been adopted, the following connection charge formulas shall be used to calculate the connection charges required to connect to the public sewer system within the Sewer Service Area. These formulas use the definitions described in PCC 2.05.040 C.8. Taken together, these charges shall constitute the connection charges.

B.    Connection Charges Formulas.

1.    Area Charge Formula. The area charge may include a portion of or all of the year zero capital costs associated with the construction of the public sewer system. For each parcel, the area charge in year N following year zero shall be as follows:

Area Charge = (A/B) x C x D

Where

A =

Total year zero capital costs for public sewer facilities serving a designated area as described in PCC 13.04.070;

B =

The total anticipated wastewater flow generated within a designated area expressed in REs;

C =

The estimated or actual flow in gallons per day (GPD) of a proposed or existing user divided by 220 GPD (1 RE); and

D =

[(1 + BIR year zero) x ... (1 + BIR year N)].

2.    Latecomers Charge Formula. The latecomers charge may include a portion of or all of the eligible year zero capital costs associated with one or more applicant-funded public sewer facilities for which the County has contractual obligation(s) to reimburse the applicant(s) plus an administrative fee. The calculation of the reimbursable costs and administrative fee shall be governed by the latecomers agreement(s) associated with the applicant-funded public sewer facilities for the duration of the agreement(s). The administrative fee shall be calculated pursuant to PCC 13.10.050.

3.    Treatment Plant Capacity Charge Formula. The treatment plant capacity charge may include a portion of or all of the year zero capital costs of all treatment plant facilities serving a designated area plus any associated financing costs. For each property, the treatment plant capacity charge in year N following year zero shall be as follows:

Treatment Plant Capacity Charge = (A/B) x C x D x E x F

Where

A =

Total year zero capital costs for the WWTP(s) serving a designated area;

B =

The total rated capacity of the WWTP(s) serving a designated area expressed in REs;

C =

The estimated GPD flow of a proposed user divided by 220 GPD (1 RE); however, in all cases the RE shall not be less than 1.0;

D =

The estimated BOD of the proposed user (a minimum of 225 mg/l) divided by 225 mg/l times 3.E;

E =

The estimated TSS of the proposed user (a minimum of 225 mg/l) divided by 225 mg/l; and

F =

[(1 + BIR year zero) x ... (1 + BIR year N)].

4.    Affordable Housing Connection Charge Waiver. Sewer connection charges paid to the Department for new residential construction may be waived if a proposed development meets the requirements of Chapter 18A.65 PCC and if sufficient funds have been appropriated by the Pierce County Council to the Sewer Utility Funds to replace those connection charges waived or refunded to the applicant.

(Ord. 2013-25s § 2 (part), 2013)

13.04.085 Connection Charge – Rates. Revised 2/19

A.    Effective January 1, 2017, the rates for the area charge shall be as follows:

Basin Name

Area Charge

(Per RE)*

American Lake Gardens/Tillicum

$1,433.00

Brookdale

$1,737.00

Brown's Point

$1,410.00

Canyon

$2,810.00

Cascadia

$ 0.00**

Chambers Creek Properties

$ 529.00

DuPont

$1,653.00

East Basin

$3,656.00

Etloh

$ 0.00

Frederickson

$3,012.00

Golden Given

$1,215.00

Hylebos

$1,840.00

Lakewood East

$1,433.00

Lakewood West

$3,140.00

Oakbrook

$3,140.00

Parkland

$1,614.00

Rainier Terrace

$3,019.00

Spanaway

$4,631.00

South Tacoma

$1,471.00

Summit

$2,241.00

University Place East

$1,797.00

University Place West

$ 529.00

* –     Each charge is determined by multiplying the appropriate rate by the number of Residential Equivalent (RE) units discharged to the public sewer system.

** – Subject to future charges.

B.    Effective January 1st of each year below, the treatment plant capacity charge for all basins except Cascadia and Etloh shall be as follows:

Capacity Charge*

(Per RE)**

2017

$3,491.00

* –    Capacity charge applies to the American Lake Gardens/Tillicum, Brookdale, Brown's Point, Canyon, Chambers Creek Properties, DuPont, East Basin, Frederickson, Golden Given, Hylebos, Lakewood East, Lakewood West, Oakbrook, Parkland, Rainier Terrace, Spanaway, South Tacoma, Summit, University Place East, and University Place West.

