Chapter 13.10
PROCEDURES AND RULES FOR CITY SERVICES

Sections:

13.10.010    Purpose.

13.10.020    City.

13.10.030    Code or Prosser Municipal Code.

13.10.040    Customer.

13.10.050    Day.

13.10.060    Designed for occupancy.

13.10.070    Finance director.

13.10.080    Person.

13.10.090    Public works director.

13.10.100    Sewer system.

13.10.110    Utility user or water user.

13.10.120    Water system.

13.10.130    Water funds combined.

13.10.140    Application for utility service.

13.10.150    Billing procedures.

13.10.160    Charges for service—Disconnection fee—Penalty fee.

13.10.170    Returned payments.

13.10.180    Voluntary discontinuance of water service.

13.10.190    Involuntary discontinuance of water.

13.10.200    Right of lien.

13.10.210    Deferral agreements.

13.10.220    Consent required for turn-on when—Costs—Tampering prohibited.

13.10.230    Turn-ons and shut-offs to be by city employee—Exceptions.

13.10.240    Alterations and other actions requiring permission of city—Encroachment permits.

13.10.250    Private system—Construction or alteration—Permit required.

13.10.260    Private water system—Private sewer system—Prohibited.

13.10.270    Charges for service—Budget payment—Payment by electronic means.

13.10.280    Over or underbilling—Meter failure—Adjustment for leaks.

13.10.290    Collection agencies—Bad debt write off.

13.10.300    Water service required for sewer customers—Sewer service required for water customers.

13.10.310    Utility connections required.

13.10.320    Water, sewer, and irrigation extension and redistribution systems.

13.10.330    Adoption of city standards by reference.

13.10.340    Sewage facilities—Backstop valves to be installed by the owner.

13.10.350    Ownership of lines.

13.10.360    Rights inspection and access.

13.10.370    Installation—Fee—Location—Costs—Replacement of meters.

13.10.380    Established—Schedule—Meter rental or readiness-to-serve charges.

13.10.390    Stand pipe water charge.

13.10.400    Bulk water.

13.10.410    Installation—Charges—Sewer.

13.10.420    Schedule of sewer rates.

13.10.430    Tampering with or destruction of equipment prohibited when.

13.10.440    Water meter required—More than one service pipe requested—When allowed—Additional use restrictions—Consolidation of lots required.

13.10.450    Industrial wastes—Pretreatment required.

13.10.460    Variances.

13.10.470    Plans rules and regulations adopted.

13.10.480    Cross-connections.

13.10.490    Violation—Penalty.

13.10.500    Classification of offenses.

13.10.510    Severability.

    Prior legislation: Ords. 539, 558, 609, 690, 705, 739, 768, 780, 791, 792, 793, 798, 847, 886, 892, 905, 908, 917(2)(C), 924, 952, 975, 994, 996, 1030, 1056, 1057, 1058, 1078, 1110, 1144, 1161, 1162, 1163, 1167, 1178, 1189, 1190, 1197, 1221, 1253, 1259, 1300, 1315, 1337, 1338, 1339, 1349, 1363, 1385, 1400, 1414, 1415, 1433, 1434, 1444, 1455, 1456, 1461, 1468, 1476, 1477, 1481, 1546, 1547, 1561, 1565, 1566, 1569, 1620, 1621, 1678, 1679, 1690, 1735, 1737, 1740, 1765, 1779, 1780, 1834, 1846, 1849, 1874, 1875, 1943, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1958, 1966, 1967, 1987, 1988, 2044, 2045, 2063, 2107, 2108, 2115, 2126, 2128, 2129, 2130, 2140, 2165, 2173, 2174, 2176, 2177, 2233, 2293, 2299, 2313, 2361, 2362, 2363, 2404, 2431, 2432, 2553, 2604, 2637, 2639, 2680, 2704, 2712, 2748 and 2750.

13.10.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to streamline and consolidate procedures and rules for the following city services: bulk water, irrigation, garbage, sewer, and water. (Ord. 2752 § 2, 2011).

13.10.020 City.

“City” means the city of Prosser, Washington. (Ord. 2752 § 3, 2011).

13.10.030 Code or Prosser Municipal Code.

“Code” or “PMC” means the Prosser Municipal Code. (Ord. 2752 § 4, 2011).

13.10.040 Customer.

“Customer” means, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, any person who owns property for which services under Title 13 or this chapter are being provided by the city. (Ord. 2752 § 5, 2011).

13.10.050 Day.

“Day” or “days” means calendar day or calendar days. (Ord. 2752 § 6, 2011).

13.10.060 Designed for occupancy.

“Designed for occupancy” means any structure or improvement that must obtain an occupancy permit under Title 15 before it may be occupied or used. (Ord. 2752 § 7, 2011).

13.10.070 Finance director.

“Finance director” means the city’s finance director or his or her designee. (Ord. 2752 § 8, 2011).

13.10.080 Person.

“Person” means any individual, firm, company, association, society, corporation, municipal corporation, government agency, partnership or other group. (Ord. 2752 § 9, 2011).

13.10.090 Public works director.

“Public works director” means the city’s public works director or his or her designee. (Ord. 2752 § 10, 2011).

13.10.100 Sewer system.

“Sewer system” means, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the city’s sewer utility. (Ord. 2752 § 11, 2011).

13.10.110 Utility user or water user.

“Utility user” or “water user” means, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, a person who uses city water, irrigation, garbage, bulk water, or sewer services whether or not he is a customer. (Ord. 2752 § 12, 2011).

13.10.120 Water system.

“Water system” means, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the city’s water utility. (Ord. 2752 § 13, 2011).

13.10.130 Water funds combined.

The Water Fund 403 shall be used to account for the city’s water utility and irrigation service. (Ord. 2752 § 14, 2011).

13.10.140 Application for utility service.

Before connecting to the city’s irrigation, sewer, or water systems, the owner of any property shall apply for the connection on such forms as may be prepared and made available by the city. Applications for garbage services and bulk water shall be made on such forms as may be prepared and made available by the city. No such application shall be deemed accepted or granted by the city, and no vested rights to services shall accrue, unless and until all prerequisites for approval, as specified by ordinance, administrative policy, or resolution, are complied with in full and to the satisfaction of the city. Following approval by the city, the applicant shall pay all required fees and charges. No utility connections shall be made until the fees and charges are paid in full. If the application is for both water and sewer service or water, sewer and irrigation services, all fees and charges must be paid for all services before any other is connected. (Ord. 2752 § 15, 2011).

13.10.150 Billing procedures.

A.    Combined billing statements for the bulk water, irrigation, garbage, sewer, and water services shall be sent to all customers on a regular and periodic basis in accordance with this chapter. All bills shall be mailed to the address of the owner of the property being served by bulk water, irrigation, garbage, sewer, and water services, as the address appears in the records of the city. Upon written request of a customer, billing statements may be sent directly to the occupant of the property being served; however, in such cases the owner shall remain ultimately liable for payment of the bill, and the property shall remain subject to a lien for a delinquent account, as provided for in this chapter. The owner of the property may waive his or her right to receive duplicate copies of the combined billing statements by filing a waiver with the city.

B.    All combined bills for bulk water, irrigation, garbage, sewer, and water services are due on the tenth day of each month and shall become delinquent on the twenty-fifth day of each month. The owner of the property shall be responsible to pay these charges to the city prior to delinquency.

C.    In the event that any fees or charges assessed for such services are not paid by the twenty-fifth day of each month for such services, they shall be considered delinquent and shall automatically constitute a lien against the property to which the services were rendered. All delinquent accounts shall be assessed a late penalty in the amount set forth in the city’s fee schedule for each month that an account is delinquent. A lien, for up to four months of charges, penalties and surcharges, shall encumber the property, and shall be the obligation of the owner of the property, its heirs, successors and assigns, until the same is paid in full. The city may enforce the lien by shutting off water, sewer, garbage and/or irrigation services until all delinquent and unpaid charges are paid in full; provided, that procedure for discontinuance of service shall be in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

D.    All payments on utility bills shall be applied first to surcharges and penalties, second to the irrigation and bulk water accounts, third to the garbage account, fourth to the sewer account, and fifth to the water account.

E.    For each notice sent to a utility customer advising the customer that an account is delinquent or that utility service will be discontinued by reason of the delinquency, there shall be a service penalty added to the account in the amount set forth in the city’s fee schedule.

F.    The finance director is authorized to waive the late penalty and service penalty under the following circumstances:

1.    Where a utility customer has made arrangements with the city, prior to the date the billing is due, for deferral of the payment of the bill; or

2.    Where another public agency must obtain approval for payment of the billing and the customer’s payment cycle is inconsistent with the city’s billing cycle; or

3.    In such other circumstances where, in the judgment of the finance director, the customer can demonstrate a bona fide economic hardship. The finance director is hereby authorized to establish policies and procedures setting forth what constitutes a bona fide economic hardship.

4.    Property owners may submit a request for a waiver of late fees on a form prepared by the finance director. The finance director, per service address, may consider no more than one application for credit in any twenty-four month period. The finance director is authorized to establish policies and procedures to implement this section. (Ord. 3067 § 1, 2018: Ord. 2789 § 1, 2012: Ord. 2752 § 16, 2011).

