Chapter 13.14
SEWER SERVICE SYSTEM

Sections:

13.14.010    Application for service.

13.14.020    Connections required.

13.14.030    Building sewers.

13.14.040    Connection permit.

13.14.050    Street restoration.

13.14.060    Right of inspection.

13.14.070    Shut-off for refusing entry.

13.14.080    Repealed.

13.14.090    Exceptions to connection requirement.

13.14.100    Sewer rates.

13.14.110    Minimum charges – When.

13.14.120    Payment of account – Delinquent utility accounts.

13.14.130    Discharges prohibited.

13.14.140    Severability.

13.14.290    Sewer rates.

Appendix    S

13.14.010 Application for service.

A. It is the intent of the city that all utility deliveries, whether water, sewer, garbage or some combination thereof, shall be deliveries of services and/or utilities to the property served. All such delivery of utilities and/or services shall be a claim against the property and a claim against the owner of that property served or furnished utilities and/or services. It shall be the responsibility of each property owner served by city utilities to determine the extent of utility services and deliveries being made and/or furnished to the owner’s property. It shall be the responsibility of the property owner to pay all claims, charges, penalties and/or costs imposed by the city for the furnishing and/or delivery of utilities and/or services to the owner’s property. The property owner’s responsibility shall exist independent of any claim of lien the city may have or make pursuant to any statute, rule or regulation. The fact the owner has directed or allowed the billings for utilities furnished and/or services delivered to the owner’s property to be delivered to a tenant or other third person does not in any way reduce or extinguish the property owner’s responsibility for water, sewer and/or garbage billings, charges, costs or penalties imposed by the city. All delinquent charges for water, sewer, garbage or some combination thereof shall bear interest at the maximum rate allowed by law.

B. All applications for residential water service shall be made by the property owner of the property to be delivered water service, and responsibility for billing payment shall be borne by the property owner. All charges for water service will be sent directly to the property address unless the property owner directs otherwise. No charge will be made for meter reading for closing accounts, except as provided in this chapter.

C. Applications for industrial and commercial water service may be by the property owner, lessee or other consumer. However, a deposit, as determined by the rate schedule based on estimated use, will be required of such account in lieu of the deposit required under SLMC 13.18.060.

D. Upon a failure to pay the charges for water service, the amount thereof shall become a lien against the real property furnished the service as provided by law.

E. The city of Soap Lake has a combined utility system. All billings to a property for utility services are combined utility billings. To the fullest extent permitted by law, all payments received from a customer for utility services shall be credited first to charges for account changes, next to interest charges, if any, next to penalty charges, if any, next to garbage charges, if any, next to sewer charges, if any, and last to water charges, if any. A delinquency in payment for any utility service to the subject property may result in the termination of any other utility service to the subject property. (Ord. 1210 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1112 § 1, 2010).

13.14.020 Connections required.

All property within or without the limits of the city of Soap Lake, which receives city water, unless exempted as provided in SLMC 13.14.090, shall be required to be connected to the city sewerage system. All property within the city of Soap Lake shall be connected to the city sewerage system if the property supports, houses or contains any source of effluent, discharge or sewerage which, in the opinion of the city, constitutes a threat to the health or safety of the city. (Ord. 1210 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1112 § 1, 2010).

13.14.030 Building sewers.

A. The property owner shall be responsible for installation and maintenance of all building sewers upon the owner’s property and the connecting of the sewer to the city sewer system by the city’s forces as set forth in SLMC 13.14.040. A separate and independent building sewer shall be provided for every building, except that separate buildings which are an integral part of a single business or industry may be served by a single sewer if allowed by the city.

B. Building sewers which are connected to the city system shall be designed and constructed in accordance with the requirements of the Washington State Building Code and all other applicable rules or regulations. (Ord. 1210 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1112 § 1, 2010).

13.14.040 Connection permit.

A. No unauthorized person shall uncover, make any connections with or opening to, use, alter or disturb any portion of the sewer system or appurtenance thereof without first making application and receiving written permission from the city or the city’s designee. The permit application shall be supplemented by any plan, specifications, or other information considered pertinent in the judgment of the public works department. A permit and inspection fee will be required as set forth in Appendix S attached to the ordinance codified in this chapter and found at the end of this chapter.

