Chapter 19D.140
SATELLITE SYSTEM MANAGEMENT AGENCY (SSMA) PROGRAM AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCESS Revised 3/18

Sections:

19D.140.010    Purpose.

19D.140.020    Definitions.

19D.140.030    Lead Agency. Revised 3/18

19D.140.040    General Applicability.

19D.140.050    Exemptions.

19D.140.060    Satellite System Service Review.

19D.140.070    Prequalification of Satellite System Management Agencies.

19D.140.080    Purpose of Dispute Resolution Process.

19D.140.090    Dispute Resolution Procedure. Revised 3/18

19D.140.110    Severability.

19D.140.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this Regulation is to establish the County procedures and guidelines for implementing the Satellite System Management Program (SSMP), outlined in the Pierce County Coordinated Water System Plan (CWSP), and to establish a Dispute Resolution Process for the purpose of processing disputes, attempting to mediate disputes and building a record related to disputes in implementing CWSP provisions. (Ord. 96-93S § 1 (part), 1996; Ord. 96-111 §§ 2, 8 (part), 1996; Ord. 94-82S § 3 (part), 1994)

19D.140.020 Definitions.

The definition of terms shall be as used in the Pierce County CWSP and as adopted by the State of Washington, Department of Health (DOH), public water supply regulations. (Ord. 96-93S § 1 (part), 1996; Ord. 96-111 §§ 2, 8 (part), 1996; Ord. 94-82S § 3 (part), 1994)

19D.140.030 Lead Agency. Revised 3/18

The Lead Agency for implementation and coordination of the Satellite System and Dispute Resolution Process procedures established by this Chapter shall be the Pierce County Planning and Public Works Department. (Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2015-25s § 2 (part), 2015; Ord. 96-93S § 1 (part), 1996; Ord. 96-111 §§ 2, 8 (part), 1996; Ord. 94-82S § 3 (part), 1994)

19D.140.040 General Applicability.

This Regulation shall apply to all policies and procedures outlined in the Pierce County CWSP "and the SSMP" and shall apply when a new public water system is required outside of designated water services areas. Expansion and/or extension of existing public water systems is regulated through RCW 70.116 and WAC 246-292 and 293. (Ord. 96-93S § 1 (part), 1996; Ord. 96-111 §§ 2, 8 (part), 1996; Ord. 94-82S § 3 (part), 1994)

19D.140.050 Exemptions.

The water service policies of water purveyors providing service within a municipal boundary (cities, towns, water districts) are not subject to the Dispute Resolution Process. (Ord. 96-93S § 1 (part), 1996; Ord. 96-111 §§ 2, 8 (part), 1996; Ord. 94-82S § 3 (part), 1994)

19D.140.060 Satellite System Service Review.

A.    Service review for satellite water system development and operation shall be required in the following cases:

1.    A proposed development occurring wholly or substantially outside of approved service areas for public water systems. A service area shall not be considered approved unless and until written agreements with adjacent purveyors are filed with the Lead Agency, and a water system plan, prepared by the purveyor, is approved by the State of Washington, Department of Health.

2.    A proposed development within a water purveyor's service area prior to the approval of the individual Water System Plan of the State of Washington, DOH.

3.    A proposed development within an approved service area, but within a portion of that area which the designated purveyor wishes to relinquish rather than extend service.

B.    When it is determined by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department that the proposed new water service will require satellite system service review, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department shall refer the applicant to existing purveyors in the vicinity of the proposed development. An adjacent purveyor may decide to expand its service area to serve the applicant.

C.    If adjacent purveyors decline to serve the development in a timely and reasonable manner, the Lead Agency shall refer the proposed development to a list of prequalified Satellite System Management Agencies (SSMA), as provided in Section 19D.140.070 below. The applicant should then contact at least three of these agencies to discuss terms of service. The SSMA shall be considered unwilling to serve if they do not provide written terms and conditions within 30 days of receipt of a written request by the applicant.

D.    If no existing purveyor or SSMA is willing and able to provide water service in a timely and reasonable manner, the establishment of a new purveyor may be approved. It shall be the burden of the applicant, if requested by the Lead Agency, to provide documentation of correspondence with existing purveyors as well as justification for formation of the new water system.

E.    Once a water purveyor providing service has been determined, the proposed project must be reviewed with that purveyor to identify the engineering, financial, managerial, and other requirements of service. Fire flow requirements for the proposed project will be determined by Pierce County Code Chapters 15.12 and 15.40. The water purveyor will have operational and managerial responsibility for the proposed activity, and that purveyor's approved plan may require more stringent utility standards than the minimum standards adopted by the County.

F.    If the applicant accepts the conditions of service prescribed by the water purveyor (or SSMA), the purveyor shall provide the applicant a signed certificate of water availability prior to Pierce County's issuance of the required approval/permit.

G.    After the preliminary plat approval, a written contract shall be developed between the utility and applicant to formalize the conditions of service and responsibilities. All contracts for service to new water systems approved under satellite system management shall include the transfer of ownership of the water system to an SSMA. Prior to short plat or final subdivision approval, the water facilities shall be installed to meet or exceed the required standards, or shall be bonded for completion. When a new development does not involve a short plat or subdivision, these requirements shall apply to any other land use permit or building permit.

(Ord. 96-93S § 1 (part), 1996; Ord. 96-111 §§ 2, 8 (part), 1996; Ord. 94-82S § 3 (part), 1994)

19D.140.070 Prequalification of Satellite System Management Agencies.