13.10.160 Charges for service—Disconnection fee—Penalty fee.

The city may cause the water to be shut off on the sixteenth day of the month following the month in which the account becomes delinquent. To avoid shutoff, delinquent combined billing statements, including penalties and surcharges, must be paid before the water is shut off. If it becomes necessary to shut off water due to delinquency of an account, a disconnection fee in the amount set forth in the city’s fee schedule will be charged. If it becomes necessary for employees of the city to return to the meter after shut off and prior to reinstatement because the water meter has been reactivated or bypassed without approval of the finance director there shall be assessed a penalty fee in the amount set forth in the city’s fee schedule for each instance in which city employees are required to respond to the premises. All disconnection fees must be paid, together with all other amounts owing, before water service will be reinstated. If the customer and the city enter into a deferral agreement, in accordance with this chapter, after the water service has been disconnected, the city may reconnect the customer’s water service on the effective date of the deferral agreement. (Ord. 2789 § 2, 2012: Ord. 2752 § 17, 2011).

13.10.170 Returned payments.

Unless a customer proved to the city that a payment was returned due to a fraudulent act of a third party or a bank error, if a check, electronic payment, or automatic withdrawal tendered for payment of a combined billing account is dishonored by the drawer’s bank for any reason, a surcharge fee in the amount set forth in the city’s fee schedule shall be applied to the account and be immediately due and payable. The city’s finance director is authorized to adopt policies and procedures to determine what constitutes a fraudulent act and what constitutes a bank error. (Ord. 2894 § 2, 2014: Ord. 2752 § 18, 2011).

13.10.180 Voluntary discontinuance of water service.

A.    Not more than twice in any twelve-month period, a customer may request voluntary discontinuance of water and sewer service during periods that the premises are vacant at no charge. Three days’ advance notice of such discontinuance shall be given to the city, and the customer shall pay the city any delinquent fees or charges. For all other voluntary disconnection requests for water and sewer services, the customer shall pay any delinquent fees or charges and pay a disconnect fee in the amount set forth in the city’s fee schedule. Following such discontinuance, no fees for water or sewer service shall accrue. Irrigation services are mandatory and may not be voluntarily terminated. Garbage may only be terminated in accordance with Chapter 8.08. In order to resume service to the property after the water is disconnected, the customer shall pay a reconnect fee in the amount set forth in the city’s fee schedule. In the event that combined billing statements are not paid during the time the water is shut off, the water will not be turned on until all combined billing statements are paid in full.

B.    Not more than twice in any twelve-month period, in the event that the occupants of premises have allowed delinquent combined billing statements to accrue, a customer, or the owner of a delinquent mortgage thereon, may give the city written notice to discontinue water and sewer service. The notice shall be accompanied by payment of all delinquent and unpaid charges owed to the city with respect to the premises, together with a disconnection fee, in the amount set forth in the city’s fee schedule. The city shall then discontinue water and sewer service to the premises. Irrigation services are mandatory and may not be voluntarily terminated. At the time a customer, or owner of a delinquent mortgage, requests voluntary discontinuance of water service under this subsection, all irrigation charges for the current year must be paid in full. Garbage may only be terminated in accordance with Chapter 8.08. In order to resume service to the property after the water is disconnected, the customer, or owner of a delinquent mortgage, shall pay a reconnect fee in the amount set forth in the city’s fee schedule. In the event that combined billing statements are not paid during the time the water is shut off, the water will not be turned on until all combined billing statements are paid in full. (Ord. 2994 § 4, 2017: Ord. 2752 § 19, 2011).

13.10.190 Involuntary discontinuance of water.

A.    Water service may be discontinued by the city for any of the following reasons:

1.    For delinquent and unpaid charges, including penalties and other charges;

2.    For the use of irrigation, garbage, sewer or water services for purposes or properties other than that specified in the application;

3.    For willful waste of water through improper or imperfect piping, equipment or otherwise;

4.    When a customer’s piping or equipment does not meet the city’s standards, or fails to comply with other applicable codes and regulations;

5.    For tampering with property of the city water system, fire hydrants, sewer system, or irrigation system;

6.    In case of vacation of the property receiving services for more than forty-five consecutive days by the customer without the prior written permission of the finance director;

7.    For the use of the utility lines, or irrigation lines, in a manner that adversely affects the city’s service to its other customers;

8.    For fraudulent or improper obtaining or use of any service under this title.

B.    Except in the case of danger to life or property, fraudulent use, impairment of service, or violation of law, the city shall use its best efforts to comply with the following procedures prior to an involuntary discontinuance of service:

1.    The city shall send the owner, unless the owner has waived receipt of combined billing statements as provided for in Section 13.10.150, and occupant of the premises, using addresses shown in the city’s records, written notice that water and other services to the property will be shut off or discontinued on a date not less than fifteen days thereafter, unless the delinquencies are paid in full. The notice shall state that the owner and occupant of the premises have a right to a hearing before the finance director for the purpose of resolving disputed accounts. A request for such a hearing must be made not less than five days prior to the shutoff date. At the hearing, the finance director is authorized to compromise and settle disputes in the interest of justice; provided, the finance director shall not be authorized to waive or reduce bills which are legitimately due, or to lend the city’s credit by allowing a deferred payment schedule, except in accordance with Section 13.10.210.

2.    If service is not discontinued within five days after the stated shutoff date, unless other mutually acceptable arrangements have been made, the shutoff notice shall become void and a new notice shall be required before the service can be disconnected thereafter.

3.    In the event of a disputed account, at any time before the city shuts off service, the owner or occupant of the premises may tender the amount he claims to be due; provided, that the amount must be reasonably supported by documentary evidence. The tender of the partial payment by the customer shall be processed as an appeal under subsection (B)(1) of this section. The right of the city to thereafter shut off service shall not accrue until the dispute has been resolved as provided for in subsection (B)(1) of this section.

4.    Except in case of danger to life or property, no disconnection shall be accomplished on Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays or any day on which the city cannot reestablish service on the same or following day.

5.    Where service is provided to a master meter, or where the city has reasonable grounds to believe that service is to other than the customer of record, the city shall undertake all reasonable efforts to inform the occupants of the service address of the impending disconnection by written notice mailed or hand delivered by a door hanger, not less than seven days before the service is disconnected. Upon request of one or more water users, where service is to other than the subscriber of record, an additional five days shall be allowed prior to shutoff to permit the water users to arrange for continued service. In accordance with RCW 35.21.217, together with all amendments and additions thereto hereafter made, the water users shall have the right to pay the delinquent utility account.

6.    Charges for disconnection and reconnection of water service, as specified in the city’s fee schedule, shall be added to the account, and shall be paid in full prior to reconnection. If the customer and the city enter into a deferral agreement, in accordance with this chapter, after the water service has been disconnected, the city may reconnect the customer’s water service on the effective date of the deferral agreement.

7.    At any time that a customer or closing agent requests a closing statement on a water account in accordance with Chapter 60.80 RCW, the city shall provide an estimate in accordance with that chapter to the customer or the closing agent. If a customer requests a change of the customer’s name on an account, the city shall read the water meter and shall issue a statement showing the balance on that date. The statement shall be issued on the city’s next regular billing cycle. The finance director is authorized to establish policies and procedures to implement this subsection.

C.    Discontinuance of service for any cause stated in this code shall not release the owner from his obligation to the city for the payment of combined billing statements, including penalties and surcharges.

D.    Water may be shut off at any time from the main by the city, without notice, for repairs or extensions or other necessary purposes and all persons supplied with city water are cautioned against danger of explosion or collapse.

E.    The city will not be responsible for any damage that may occur on account of shutting off of the water for any of the above purposes. (Ord. 2789 § 3, 2012: Ord. 2752 § 20, 2011).

13.10.200 Right of lien.

A.    In addition to, and not in the way of limitation of, the lien rights provided for in this title and the right to shut off and discontinue utility service, the city shall have the right to record a lien for delinquent and unpaid garbage, irrigation, and sewer charges, including late charges, penalties and interest against the premises to which such service has been furnished or is available.

B.    A notice of the city’s lien, as provided for in this section, for garbage collection and disposal service specifying the charges, the period covered by the charges and giving the legal description of the premises sought to be charged, shall be filed with the county auditor within the time required and shall be foreclosed in the manner and within the time prescribed for liens for labor and material. The garbage collection and disposal service lien shall be prior to all liens and encumbrances filed subsequent to the filing of the notice of it with the county auditor, except the lien of general taxes and local improvement assessments whether levied prior or subsequent thereto.

C.    The notice of the city’s lien, as provided for in this section, for sewer system charges shall be filed with the county auditor in the manner prescribed by law for the recording of mechanics’ liens.

D.    In order to make such lien effective, as provided for in this section, mayor shall cause to be filed for record in the office of the county auditor of Benton County a notice in substantially the following form:

Utility Lien Notice

City of Prosser,

vs.

Reputed Owner.