B. The applicant for the building sewer permit shall notify the public works department when the building sewer is ready for inspection in connection with the city’s sewer. The connection of the private sewer to the city sewer shall be inspected by the public works department.

C. The permit fee required before a connection to the city sewerage system shall be set forth in Appendix S. The sum shall be paid to the city clerk prior to the issuance of any permit. If the actual cost of any materials, labor and inspection services provided by the city is determined by the city to be in excess of the fee set forth in Appendix S, the city shall cause a billing for the actual costs in excess of the stated fee together with 16 percent for indirect costs to be directed to the permit applicant. Those charges shall become a utility services lien if not paid, and the city may proceed to withhold water service to the property to enforce its lien as well as proceed to file a sewer lien. (Ord. 1210 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1112 § 1, 2010).

13.14.050 Street restoration.

Where it is necessary to remove street pavement, curb and gutter, sidewalks or gravel streets or to install sewer service line, the property owner shall deposit funds with the city in the estimated amount of the cost of restoring the improvements to their original condition. The city will make the necessary repairs upon completion of the installation of the service connection and deduct the actual cost of the repairs from the cash deposit. If the cost of repairs exceeds the amount of the deposit, the property owner shall be billed for the balance, which shall become a lien against the property, collectable in the same manner as other unpaid sewer charges. If the cost of repairs is less than the estimated deposit, the excess shall be returned to the property owner. Temporary patches shall be placed at the expense of the owner, if deemed necessary by the city. (Ord. 1210 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1112 § 1, 2010).

13.14.060 Right of inspection.

The duly authorized employees of the city are permitted to enter all properties during normal business hours, or at a time agreed to between the city employee and the property occupant or owner, for the purpose of inspection, observation, measurement testing and testing in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. In an emergency, the city employee may enter to prevent harm to the city system, the service location premises or other property. A city employee should only make entry upon the service location premises pursuant to this section after notifying the public works director of the need for the entry. The public works director shall approve the entry. Contact with the occupant or owner of the premises shall be made personally or by telephone. If contact cannot be made by telephone or in person, then a notice shall be posted on the property and mailed to the utility billing address indicating the date and time of the proposed entry which shall be at least three business days after the mailing of the notice. (Ord. 1210 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1112 § 1, 2010).

13.14.070 Shut-off for refusing entry.

If any owner or occupant on any premises supplied with city water violates any provision of SLMC 13.14.060, the city may shut off the service; and the owner or occupant shall be required to pay all delinquent and unpaid charges against the premises, together with the charge for shutting off and turning on the water, before service may again be turned on. (Ord. 1210 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1112 § 1, 2010).

13.14.080 Septic tanks.

Repealed by Ord. 1248. (Ord. 1210 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1112 § 1, 2010).

13.14.090 Exceptions to connection requirement.

A. The following shall constitute exceptions to the requirement of SLMC 13.14.020 that all properties receiving city water shall be connected to the city sewerage system:

1. Any property which receives city water but upon which there are no buildings;

2. Any property which receives city water and upon which there are buildings that are not used for domestic purposes and to which the water system is not connected;

3. Any property which receives city water and upon which there are buildings to which the city water is connected but which do not require connection to the city sewerage system; provided, however, said lots will only be exempt from the requirements of SLMC 13.14.020 after application has been made to the city council and a sufficient showing made to the council as to why the property should not be required to be connected to the city sewerage system;

4. As to any lots located in a short plat or major plat, where a deferral to the installation of sewer mains was granted due to topography of the plat requiring installation of a lift station, the use of septic tank systems may be permitted upon demonstrating to the city council that the use of such systems will not cause groundwater contamination. Such exemption shall be permitted to continue, if granted, until the deferral is called to be completed or more than 10 lots exist within a radius of 2,000 feet of the lot where the septic tank is located, whichever occurs first.

B. Any property located within 200 feet of a city sewer main shall be required to connect to that sewer main and extend such main through their property. Any property located more than 200 feet from a city sewer main shall be exempt from such requirement until such time as a city sewer main shall be located within 200 feet of that property. At such time the requirement to connect to and extend the sewer main stated herein shall apply.