A.    Water purveyors shall submit documentation to the Lead Agency of qualifications to provide direct service for satellite system management and that they have submitted the necessary information to DOH. Prequalification requirements are listed below: An SSMA providing management and operations for its own system (a new system for which no existing SSMA will provide services) may rely on the experience of their operating personnel to meet one of the first four requirements listed below. They also must meet all of the other requirements.

1.    Demonstrated current or prior ownership and/or operation of approved water system(s) of similar or greater complexity in Pierce County, provided those systems were built and maintained in accordance with applicable laws; or

2.    Demonstrated current or prior ownership and/or operation of approved water system(s) of similar or greater complexity within another county, state or municipality, provided sufficient information and technical data on system design, maintenance and operation standards are submitted to allow for valid comparison with similar local systems and all applicable laws; or

3.    Demonstrated experience in the design, construction, testing and maintenance of approved water system(s) of similar or greater complexity in Pierce County, provided those systems were built and maintained in accordance with all applicable laws; or

4.    Demonstrated experience in the design, construction, testing and maintenance of approved water system(s) of similar or greater complexity within another county, state or municipality, provided sufficient information and technical data on system design, maintenance and operation standards are submitted to allow for valid comparison with similar local systems and all applicable laws.

5.    Sufficient qualified operating personnel to assure service to customers on all systems managed. The minimum requirement shall be Water Distribution Manager I as identified by the State of Washington, Department of Health (DOH) requirements and WAC 246-292 and 293.

The required certification level shall be based upon the requirements of the largest system served.

6.    A written plan delineating twenty-four hour emergency response services available to all customers. The emergency response services plan must include the method(s) proposed for actions in response to emergencies.

7.    A written operations plan submitted for satellite system management.

8.    Financial plan and capability to meet capital improvements scheduled for satellite systems.

B.    The Lead Agency shall receive and record all prequalification submittals, and shall provide the applicant for new water service with a complete list of SSMAs who have submitted documentation of qualifications, as specified above. In order to maintain a prequalified status, an SSMA must submit a yearly report of water systems owned or managed, water systems whose contracts with the SSMA have lapsed or were terminated during the previous year, and water systems currently under pending departmental order from DOH or the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD).

(Ord. 96-93S § 1 (part), 1996; Ord. 96-111 §§ 2, 8 (part), 1996; Ord. 94-82S § 3 (part), 1994)

19D.140.080 Purpose of Dispute Resolution Process.

The Coordinated Water System Plan establishes a local management framework for planning and development of water services. Because the County recognizes disputes may arise between designated purveyors and potential customers, as well as between purveyors over undesignated areas, the County is providing a local mechanism to provide swift and fair resolution to service area and timely and reasonable disputes.

(Ord. 96-93S § 1 (part), 1996; Ord. 96-111 §§ 2, 8 (part), 1996; Ord. 94-82S § 3 (part), 1994)

19D.140.090 Dispute Resolution Procedure. Revised 3/18

A.    Lead Agency Authorized to Resolve Dispute. The Lead Agency is authorized to attempt to resolve disputes involving interpretation and validity of water service areas. The Lead Agency may attempt to resolve the disputes through meetings, negotiations, and other methods the Lead Agency deems appropriate. Support for resolution of disputes will be provided by the WUCC, the Pierce County Planning and Public Works Department, and as needed, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. If a written resolution is reached within 60 days of receipt of the request, no further action shall be required.

1.    Service Area Boundary Disputes. Any designated purveyor may apply to the Lead Agency to resolve service area boundary disputes as provided for below. A Service Area Dispute may include all purveyors with approved water system plans within the Critical Water Supply Service Area who could reasonably provide water service to a disputed area.

B.    Requests for Resolution. Written requests for resolution of service area boundary disputes must be submitted to the Lead Agency and shall include the following:

1.    Payment of a fee as outlined in Chapter 7.20 PCC;

2.    a detailed explanation of the dispute and any efforts that have already been made to resolve the dispute;

3.    a complete record of available facts and documents to support the claim.

C.    Notice. The Lead Agency shall notify any involved parties of the request for resolution of any meetings or public hearings regarding the dispute.

D.    Lead Agency Findings. Within 60 days of receipt of a request regarding a water service area dispute, the Lead Agency shall issue findings and a proposed recommendation, if any, and make them available upon request. In preparing its findings, the Lead Agency shall consider, where appropriate, consistency with the Growth Management Act, Pierce County Countywide Planning Policies, Pierce County Comprehensive Plan, Pierce County Coordinated Water System Plan, applicable City Comprehensive Plans, and the appropriate DOH approved water system plans, together with the maximum integration and coordination of public water facilities, the relative cost differential among competing water purveyors, current and projected capital costs of new facilities, engineering studies, and all reasonable options available to resolve the dispute.

E.    Resolution Process.

1.    If a water service area dispute is not resolved within 60 days from submittal to the Lead Agency, the Lead Agency shall forward the dispute for resolution to the Washington State Department of Health for final resolution pursuant to WAC 246-293.

(Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2010-88s § 2 , 2010; Ord. 2003-54s § 1 (part), 2003; Ord. 96-93S § 1 (part), 1996; Ord. 96-111 §§ 2, 8 (part), 1996; Ord. 94-82S § 3 (part), 1994)

19D.140.110 Severability.

If any provision of this Chapter or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the Chapter or the application of the provision or other persons or circumstances shall not be affected. (Ord. 2003-54s § 1 (part), 2003; Ord. 96-93S § 1 (part), 1996)