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the City of Prosser has and claims a lien for ________ charges against the following described premises situated in Benton County, Washington, to wit:

(Here insert legal description of premises.)

Said lien is claimed for not exceeding four months charges and interest now delinquent, amounting to $_______, and is also claimed for future utility charges against said premises.

DATED this _____ day of _____, 20___.

CITY OF PROSSER

By __________________________

E.    Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the city to file a lien as provided for above on delinquent accounts. (Ord. 2752 § 21, 2011).

13.10.210 Deferral agreements.

The city may enter into deferral agreements with a customer of a delinquent account provided the customer can demonstrate a bona fide economic hardship to the finance director. The customer shall pay a deferral agreement fee in the amount set forth in the city’s fee schedule before the deferral agreement is executed by the city. If the customer’s household income is less than the federal poverty level, as published by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services, then the finance director may authorize a low-income waiver of the fee due under this section. If the delinquent account was due to a billing error caused by the city, then the fee due under this section shall not be charged to the customer, unless the customer defaults on the deferral agreement. The finance director is hereby authorized to establish policies and procedures to establish what constitutes a bona fide economic hardship and as necessary to implement this section. The deferral agreement shall be in substantially the following form:

DEFERRAL AGREEMENT

DELINQUENT UTILITIES

Date:

IN ORDER TO PAY A DELINQUENT ACCOUNT BALANCE, ______________________, hereinafter “Maker”, promises to pay to THE CITY OF PROSSER, hereinafter “Holder” or order at _____________________, or other such place as may be designated by the Holder from time to time, the principal sum of ___________ Dollars and NO/100------------------------- ($_______.00), together with a fee in the amount of $____ each month, as follows:

1. INSTALLMENT PAYMENTS: Maker shall pay, (check one)

a. ( ) INSTALLMENTS of __________________ dollars ($____________) including a fee in the amount of $__________

b. ( ) INSTALLMENTS of __________________ dollars ($________) PRINCIPAL ONLY PAYMENTS on the outstanding principal balance.

( ) calendar month

( ) third calendar month

( ) sixth calendar month

( ) twelfth calendar month

( ) Other: __________________________

2. DUE DATE: The entire balance of this Note together with any and all fees accrued thereon shall be due and payable in full on _______ day of _________________, 20__.

3. ALLOCATION OF PAYMENTS: Each payment shall be credited first to any late charge due, second to interest, and the remainder to principal.

4. PREPAYMENT: Maker may prepay all or part of the balance owed under this Note at any time without penalty.

5. CURRENCY: All principal and interest payments shall be made in lawful money of the United States.

6. LATE CHARGE: If Holder receives any installment payment more than fifteen days after its due date, then a late payment charge of $25 shall be added to the scheduled payment.

7. ACCELERATION: If Maker fails to make any payment owed under this Note, and such default is not cured within ten days after written notice of such default, then Holder may, at its option, declare all outstanding sums owed on this Note to be immediately due and payable, and turn off the Maker’s water, and terminate all other services provided to Maker under Title 13 of the Prosser Municipal Code.

Maker’s initials _____   _____

8. ATTORNEYS’ FEES AND COSTS: Maker shall pay all costs incurred by Holder in collecting sums due under this Note after a default, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, whether or not suit is brought. If Maker or Holder sues to enforce this Note or obtain a declaration of its rights hereunder, the prevailing party in any such proceeding shall be entitled to recover its reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in the proceeding (including those incurred in any bankruptcy proceeding or appeal) from the non-prevailing party. In addition, Holder may contract with a collection agency in accordance with the procedures contained in RCW 19.16.500 to collect upon this note and add a reasonable fee in the maximum amount set forth in RCW 19.16.500.

9. WAIVER OF PRESENTMENTS: Maker waives presentment for payment, notice of dishonor, protest and notice of protest.

10. NON-WAIVER: No failure or delay by Holder in exercising Holder’s rights under this Note shall be a waiver of such rights.

11. SEVERABILITY: If any clause or any other portion of this Note shall be determined to be void or unenforceable for any reason, such determination shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other clause or portion of this Note, all of which shall remain in full force and effect.

12. INTEGRATION: There are no verbal or other agreements, which modify or affect the terms of this Note. This Note may not be modified or amended except by written agreement signed by Maker and Holder.

13. EXECUTION: Each Maker executes this Note as a principal and not as a surety. If there is more than one Maker, each such Maker shall be jointly and severally liable under this Note.

14. DEFINITIONS: The word Maker shall be construed interchangeably with the words Borrower or Payer and the word Holder shall be construed interchangeably with the words Lender or Payee. In this Note, singular and plural words shall be construed interchangeably as may be appropriate in the context and circumstances to which such words apply.

Maker (signatures)

____________________________________

INSERT PROPERTY OWNER’S NAME

____________________________________

INSERT PROPERTY OWNER’S NAME

Approved by:

____________________________________

CITY FINANCE DIRECTOR

Maker’s address for all notices given by Holder under this Note:

____________________________________

(Ord. 2752 § 22, 2011).

13.10.220 Consent required for turn-on when—Costs—Tampering prohibited.

If the water is shut off at the meter by the city, it shall not be turned on without the consent of the city and payment of the reconnection fee required in this chapter. If the customer and the city enter into a deferral agreement in accordance with this chapter, after the water service has been disconnected, the city may reconnect the customer’s water service on the effective date of the deferral agreement. Stopcocks and meters and meter covers shall be at all times accessible for inspection or repair, and any person tampering with or uncovering same shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor. (Ord. 2752 § 23, 2011).

13.10.230 Turn-ons and shut-offs to be by city employee—Exceptions.

Except in case of an emergency, or in case of a plumber testing fixtures with the permission of the city, it shall be a misdemeanor for anyone to turn on or to shut off water at the meter. Except as otherwise provided for in this code, all such turn-ons and shut-offs shall be made by the officers or employees of the city, and this rule shall apply to all appliances or fixtures of any water system which the city may own or operate. (Ord. 2752 § 24, 2011).

13.10.240 Alterations and other actions requiring permission of city—Encroachment permits.

A.    No unauthorized person shall uncover, make any connection with or opening into, use, alter or disturb any public sewer, water main, or irrigation main without first obtaining a written encroachment permit from the public works director. No unauthorized person shall open, alter or disturb the streets or alleys of the city for the purpose of making connection with the public sewer system, public water system, or the public irrigation system, without first obtaining a written encroachment permit from the public works director, or his designee.

B.    An encroachment permit fee in the amount set forth in the city’s fee schedule shall be paid by all applicants under this section. The fee for the encroachment permit is in addition to all other fees required under this code.

C.    The public works director is authorized to establish policies and procedures for administering the issuance of permits under this section.

D.    All streets, sidewalks, alleys, parkways, and other public property disturbed in the course of the work shall be restored in a manner satisfactory to the city.

E.    The party performing the work, its heirs, successors and assigns shall indemnify the city, and hold it harmless, from all claims, actions or damages of every kind and description which may accrue to or be suffered by any person or persons or property by reason of the performance of such work, the character of materials used, the manner of installation, or by improper occupancy of rights-of-way. In case any suit or action is brought against the city for damages arising out of or by reason of any of the above causes, the party, its heirs, successors and assigns shall defend the same at its own cost and expense and shall satisfy any judgment after the suit or action shall have been determined, if adverse to the city, and further shall reimburse the city for reasonable attorneys’ fees expended by the city in connection with the same.

F.    All persons performing the work shall be licensed as a contractor by the state of Washington. (Ord. 2752 § 25, 2011).

13.10.250 Private system—Construction or alteration—Permit required.

A.    No person shall construct, nor commence the construction of, a private water system, private irrigation system using potable water, or private sewer or private sewage disposal system without first obtaining a written permit from the building official or his designee and obtaining any permits required from all other regulatory agencies with jurisdiction. No private system may be constructed if the applicant is required to connect to city services pursuant to Section 13.10.310. Such private system shall comply with all provisions of this title. A permit fee in the amount set forth in the city’s fee schedule shall be paid by all applicants under this section. The building official is authorized to establish policies and procedures for administering the issuance of permits under this section. The permit provided for in this section is in addition to any other permit required under this code.

B.    No private sewer system shall be permitted to discharge to any public sewer or natural outlet, or to ground surface. The owner shall operate and maintain the private sewage disposal facilities in a sanitary manner at all times, at no expense to the city.

C.    Once constructed, no person shall modify the private water system, sewer system, or irrigation system without obtaining a permit from the city. The amount of the fee for the permit shall be set forth in the city’s fee schedule. If at the time a person requests a permit to modify his private water system or sewer system, public water or sewer main lines are available in accordance with Section 13.10.310, then such person shall be required to connect to public water and sewer and abandon his private systems. All persons installing back-flow prevention devices when connecting irrigation lines to the water system shall comply with this chapter and Chapter 13.14. For irrigation systems wholly on private property a permit shall not be required under this section for the following activities: replacement of sprinkler heads, repair of broken lines or equipment, and repair or replacement of the electronic monitoring system.