** –     Each charge is determined by multiplying the appropriate rate by the number of Residential Equivalent (RE) units discharged to the public sewer system.

C.    Effective January 1, 2017, the rates for the treatment plant capacity charge for the Cascadia and Etloh basins shall be as follows:

Basin

Capacity Charge

(Per RE)*

Cascadia

$ 0.00**

Etloh

$15,256.00

* –     Each charge is determined by multiplying the appropriate rate by the number of Residential Equivalent (RE) units discharged to the public sewer system.

** – Subject to future charges.

D.    Effective January 1st of every year after 2015, the rates for the area charge and the treatment plant capacity charge shall be adjusted annually by the same amount as the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton Metropolitan Statistical Area for the preceding 12-month period, subject to approval by the Council; provided, that no such adjustment shall be made to the capacity charge set forth in PCC 13.04.085 B. prior to January 1, 2018. All proposed adjustments shall be brought forth by ordinance for consideration by the Council concurrent with the annual adoption of the Pierce County Budget.

(Ord. 2018-99s § 1 (part), 2018; Ord. 2016-73 § 1, 2016; Ord. 2015-67 § 1, 2015; Ord. 2014-54s2 § 1, 2014)

13.04.090 Payment Provisions and Delinquencies. Revised 2/19

A.    Any outstanding connection charges, fees, or penalties chargeable by the County pursuant to RCW 36.94.150 are due 30 days after the billing date or date of written notice, whichever is sooner. Such charges, fees, or penalties become delinquent if not paid when due.

B.    If such charges, fees, or penalties are not paid in full when due, then a penalty shall be added equal to 10 percent of the total amount as a one-time late penalty, and interest shall accrue on the unpaid balance from the due date at a rate of 8 percent per year. The interest shall be applied monthly on the entire unpaid balance, excluding any accrued interest, foreclosure costs, and all lien recording and release fees.

C.    A partial payment of any such past due charges, fees, or penalties shall be applied to the below costs as they are applicable in the following order of priority:

1.    Foreclosure costs;

2.    Lien recording and release fees;

3.    Taxes and fees;

4.    Accrued interest;

5.    Penalty payments; and

6.    Delinquent charges, fees, or penalties – oldest first.

D.    If not paid in full 60 days after the billing date or date of written notice, whichever is sooner, connection charges, fees, or penalties shall be collected in the manner set forth in PCC 13.13.045.

(Ord. 2018-99s § 1 (part), 2018)

13.04.095 Fees. Revised 2/19

A.    Sewer Service Permit Fees. The schedule of fees for sanitary sewer development review, inspection, and application/permit processing is established in PCC 2.05.040.

(Ord. 2018-99s § 1 (part), 2018; Ord. 2013-25s § 2 (part), 2013)

13.04.100 Violations and Penalties. Revised 2/19

The purpose of the penalty provisions in this Section is to discourage violations of the Sewer Code. They are not intended to reflect, offset, or compensate for the actual, consequential, or other damages which may result from such violations and are not in lieu of any other penalty, sanction, or right of action provided by law. Should a conflict exist between the below penalty provisions and a more specific penalty provision within the Sewer Code, the specific provision shall prevail.

A.    Any person who fails to comply with the provisions of this Sewer Code may be assessed a civil penalty as follows:

1.    Notice of Violations.

a.    The Director shall serve, by certified mail with return receipt requested or personal service, any person or entity violating any provision of this Sewer Code with a written notice of Sewer Code violation. Such notice shall describe the violation with reasonable particularity and order appropriate corrective actions to be taken or additional investigative action to be performed within a specified time period. The violator shall immediately cease all violations and complete all ordered actions within the provided period.

b.    Any notice of violation may be appealed to the Hearing Examiner in accordance with PCC 1.22.090 as an appeal to an administrative order or decision. An appeal request must be submitted in writing to the Director within 30 days of the date the notice of violation is received. Failure to appeal is a waiver of all rights to challenge the allegations within the notice of violation.