D.    Customers and water users shall not permit other users of water, whether the same is for domestic or other purposes, to draw or use water through his pipes without having obtained permission from the city. Any customer or water user who violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and the water to his property shall be turned off in accordance with the procedures contained in this chapter.

E.    The party performing the work, by permit issued in accordance with this section, its heirs, successors and assigns, shall indemnify the city and hold it harmless from all claims, actions or damages of every kind and description which may accrue to or be suffered by any person or persons or property by reason of the performance of such work, the character of materials used, the manner of installation, or by improper occupancy of rights-of-way. In case any suit or action is brought against the city for damages arising out of or by reason of any of the above causes, the party, its heirs, successors and assigns shall defend the same at its own cost and expense and shall satisfy any judgment after the suit or action shall have been determined, if adverse to the city, and further shall reimburse the city for reasonable attorneys’ fees expended by the city in connection with the same.

F.    All persons performing the work shall be licensed as a contractor by the state of Washington. Before performing the work, all persons shall obtain any permits necessary from any agency with jurisdiction over the private system. (Ord. 2752 § 26, 2011).

13.10.260 Private water system—Private sewer system—Prohibited.

Except as otherwise provided for in this title, and except for an irrigation system owned by an irrigation district or other governmental agency, no person, other than the city, shall install, own, maintain or operate a public water supply system, public irrigation system, or public sewer system within the city. (Ord. 2752 § 27, 2011).

13.10.270 Charges for service—Budget payment—Payment by electronic means.

A.    The finance director is hereby authorized to create and implement a budget payment plan for residential customers in accordance with state law. Such a plan shall permit the authorized customer to make payments of utility charges on an annual averaged basis rather than on a monthly basis, with at least one annual adjustment to ensure that the amount paid on an annual basis reflects the actual charges incurred. Such plan shall be offered to residential customers as provided for in RCW 35.21.300, and may be offered to all residential customers as provided for in the budget payment plan.

B.    The finance director is authorized to establish policies and procedures to accept payment of combined bills by electronic means. The city shall pay the transactional costs associated with automatic withdrawal payments and credit and debit card payments, and those costs will not be passed on to the customers because the city and its customers realize cost savings and benefits associated with the ability to make electronic payments.

C.    The finance director is authorized to accept, and establish policies and procedures to accept, automated payment of combined bills by electronic means. (Ord. 2752 § 28, 2011).

13.10.280 Over or underbilling—Meter failure—Adjustment for leaks.

A.    It is the policy of the city to collect all amounts identifiable as due and owing for utility services. The city reserves the right to collect such charges, on the basis of joint and several liability, from:

1.    The owner of premises served;

2.    The occupant of the premises; or

3.    Any person otherwise determined to be legally responsible for the charges concerned;

as may be most convenient to the city. The city may not collect charges in violation of RCW 35.21.217, as now codified or as may be hereafter amended or recodified.

B.    This policy recognizes that any losses from not collecting such amounts must be made up from monies collected from all ratepayers.

C.    Underbilling—Underpayment.

1.    Underbilling or underpayment because of customer errors or other reasons not the result of city error will be collected in full.

2.    Underbilling or underpayment because of city error may be adjusted, considering the following criteria:

a.    In general, the public is presumed to know that a reasonable charge for utility services rendered must be paid. Where it appears a customer or other person from whom payment is sought did not know and had no reason to know of the error, charges accruing more than one year before the discovery of the error may be waived.

b.    There is “reason to know” of a billing error where the bill on its face is below regular charges, or where there are no charges being made to premises receiving service. Customers have a duty to make prompt inquiry with the utility billings office when they get such a bill inconsistent with the utility service to their premises.

3.    Underbillings because of customer error or where it appears a customer knew or should have known of the error should be paid in full.

D.    Overbill. Where an account is overbilled or overpaid, the refund period granted administratively is up to one year from the time the error is reported to the utility billings office, except overpayments or overbillings because of customer fault should be reported by the customer within sixty days. Approved refunds are administered by an account credit for the premises served.

E.    Billing errors are adjusted by the finance director.

1.    Adjustment is made by way of credit to the combined city utilities bill for errors in said bill unless another adjustment method is approved by the city.

2.    Additionally, the city reserves all defenses, offsets and claims allowable in contract or law.

F.    In the event a meter fails to register the amount of water used, the customer will be charged at the average rate of monthly consumption for the previous twelve months for the service address as shown by the meter when in order. If twelve months’ previous usage is not available, a consumption charge may be assessed, in the finance director’s discretion, based upon comparable use projections for the service address.

G.    In the event a leak or failure of a private service line between the meter and the structure located on private property results in excess consumption, the city may, through a determination of the finance director, provide for a water rate adjustment up to fifty percent of the volume consumed in any one-month period in excess of the monthly average of water consumed over the previous twelve months at that service address. This credit shall apply for both the water and sewer portions of the combined billing. Application for the credit must be made on a form approved by the city and directed to the finance director. The finance director, per service address, may consider no more than one application for credit in any twenty-four-month period. The finance director is authorized to establish policies and procedures to implement this section. (Ord. 2752 § 29, 2011).

13.10.290 Collection agencies—Bad debt write off.

In addition to, and not in the way of limitation of, the rights herein provided to shut off and discontinue service provided under this title, or to record a lien, the finance director shall have the right to turn delinquent accounts over to a collection agency in accordance with the procedures contained in RCW 19.16.500. In the event an account is turned over to collection, a reasonable fee in the maximum amount allowed by RCW 19.16.500 shall be added to the amount due for such account. In the event that the collection agency is unable or unwilling to collect the debt, the finance director is authorized to write off accounts that are over one year old in an amount not to exceed five hundred dollars per account. This write-off option shall be utilized only after it has been determined by the finance director, and the finance director has made written findings, that there is no cost-effective means of collecting and recovering the account. (Ord. 2752 § 30, 2011).

13.10.300 Water service required for sewer customers—Sewer service required for water customers.

A.    The city shall not permit any property located outside the city limits of Prosser to connect to city sewer service or water service unless such property, including all occupied structures thereon, connects to both city water service and city sewer service. Properties located within the Prosser city limits, including all occupied structures thereon seeking connections to city sewer, shall also be required to connect to both services from the city. Existing accounts within the city for properties connected to sewer services or water services shall be required to hook up to the other system in accordance with the requirements of Section 13.10.310.

B.    The city council shall have the authority to grant variances from the requirements of subsection A of this section. Application for such a variance shall be filed, in writing, with the city clerk, together with a filing fee in the amount as provided for in the city’s fee schedule. The applicant shall be given ten days’ notice from the date on which the city council shall consider the variance. The city council is authorized to issue variances that allow connections to sewer service without water service only if it is found that it would cause a practical difficulty to require the extension of water service by reason of circumstances, which are unique to the applicant’s property and not generally shared by other properties in the vicinity. No variance will be granted which would be detrimental to the public health, welfare or environment, or which would be inconsistent with the long-range plans of the Prosser utility system. Conditions may be imposed upon the granting of a variance to ensure the protection of the public health, welfare and environment, and in the interest of justice. Each variance shall be considered on a case-by-case basis, and it shall not be construed as setting precedent for any subsequent application. The decision of the city council on the variance application shall be final, subject to appeal to the superior court of Benton County within a twenty-one-day period after the decision of the council. The city clerk is authorized to establish policies and procedures to implement this section. (Ord. 2752 § 31, 2011).

13.10.310 Utility connections required.

A.    The owner of any property within the city limits which is not connected to the water system or sewer system, or either, shall be required to connect to an existing water and sewer line under the following circumstances:

1.    Upon construction of a new building or structure which is designed for occupancy;

2.    Upon construction of any additions, alterations or repairs within any twenty-four-month period which exceed fifty percent of the value of an existing building or structure which is designed for occupancy; or

3.    Upon any change in the occupancy classification of an existing building or structure on the property; or

4.    Upon the failure or modification of the on-site sewage disposal system on the property or the failure of the water system on the property; or

5.    As otherwise required by this code.

B.    The owner of any property within the city limits which is not connected to the city water system or sewer system, or either, shall be required to extend any utility line which is within two hundred feet of the structure to be served, as measured along the usual or most feasible route of access, and to connect to the same for all occupied structures on the property under any of the following circumstances:

1.    Upon construction of a new building or structure which is designed for occupancy; or

2.    Upon construction of any additions, alterations or repairs within any twenty-four-month period which exceed fifty percent of the value of an existing building or structure which is designed for occupancy; or

3.    Upon any change in the occupancy classification of an existing building or structure on the property; or

4.    Upon the failure or modification of the on-site sewage disposal system on the property or the failure of the water system on the property; or

5.    As otherwise required by this code.

C.    The owner of any property outside of the city limits, but within the utility service area, which is connected to the water system or sewer system shall be required to extend the city’s sanitary sewer or water main line and connect to the same for all occupied structures on the property only if such structures, or any of them, are within two hundred feet of the existing sanitary sewer or water main line, as measured along the usual and most feasible route of access, and only under the following circumstances:

1.    Upon construction of a new building or structure which is designed for occupancy; or

2.    Upon construction of any additions, alterations or repairs within any twenty-four-month period which exceed fifty percent of the value of an existing building or structure which is designed for occupancy; or

3.    Upon any change in the occupancy classification of an existing building or structure on the property; or

4.    Upon the failure or modification of the on-site sewage disposal system on the property or the failure of the water system on the property; or

5.    As otherwise required by this code.

D.    The city council shall have authority to grant variances from the requirements of subsections A, B, and C of this section. Applications for such variances shall be filed, in writing, with the city clerk, together with a filing fee in the amount as provided for in the city’s fee schedule. The applicant shall be given ten days’ notice of the date on which the city council shall consider the variance. The city council is authorized to issue such variances only if it is found that it would cause a practical difficulty to require the extension or connection of the utility service by reason of circumstances which are unique to the applicant’s property and not generally shared by other properties in the vicinity. No variance shall be granted which would be detrimental to the public health, welfare or environment, or which would be inconsistent with the long-range plans of the Prosser utility system. Conditions may be imposed upon the granting of a variance to ensure the protection of the public health, safety and environment, and in the interest of justice. Each variance shall be considered on a case-by-case basis, and shall not be construed as setting precedent for any subsequent application. The decision of the city council on the variance application shall be final, subject to appeal to the superior court of Benton County within a twenty-one-day period thereafter. The city clerk is authorized to establish policies and procedures to implement this section. (Ord. 2752 § 32, 2011).

13.10.320 Water, sewer, and irrigation extension and redistribution systems.

No extension of water mains, sewer mains or irrigation mains or redistribution systems will be made outside of the present areas except when approved by the public works director. The provisions of Title 17 shall govern extension of water mains, sewer mains, irrigation mains and redistribution systems, as if the applicant for such extension is a subdivider. The city shall not approve or accept any such extension unless all of the following conditions are met:

A.    The extension is constructed in accordance with all city ordinances and is located within the city’s service area.

B.    Any party extending a sewer main line, water main line, irrigation main line or redistribution system shall pay the city a fee in accordance with Title 20.

C.    The city engineer recommends to the city that the city accept the extension as constructed.

D.    The title to all mains and extensions placed in the city streets and alleys, easements or right-of-way which may be used by the city pursuant to a franchise with Benton County shall be vested in the ownership of the city and shall become a part of the city’s water system, the city’s sewer system, and/or the city’s irrigation system. All extensions to the public utility system shall be conveyed to the city by bill of sale and shall be accompanied by a warranty by the grantor that the utility lines and appurtenances are free of debt and were constructed in accordance with city standards and specifications.

E.    The city, in addition to the application for services set forth in this chapter, shall require, from all applicants residing outside the territorial limits of the city, execution of an outside utility agreement or other such documents as are deemed necessary to ensure that the property of the applicant, or any person claiming title through him, will be annexed to the city when it becomes reasonably contiguous. In the event that the applicant refuses to execute any document as required or attempts to impair or repudiate any document or agreement executed either by him or a successor in interest, the city’s duty to supply services shall cease. In the event that property reasonably contiguous to the city becomes annexed and then removed as the result of a reduction of the city limits (except when initiated by resolution) or when the proposed annexation of an area fails or is held invalid, the city’s duty to provide utility service thereto shall cease. The mayor, or his designee, is authorized to execute outside utility agreements. The outside utility agreement shall be in substantially the following form:

Return Address:

OUTSIDE UTILITY AGREEMENT, ANNEXATION COVENANT, AND SPECIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY

THIS AGREEMENT is made between the City of Prosser (hereinafter “City”) and the undersigned Owner(s) and/or Occupant(s) hereinafter collectively “Owner”).

WHEREAS, Owner owns and/or occupies the following-described real property located within Benton County, Washington, to wit:

[INSERT LEGAL DESCRIPTION AND PARCEL NUMBER]

AND WHEREAS, Owner has applied to the City for City domestic water and sewer service for the above-described real property:

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the furnishing of such water and sewer service, Owner for himself and on behalf of his heirs, successors and assigns, does hereby promise and agree as follows:

1. Incorporation of Recitals. The foregoing recitals are incorporated herein by reference.

2. Charges and Fees. Owner shall pay to the City of Prosser, when due, all connection charges, service fees, future local improvement district assessments, reimbursement fees pursuant to PMC 13.50, if any, and any and all other charges and fees required by law to be paid for the service hereby applied for. Connection to or extension of a public utility system will be at Owner’s expense and liability. Owner is responsible to obtain and record any necessary easements.

3. Property Alterations and Improvements. Owner promises and agrees to make all alterations, improvements, and repairs on and to such property and the buildings, structures, and other improvements thereon as specified on the attachment hereto marked “EXHIBIT A” and by reference made a part hereof (including, but not limited to, the service connection from the City’s Main to the property), which alterations, improvements, and repairs shall be completed within the time specified on EXHIBIT A and shall be the property of Owner. Any future new construction or future alterations, additions or repairs shall conform to any and all then applicable construction and zoning codes as if the property affected by this Agreement were situated within the boundaries of the City of Prosser. The City shall have the right at any and all reasonable times to inspect the property described above, and any existing buildings, structures, and other improvements thereon.

4. Annexation Covenant. For purposes of this paragraph only, the term “Owner” shall exclude an occupant who does not own the real property legally described above. Owner has been informed of and understands that the City intends to commence annexation proceedings to annex certain property to the City of Prosser, including, but not limited to, the property legally described above. Information about the proposed annexation will be available for public review at the City of Prosser, City Hall, 601 7th Street, Prosser, Washington. Owner may review this information upon reasonable notice. Owner has a presently existing legal right not to sign a petition for annexation of the property legally described above. The purposes of this Agreement include but are not limited to Owner waiving such right and creation of such waiver as a covenant running with the land in the event that the City, in its discretion, furnishes water and/or sewer service to the above-described land. In consideration and as a condition of such furnishing of water and/or sewer service, Owner, for himself and for his heirs, successors and assigns, agrees and covenants with the City of Prosser, and to the present and future owners of any property affected by the furnishing of City water and/or sewer service to which this covenant relates, such agreement to constitute a covenant running with the land, that they shall, whenever so requested, sign any letter, notice, petition, documents, or other instruments initiating, furthering or accomplishing the annexation of the above-described property to the City of Prosser, whether or not the annexation involves the assumption by the area to be annexed of existing City indebtedness, the application to the area to be annexed of the comprehensive plan and land use controls of the City, and such other conditions as the City may lawfully impose, and the Owner will not protest the future formation of any local improvement district for domestic water and/or sewer service for any district which includes the property affected by this Agreement. Furthermore, this instrument shall be considered both a valid Notice of Intent to Commence Annexation and a valid Petition for Annexation, signed by the Owner, and by Owner’s heirs, successors and assigns, for the above-described real property.

5. Special Power of Attorney. The undersigned Owner of the above-described real property, on behalf of himself, his heirs, successors and assigns, hereby designates the City of Prosser as Owner’s true and lawful attorney-in-fact for the purpose of signing any petition leading to the annexation of said real property to the City of Prosser, with full power to do and perform any proper act which Owner may do with respect to the annexation of said real property. The City of Prosser may exercise this power through its City Clerk/Finance Director or otherwise as the city Council may direct. This Special Power of Attorney is given for the valuable consideration of the furnishing of water and/or sewer service by the City of Prosser, and this Special Power of Attorney is further given as security for performance of the annexation covenant obligation set forth above. This Special Power of Attorney is not revocable and shall not be affected by the disability of the principal.

6. Additional Conditions. Owner further agrees to perform and otherwise comply with the conditions, requirements, restrictions, and other provisions contained on the attachment hereto marked “EXHIBIT B” and by reference made a part hereof in order that this property be used and/or developed in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan of the City, as the Plan now exists or may be amended from time to time, and as if the property were situated within the boundaries of the City of Prosser, all of which are conditions of the granting by the City of the service(s) applied for by Owner. Utility services are being requested for the following described future or existing land use (check the appropriate box) as defined in the Prosser Zoning Ordinance:

______ 18.15 “A” (Agribusiness) District

______ 18.16 “AT” (Agri-tourism) District

______ 18.18 “RR” (Residential, Rural) District

______ 18.21 “RL” (Residential, Low Density) District

______ 18.24 “RMS” (Residential, Manufactured Home Subdivision)

______ 18.27 “RM” (Residential, Medium Density) District

______ 18.30 “RH” (Residential, High Density) District

______ 18.33 “RMP” (Residential, Manufactured Home Park) District

______ 18.37 “CN” (Commercial, Neighborhood) District

______ 18.40 “CD” (Commercial, Downtown) District

______ 18.43 “CG” (Commercial, General) District

______ 18.46 “CT” (Commercial, Thoroughfare) District

______ 18.48 “CP” (Commercial, Professional) District

______ 18.49 “IL” (Industrial, Light) District

______ 18.52 “IH” (Industrial, Heavy) District

______ 18.55 “PF” (Public Facility) District

______ 18.56 “SSR” (Steep Slope Residential) District

______ 18.35 “UR” (Urban Residential) District

Any change in current land use will require the execution of a new Outside Utility Agreement.