2.    Civil Penalties.

a.    If the violator fails to comply with the notice of violation, the Director may impose a penalty not to exceed $1,000.00 per violation. The Director shall deliver the notice of penalty by certified mail with return receipt requested or personal service.

(1)    Each Sewer Code violation constitutes a separate violation for which the Director may impose a separate penalty.

(2)    Each day that a person fails to comply with the terms of a notice of violation constitutes a separate violation, for which the Director may impose an additional penalty by delivery of another notice of penalty. Each additional notice of penalty is subject to the mitigation and appeal processes available to the recipient under subsection A.2.b. of this Section.

(3)    Any person or entity who, through act or omission, aids in a Sewer Code violation shall be considered to have committed the violation for purposes of the civil penalty.

(4)    A civil penalty constitutes a personal obligation of the person to whom the notice of civil violation is directed. Payment shall not excuse the violation or allow it to continue.

b.    A person who receives a notice of penalty has three options, each of which must be performed within 30 days of receipt of the notice of penalty:

(1)    Submit payment of the penalty in full;

(2)    Submit in writing a request that the Director mitigate the penalty. By submitting a mitigation request, the right to appeal the notice of penalty under subsection A.2.b.(3) of this Section is waived. The mitigation request shall identify in detail all facts supporting the request. Upon receipt of the Director's decision, payment shall be due within 14 days; or

(3)    Appeal the notice of penalty to the Hearing Examiner in accordance with PCC 1.22.090 as an appeal to an administrative order or decision. A notice of penalty appeal request must be submitted in writing to the Director. The only issue to be presented the Hearing Examiner during an appeal of a notice of penalty shall be whether the property owner has made progress in correcting the violations identified in the notice of violation that led to the issuance of the civil penalty. Payment shall be due within 30 calendar days of receipt of the Hearing Examiner's decision.

B.    Criminal Penalties. It shall be a misdemeanor for any person or entity to knowingly perform any act in violation of any of the provisions of this Sewer Code or to knowingly fail to comply with a notice of violation.

1.    A misdemeanor under this subsection shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000.00 or by imprisonment of not more than 90 days, or both.

2.    The imposition of a penalty for any violation shall not excuse the violation or allow it to continue.

3.    Each person or entity found guilty of a misdemeanor shall be deemed guilty of a separate offense for each day during any portion of which any violation of any provision of this Sewer Code is committed, continued, or permitted by such person or entity.

C.    Recovery of Costs Incurred by the County. Any person or entity who willfully or negligently breaks, damages, destroys, uncovers, defaces, or tampers with any structure, appurtenance, or piece of equipment which is a part of the public sewer system or who willfully or negligently throws, dumps, or otherwise introduces any dirt, rocks, sticks, debris or any other foreign matter or unpermitted waste into the public sewer system shall be liable to the County for all costs, including personnel costs and reasonable attorney fees, to repair, replace, or restore the public sewer system.

A bill issued by the Department for collection of costs incurred by the County under this subsection may be appealed to the Hearing Examiner in accordance with PCC 1.22.090 as an appeal to an administrative order or decision. The appeal must be submitted in writing to the Director within 30 days of the date of the bill. Payment shall be due within 30 calendar days of receipt of the Hearing Examiner's decision.

D.    Fees and Charges. The County may impose reasonable violation fees and charges on a time-and-material basis to recover its costs for activities undertaken as a result of any person who violates the provisions of this Sewer Code.

1.    These fees and charges relate solely to the violation matters set forth in this Chapter and are separate from all other fees, fines, or penalties chargeable by the County pursuant to RCW 36.94.150.

2.    Time and materials charges, which are tied to direct costs such as labor, equipment, and materials, shall be adjusted accordingly as those costs increase or decrease over time.

(Ord. 2018-99s § 1 (part), 2018; Ord. 2013-25s § 2 (part), 2013)

13.04.110 Compliance with Other Regulations.

Applicants may be subject to other federal, State, and local regulations. It shall be the responsibility of applicants to contact other agencies and County departments to secure any required permits and approvals. (Ord. 2013-25s § 2 (part), 2013)

13.04.120 Severability.

If any provision of this Chapter or its application is held invalid or unconstitutional, the remainder of the Chapter or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected. (Ord. 2013-25s § 2 (part), 2013)