7. Bond. Owner further agrees that the City may require the Owner to file with the City a bond conditioned so as to insure the performance by Owner or Owner’s obligations under this Agreement; and in the event the City so requires, the undersigned will file such a bond in the amount specified on EXHIBIT B, which bond shall be issued by a corporate surety company authorized to do business in the State of Washington, and which bond shall be subject to the approval of the Prosser City Attorney.

8. Property Sale or Transfer. Owner agrees that in the event of a sale or transfer of the property affected by this Agreement, Owner shall, as a condition of such sale or transfer, require the purchaser, or other new Owner, to sign a duplicate of this Outside Utility Agreement; and that this Agreement and the promises made herein, do constitute a covenant running with the land described above and shall be binding on Owner and Owner’s successors in interests to such property, and that this Agreement shall be filed for record in the office of the Benton County Auditor.

9. Fire Protection Flow Requirements. The City’s approval of water service does not guarantee fire protection flow requirements.

10. Litigation: Governing Law. In the event any suit or action is instituted by either party to enforce compliance with or interpret any of the terms, covenants, or conditions of this Agreement, the prevailing party shall be entitled to collect, in addition to necessary court costs, such sums as the court may adjudge as reasonable attorney’s fees. The venue for any action to enforce or interpret this Agreement shall lie in the Superior Court of Washington for Benton County, Washington. This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of Washington.

11. Non-Severability. In the event that any material provision is found unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, this Agreement shall be null and void and the City shall have no further obligation to provide water or sewer service to the property that is legally described above; provided, however, Owner shall make all payments as provided for under this Agreement for services rendered prior to termination of service pursuant to this provision.

12. Assignment. This Agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the parties hereto and their respective heirs, successors, and assigns.

DATED this __________ day of ________, 20___

Owner    City Of Prosser

By: ______________    By: _______________

STATE OF WASHINGTON    )

    ) ss.

County of ___________     )

I certify that I know or have satisfactory evidence that ___________________ signed this instrument and acknowledged it to be (his, her, their) free and voluntary act of such party for the uses and purposes mentioned in the instrument.

Dated: __________    _____________________

    NOTARY PUBLIC IN

    AND FOR THE STATE

    OF WASHINGTON,

    RESIDING AT ________

    MY COMMISSION

    EXPIRES: ___________

    NOTARY’S PRINTED NAME:

    ____________________

STATE OF WASHINGTON    )

    ) ss.

County of Benton     )

On this ___ day of _____________, 20__ before me personally appeared __________________ and _________________ to me known to be the ____________________ and __________________ of the Corporation that executed the foregoing instrument, and acknowledged said instrument the free and voluntary act and deed of said corporation, for the uses and purposes therein mentioned and on oath stated that (he, she, they) (was, were) authorized to execute said instrument and that the seal affixed is the corporate seal of said corporation.

Dated: __________    _____________________

    NOTARY PUBLIC IN

    AND FOR THE STATE

    OF WASHINGTON,

    RESIDING AT ________

    MY COMMISSION

    EXPIRES: ___________

    NOTARY’S PRINTED NAME:

    ____________________

EXHIBIT “A”

IMPROVEMENTS, ALTERATIONS AND REPAIRS TO BE MADE BY OWNER

    ____________________

    OWNER

    ____________________

    OWNER

EXHIBIT “B”

CONDITIONS OF UTILITY SERVICE APPROVAL

City of Prosser ___________ service is extended to and available for __________________ located on __________________________.

(Insert other provisions as applicable)

Any other use or extension unless specifically authorized by appropriate City action is prohibited and grounds for summary disconnection and termination of service.

    ____________________

    OWNER

    ____________________

    OWNER

The City of Prosser public sewer system will be extended according to the City’s requirements and specifications to serve the following development(s) all of which meets the proper zoning in accordance with Benton County. Use and extension of the City sewer system is contingent upon compliance with all City sewer and wastewater system use ordinances and regulations (including, without limitation, Prosser Municipal Code Titles 13 and 17) as those ordinances and regulations may be amended from time to time. Any other use or extension unless specifically authorized by appropriate City action is prohibited and grounds for summary disconnection and termination of service.

    ____________________

    OWNER

    ____________________

    OWNER

(Ord. 2752 § 33, 2011).

13.10.330 Adoption of city standards by reference.

Pursuant to the authority contained in RCW 35A.12.140, the most recent edition of the Specifications for Road, Bridge, and Municipal Construction, of the Washington State Department of Transportation and the American Public Works Association, Washington State Chapter, together with all the amendments and additions thereto made hereafter, and any amendments made to such standards by the city, are adopted by the city and by this reference are incorporated herein as if set out in full. (Ord. 2752 § 34, 2011).

13.10.340 Sewage facilities—Backstop valves to be installed by the owner.

The owner of each lot or parcel of real property connected to the public sewer system of the city which has sewer facilities below the established ground level of the street or alley right-of-way with the sewer main serving the facilities shall furnish and install backstop valves which conform to the rules and regulations regarding backstop valves and their installation adopted by the city. (Ord. 2752 § 35, 2011).

13.10.350 Ownership of lines.

The city owns all utility lines constructed by it, or conveyed to and accepted by it, or which it has maintained and operated for a period of not less than ten years. The city disclaims ownership of any collection, distribution, supply or transmission main, which is not located within public property or public easement. The city reserves the right to disclaim ownership of any privately constructed water or sewer main which was not built to city specifications. The city shall have no maintenance, repair or replacement obligation with respect to lines which it does not own. At no time shall it be the responsibility of the city to enter upon private property to work on or do anything to mains, service lines, or appurtenances which are not an accepted part of the utility system and lying within an easement or right-of-way running to the city for the purpose of maintaining the city utility system. (Ord. 2752 § 36, 2011).

13.10.360 Rights inspection and access.

City officials, employees and agents shall have the right to enter upon private property at all reasonable times to inspect and test appliances, utility lines and appurtenances which are connected to the city utility system. (Ord. 2752 § 37, 2011).

13.10.370 Installation—Fee—Location—Costs—Replacement of meters.

A.    All water services shall be installed under the regulations of the city as established from time to time.

B.    All persons are responsible to install and connect water lines from the improvements on their property to the city’s main line. No water connections shall be made until the city issues a construction permit for such installation. The public works director shall establish an application procedure for water connections. All installations shall be made in compliance with the city’s rules, ordinances, and regulations by contractor licensed by the state of Washington to construct such installations. No water line shall be connected to the city’s until it has been inspected by the city. All persons shall obtain an encroachment permit from the public works director, or his designee, before installing or connecting water lines from the improvements on their property to the city’s main. On new installations of water meters, all customers shall pay a basic installation and inspection charge in the amount set forth by the city council by ordinance or resolution. The city shall install the water meter into a city approved meter box, as per construction standards. The city is responsible for providing a meter but all other materials and work including, but not limited to, excavation of the area, construction of the customer’s water line from the main, construction of the service line, purchase of meter box and lid and any other work and materials shall be the responsibility of the customer.

C.    In addition to the basic installation charge listed in subsection B of this section, a system connection fee shall be paid based upon meter size as follows:

3/4" and 5/8"

$591.00

1"

$591.00

1-1/2"

$822.00

2"

$1,104.00

3"

$1,994.00

4"

$2,697.00

6"

$5,044.00

D.    In both new installations and replacements the expense and responsibility for the city shall end at the main. The city shall install meters in accordance with city standards. All meters shall be owned and maintained by the city and service may be withheld from any user unless such service is taken by the user through the city meter, and the city may require separate service with meters for business, house, apartment or habitation by single families.

E.    In the event that an existing water meter installed outside of the city’s right-of-way fails or must be replaced due to its age or condition, the city shall install and pay for a new meter that shall be located within the city’s right-of-way, and the customer shall pay for and install necessary pipelines to connect his building to the new meter. The city shall not assess a connection fee or an installation fee for a new meter installed pursuant to this subsection.

F.    All fees due under subsection C of this section shall be paid in full at time of application for a building permit or other development application. The basic installation charge and administrative fee shall be due before the city turns the water meter on. (Ord. 2894 § 3, 2014: Ord. 2752 § 38, 2011).

13.10.380 Established—Schedule—Meter rental or readiness-to-serve charges.

The following rates and regulations are established for fixing, regulating, and controlling the use and price of water supplied by the water department of the city:

A.    Rate Schedule within the City Limits.

1.    The rates for water meter rental or readiness-to-serve charge and water consumption charges served from the city water system shall be as set by separate ordinance passed by the city council.

The meter rental or readiness-to-serve charge shall include the first four hundred cubic feet of water usage per month. All water usage above four hundred cubic feet per month shall be charged at the rates set by separate ordinance passed by the city council per each additional one hundred cubic feet of water usage per month.

2.    Low-Income Senior Citizens and Low-Income Disabled Citizens Rates. Residential properties, to the extent of their occupancy by low-income senior citizens or low-income disabled citizens, as defined below, shall pay fifty percent of the monthly meter rental charge, plus water usage.

a.    A low-income senior citizen is an individual who:

i.    Is sixty-one years of age or older on or before January 31st of the year of filing of the application for exemption; and

ii.    Has a “combined disposable income” as defined in RCW 84.36.383(4), (5) and (6) and assets, exclusive of one vehicle and the residence for which the application for exemption is made, of less than eighteen thousand dollars; and

iii.    Shall file an application for exemption with the city finance director or with the city’s contractor processing applications pursuant to subsection (A)(2)(c) of this section. The city finance director or contractor shall require that the applicant provide documentation supporting the exemption.

b.    A low-income disabled citizen is an individual who:

i.    Is retired from regular, gainful employment by reason of a physical disability; and

ii.    Meets the requirements of subsections (A)(2)(a)(ii) and (iii) of this section.

c.    Applications for utility rate discounts as described above shall be applied for annually prior to March 31st. Any filing of a valid application after March 31st shall apply only to any utility statement mailed after the date of filing and shall not be retroactive to the preceding March 31st. The mayor, or his or her designee, is authorized to contract with a contractor to process applications for utility rate discounts in accordance with this section.

B.    Rate Schedule outside the City Limits.

1.    The rates for water served from the city water system shall be as follows:

a.    The rates for water meter rental or readiness-to-serve charge and water consumption charges served from the city water system shall be as set by separate ordinance passed by the city council.

b.    The meter rental or readiness-to-serve charge shall include the first four hundred cubic feet of water usage per month. All water usage above four hundred cubic feet per month shall be charged at the rates set by separate ordinance passed by the city council for each additional one hundred cubic feet of water usage per month. (Ord. 3017 § 1, 2017: Ord. 2984 § 4, 2016: Ord. 2954 § 4, 2015: Ord. 2916 § 4, 2014: Ord. 2853 § 4, 2013: Ord. 2831 § 1, 2013: Ord. 2791 § 4, 2012: Ord. 2752 § 39, 2011).

13.10.390 Stand pipe water charge.

For each five hundred cubic feet of water or any portion thereof obtained from the city stand pipe, there shall be charged and collected the sum as set forth on the city’s fee schedule. (Ord. 2752 § 40, 2011).

13.10.400 Bulk water.

A.    All nongovernmental persons desiring to connect to city fire hydrants for temporary water supply must first apply for and receive permission from the city to do so. The application shall be in accordance with Section 13.10.140. The applicant shall pay an application fee in the amount set forth in the city’s fee schedule. The finance director is authorized to establish policies and procedures to implement this section.

B.    All nongovernmental persons using city fire hydrants for temporary water supply must pay a deposit in the amount set forth in the city’s fee schedule. This deposit shall be applied to the temporary water supply account established at the time the temporary water supply account is closed. Any fees or charges not covered by the deposit must be paid within thirty days of the billing. Collection of unpaid fees shall be in accordance with this chapter. In the event any nongovernmental user is required to use city equipment to access water from the hydrant, then the nongovernmental user shall pay a security deposit in the amount set forth in the city’s fee schedule.

C.    All nongovernmental persons using city fire hydrants for temporary water supply shall pay a base fee in the amount set forth in the city’s fee schedule plus the actual cost for all water obtained from city fire hydrants at the rate set forth in the city’s fee schedule.

D.    In the event all city equipment is not promptly returned, or any equipment is returned in damaged condition, the user shall be liable to the city for the full replacement cost. The cost to repair the damage or replace the equipment shall be deducted from the security deposit before the nongovernmental person’s security deposit is returned to him. In the event the nongovernmental person returns the equipment with no damage, then his security deposit shall be refunded to him within thirty days.

E.    “Nongovernmental persons,” for the purposes of this section, shall be defined as all persons other than the city of Prosser and those persons or entities that are providing services to the city under contract or agreement with the city.

F.    No nongovernmental person shall withdraw water from any city fire hydrant without first complying with the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 2752 § 41, 2011).

13.10.410 Installation—Charges—Sewer.

A.    All sewer connections shall be installed under the regulations of the city as established from time to time.

B.    All persons are responsible to install and connect sewer lines from the improvements on their property to the city’s main line. No sewer connections shall be made until the city issues a construction permit for such installation. The public works director shall establish an application procedure for sewer connections. All installations shall be made in compliance with the city’s rules, ordinances, and regulations by contractor licensed by the state of Washington to construct such installations. No sewer line shall be connected to the city’s main line until it has been inspected by the city. All persons shall obtain an encroachment permit from the public works director, or his designee, before installing or connecting sewer lines from the improvements on their property to the city’s main line. All persons shall pay an inspection fee in the amount set forth by the city council by ordinance or resolution.

C.    In addition to the fees listed in subsection B of this section, there shall be paid a sewer system connection fee based on water meter size as follows:

3/4"—5/8"

$591.00

1"

$591.00

1-1/2"

$822.00

2"

$1,104.00

3"

$1,994.00

4"

$2,697.00

6"

$5,044.00

D.    The sums set forth in subsection C of this section shall be paid to the city at the time an application is filed for a building permit or other development permit.

E.    All connections shall comply with the provisions of this title, whether made on a branch or main line directly or indirectly. (Ord. 2894 § 4, 2014: Ord. 2752 § 42, 2011).

13.10.420 Schedule of sewer rates.

A.    For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

1.    “Residential user” is defined as a residential dwelling unit, which dwelling unit has its own water meter.

2.    “Commercial user” is defined as any user which is not a residential user or an industrial user.

3.    “Industrial user” is defined as any sewer user who has entered into a separate sewer contract with the city of Prosser.

B.    The monthly charges for public sewer service for a residential user shall be as follows:

1.    Each residential user shall pay a base charge set forth in a separate ordinance passed by the city council which includes the first four hundred cubic feet of water consumption.

2.    In addition to the base charge, each residential user shall pay a consumption charge as set forth in a separate ordinance passed by the city council for each one hundred cubic feet of water consumption over and above the first four hundred cubic feet of water consumption. This amount shall be based upon the average water consumption of the previous billing months of December, January and February. This average water consumption shall be used for billing purposes for each billing period from April 1st of one year to April 1st of the following year.

3.    Any residential user who does not establish an average monthly consumption during the billing months of December, January and February because of absence, nonownership or other such similar reason shall pay the sum as set forth in a separate ordinance passed by the city council each month until such time as the residential user establishes the average water consumption as set forth in subsection (B)(2) of this section.

C.    The monthly charges for public sewer service for a commercial user shall be as follows:

1.    Each commercial user shall pay a base charge determined by the size of water meter as set forth in a separate ordinance passed by the city council.

2.    In addition to the base charge, each commercial user shall pay a consumption charge as set forth in a separate ordinance passed by the city council per each one hundred cubic feet of water consumption over and above the first four hundred cubic feet of water consumption each month. This amount shall be based upon the water consumption of the previous month, unless said amount is computed in accordance with subsection (C)(3) or (4) of this section, or unless a new account with no prior month usage, in which case usage shall be based on usage by a comparable commercial user.

3.    Commercial users who have outside use of potable water for irrigation purposes may elect to base the water consumption charge on the average monthly usage for the six-month period commencing in October of the year in which the application is approved and ending March of the following year. If the commercial user’s property has access to irrigation water, then the commercial user shall use irrigation water for outside use of water and may not exercise the election available in this section. In order to qualify for this election, the following requirements must be met:

a.    Applications for this election described above shall be filed with the finance director annually prior to March 1st. Any application for this election filed with the finance director on or after March 1st of any year shall only be applied to utility statements mailed after the date of the filing of the application with the finance director; and

b.    The applicant must be using outside potable water for irrigation purposes. This requirement is subject to verification by city staff; and

c.    The applicant must have water usage during the entire six-month period of October through March; and

d.    The average monthly usage, as determined in accordance with subsections (C)(3)(a), (b) and (c) of this section, shall only apply to the irrigation season months of April through September immediately following the month of March used in the average determination. A new average monthly usage shall be determined for each ensuing year, provided application is made as required.

4.    Commercial users who have the use of potable water to fill an outdoor swimming pool which is not less than fifty thousand gallons may file an application with the city to deduct the amount of water used to fill the swimming pool from the total water used to calculate the monthly usage calculated in subsection (C)(3) of this section rounded down to the nearest one hundred cubic feet. The applicant must provide proof how he or she calculated the amount of water used to fill the swimming pool in cubic feet. In order to qualify for this election, the following requirements must be met:

a.    Applications for this election described above shall be filed with the finance director annually prior to March 1st. Any application for this election filed with the finance director on or after March 1st of any year shall only be applied to utility statements mailed after the date of the filing of the application with the finance director; and

b.    The applicant must be using outside potable water to fill a swimming pool which is not less than fifty thousand gallons. This requirement is subject to verification by city staff; and

c.    The average monthly usage, as determined in accordance with subsections (C)(3)(a), (b) and (c) of this section, shall only apply to the months when the pool is in use. A new average monthly usage shall be determined for each ensuing year, provided application is made as required; and

d.    For the election to be effective in the ensuing year, applications must be filed with and approved by the finance director between December 1st and December 31st of the year preceding the effective year.

D.    Elderly low-income and disabled low-income residential users meeting the conditions of Section 13.10.380(A)(2) shall pay fifty percent of the base rate, plus usage.

E.    Where sewer charges of industrial users or commercial users cannot be determined under subsection C or F of this section because of the inability to meter water to determine domestic sewage use for commercial users or the inability to measure sewage discharge by the city flow meter and test the strength of the wastewater for industrial users, then a determination of use of the domestic sewage shall be made as follows:

1.    Monthly, the business or industry shall report to the city the average number of full-time equivalent employees they employed in the preceding month. The city shall make a determination of sewer use using equivalent residential units (ERUs) discharge tables as published by the Department of Ecology, criteria for sewage works design. Industrial users and all commercial users who do not have metered water shall be charged at the rate set forth in a separate ordinance passed by the city council.

F.    The monthly charges for public sewer service for an industrial user shall be as follows:

1.    User Fees. Monthly charges for the discharge of industrial wastewater shall be based on the volume and strength of wastewater discharged. Monthly charges will be based on the total volume of wastewater discharged during the month as measured by the city flow meter, and the strength of the wastewater, expressed as pounds of BOD per month, pounds of TSS per month and pounds of ammonia per month as determined through testing of the wastewater by the city. Rates for volume and strength of industrial wastewater discharged shall be as set forth in a separate ordinance passed by the city council.

2.    Sewer Availability Fees. In addition to the user fees charged for volume and strength of the wastewater discharged, each industrial wastewater user who is allocated a portion of the capacity of the city’s wastewater treatment facility shall be charged a monthly sewer availability fee for the entire duration the industrial wastewater user is allowed to discharge to the city’s wastewater treatment facility allocated to the industrial wastewater user, calculated as set forth in a separate ordinance passed by the city council and as follows:

Where:

Allocated flow capacity = average annual flow capacity, in units of one thousand gallons per day, allocated to the industrial wastewater user by the city;

Allocated BOD capacity = average annual BOD capacity, in units of pounds per day, allocated to the industrial wastewater user by the city;

Allocated TSS capacity = average annual TSS capacity, in units of pounds per day, allocated to the industrial wastewater user by the city; and

Allocated ammonia capacity = average annual ammonia (NH3) capacity, in units of pounds per day, allocated to the industrial wastewater user by the city.

(Ord. 3018 § 1, 2017: Ord. 2994 § 3, 2017: Ord. 2985 § 5, 2016: Ord. 2956 § 5, 2015: Ord. 2915 § 5, 2014: Ord. 2875 § 1, 2014: Ord. 2864 § 1, 2014: Ord. 2855 § 5, 2013: Ord. 2793 § 5, 2012: Ord. 2752 § 43, 2011).

13.10.430 Tampering with or destruction of equipment prohibited when.

Unless authorized by the public works director during construction or maintenance of city utility structures, appurtenances and equipment, no persons shall break, damage, destroy, uncover, deface or tamper with any structure, appurtenances or equipment which is a part of the city’s water system, irrigation system or sewer system. (Ord. 2752 § 44, 2011).

13.10.440 Water meter required—More than one service pipe requested—When allowed—Additional use restrictions—Consolidation of lots required.

A.    The consumption and use of all water taken from the city water system shall be metered at each individual connection. Water meters shall meet the specifications of the city and shall be the property of the city utility system. Individual water meters shall be required for each detached single-family residence or each unit in a duplex. A master meter may be used for multiple-family dwellings, condominiums and mobile home parks where there is single ownership or centralized administration. Water meters shall be required for each commercial, industrial and public facility connection. All water meters shall be placed within public right-of-way, or within an easement granted to the city, and shall be directly accessible at all times by city employees.

B.    When the property owner desires two or more water service pipes on the same property he shall so state in his application for a permit to connect, and separate service pipes will be run from a connection to be made inside the curb-line and stopcocks will be placed upon each separate service. Property owners will not be allowed to connect the water service of different lots, tracts, or parcels without first recording a deed with the Benton County auditor consolidating all such lots, tracts, or parcels into one lot, tract, or parcel. Such applicant shall file an application for a boundary line adjustment with the city planning department, and pay all fees, and obtain the written permission of the planning department in accordance with the city’s development regulations, before recording such consolidation deed. The property owner must put a stopcock and check valve by which the water may be shut off within his premises for the purpose of repairs. The city is not liable for any damage that may occur within his premises on account of defective pipes or fixtures. All fees required by Section 13.10.370 shall be paid for each connection to the city water system.

C.    A separate and independent building sewer line shall be provided for each building, for connection with the public sewer system; provided, that where feasible, this requirement may be waived upon submission of alternate plans approved by and thereafter constructed under the supervision of the public works director. Each property connected must obtain and pay all fees required by Section 13.10.410.

D.    No lots, tracts, or parcels may be consolidated for irrigation billing purposes until the customer first records a deed with the Benton County auditor consolidating all such lots, tracts, or parcels into one lot, tract, or parcel. Such applicant shall file an application for a boundary line adjustment with the city’s planning department, and pay all fees, and obtain the written permission of the planning department in accordance with the city’s development regulations, before recording such consolidation deed. (Ord. 2752 § 45, 2011).

13.10.450 Industrial wastes—Pretreatment required.

The city may require all industrial wastes to be pretreated at the source to meet the minimum recommendations of state or county agencies with jurisdiction. All sewer users shall comply with Chapter 13.34. (Ord. 2752 § 46, 2011).

13.10.460 Variances.

Except where council approval is required under this chapter, the public works director shall have authority to administratively grant a variance from any rule, regulation or requirement of this chapter or of the specifications manuals incorporated in this chapter by reference. Application for such a variance shall be filed, in writing, with the city clerk together with a filing fee in the amount set forth in the city’s fee schedule. The public works director is authorized to issue written variances in cases of special hardships, unique circumstances and practical difficulties. No variance shall be granted which would be detrimental to the public health, welfare or environment, or which would be inconsistent with the long-range plans of the Prosser utility system. Conditions may be imposed upon the granting of a variance to ensure the protection of the public health, welfare and environment. Each variance shall be considered on a case-by-case basis, and shall not be construed as setting precedent for any subsequent application. No variance shall be granted unless the application for a variance has been recommended for approval by the city’s contracted engineer. The decision of the public works director on a variance application shall be final, subject to appeal to the superior court of Benton County within twenty-one days from the written decision of the public works director. The public works director and city clerk are authorized to establish policies and procedures to implement this section. (Ord. 2752 § 47, 2011).

13.10.470 Plans rules and regulations adopted.

A.    The Rules and Regulations of the state Board of Health, together with all the amendments and additions thereto hereafter enacted, are adopted by the city, and by this reference are incorporated herein, as if set out in full.

B.    Pursuant to the authority contained in RCW 35A.12.140, the Model Sewer Use Ordinance, developed by the Environmental Protection Agency and endorsed by the Department of Ecology, together with all amendments and additions thereto hereafter made, is adopted by the city, and by this reference is incorporated herein, as if set out in full.

C.    The city’s comprehensive water system plan and all updates to such plan are hereby incorporated by reference.

D.    The city’s comprehensive sewer system plan and all updates to such plan are hereby incorporated by reference.

E.    The city’s capital improvement programs for both the water system and sewer system as adopted annually are hereby incorporated by reference.

F.    In the event of an inconsistency between the requirements of the plans, rules and regulations adopted under subsections A, B, C, D or E of this section, and the terms of this title, the terms of this title shall prevail. (Ord. 2752 § 48, 2011).

13.10.480 Cross-connections.

Cross-connections shall be regulated in accordance with Chapter 13.14. Inspection fees for inspections under Chapter 13.14 shall be paid in the amount set forth in the city’s fee schedule. (Ord. 2752 § 49, 2011).

13.10.490 Violation—Penalty.

Except as otherwise provided herein any violation of any provision of this chapter constitutes a gross misdemeanor. (Ord. 2752 § 50, 2011).

13.10.500 Classification of offenses.

Unless otherwise specifically provided for, any person who is convicted of violating or failure to comply with any of the criminal provisions of this title shall be subject to the following penalties:

A.    Gross Misdemeanor. The penalty provided by state law as now existing or hereafter amended for the same violation or type (degree) of violation, but not to exceed a five-thousand-dollar fine or three hundred and sixty-four days in jail or both. If no state law provides for such penalty then the penalty shall be a five-thousand-dollar fine or three hundred and sixty-four days in jail, or both.

B.    Misdemeanor. The penalty provided by state law as now existing or hereafter amended for the same violation or type (degree) of violation, but not to exceed a one-thousand-dollar fine or ninety days in jail or both. If no state law provides for such penalty then the penalty shall be a one-thousand-dollar fine or ninety days in jail or both. (Ord. 2752 § 51, 2011).

13.10.510 Severability.

The provisions of this chapter are hereby declared to be severable. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, or phrase of this chapter or its application to any person or circumstance is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional, the remainder of this chapter shall not as a result of said section, subsection, sentence, clause, or phrase be held unconstitutional or invalid. (Ord. 2752 § 52, 2011).