C. Any property which is exempted from the requirements of SLMC 13.14.020 by subsection (A)(4) of this section shall be assessed a fee per month as a charge in lieu of fees which would be collected if the lot were serviced by the city sewerage system and such fee is set forth in Appendix S. In determining whether or not to grant such an exemption, the city council shall consider the effect such exemption would have upon city revenue, health, sanitation and/or comprehensive planning. (Ord. 1210 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1112 § 1, 2010).

13.14.100 Sewer rates.

Sewer rates for use of the city sewer system shall be as set forth in Appendix S. (Ord. 1210 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1112 § 1, 2010).

13.14.110 Minimum charges – When.

Once the city has been informed that a building is occupied and using the city sewer system, the minimum sewer charge shall be made each month and shall continue to be made each month until written proof acceptable to the city is delivered to the city from the owner establishing that the sewer service has been terminated. (Ord. 1210 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1112 § 1, 2010).

13.14.120 Payment of account – Delinquent utility accounts.

A. Payment of utility accounts and delinquent utility accounts shall be consistent with the requirements and process as outlined in SLMC 13.18.070.

B. Customer Dispute. Customer disputes of utility charges shall be handled in the manner provided for in SLMC 13.18.240. (Ord. 1210 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1112 § 1, 2010).

13.14.130 Discharges prohibited.

A. No person shall discharge, or cause to be discharged, any storm water, surface water, groundwater, roof runoff, subsurface drainage, cooling water or unpolluted industrial process water to any sanitary sewer.

B. Except as hereinafter provided, no person shall discharge or cause to be discharged any of the following described waters or wastes to any public sewer:

1. Any water or waste which may contain more than 100 parts per million, by weight, of fat, oil or grease;

2. Any gasoline, benzene, naphtha, fuel oil or other flammable or explosive liquid, solid or gas;

3. Any garbage that has not been properly shredded;

4. Any ashes, cinders, sand, mud, straw, shavings, metal, glass, rags, feathers, tar, plastics, wood, paunch manure or any other solid or viscous substance capable of causing obstruction to the flow in sewers or other interference with the proper operation of the sewage works;

5. Any water or wastes having a pH lower than five and five-tenths or higher than eight and five-tenths or having any other corrosive property capable of causing damage or hazard to structures, equipment and personnel of the sewage works;

6. Any waters or wastes containing a toxic or poisonous substance, or hazardous regulated substances which are prohibited by federal, state or city statute, rule or ordinance from being discharged into sewer systems of the type operated by the city;

7. Any waters or wastes containing suspended solids of such character and quantity that unusual attention or expense is required to handle such materials at the sewage treatment plant;

8. Any noxious or malodorous gas or substance capable of creating a public nuisance.

C. Grease, oil and sand interceptors shall be provided when, in the opinion of the city, they are necessary for the proper handling of liquid wastes containing grease, in excessive amounts, or any flammable wastes, sand or other harmful ingredients; except that such interceptors shall not be required for private living quarters or dwelling units. All interceptors shall be of a type and capacity approved by the city engineer and shall be located as to be readily and easily accessible for cleaning and inspection. (Ord. 1210 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1112 § 1, 2010).

13.14.140 Severability.

The invalidity of any part of this chapter shall not affect the validity of any other part of this chapter, which can be given its full force and effect without the invalid portion or portions. (Ord. 1210 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1112 § 1, 2010).

13.14.290 Sewer rates.

A. The Soap Lake city council shall, annually or more often if necessary, by resolution, establish a schedule “Appendix S” of charges and rates for sewer hookup and connection charges, sewer rates, allotments and overage charges. The resolution shall also list all other sewer service fees and charges.

B. Definitions Applicable to Monthly Service Rates.

1. “Residential dwelling unit” means each structure, or structures, residence, or residences, located on one residential lot, and serviced by one water meter; or one or more habitable rooms occupied or intended or designed to be occupied by one family, which contains or is intended to house space for living, sleeping, preparation of food and eating, and containing toilet and bathing facilities; or each separate unit of a condominium; provided, however, that in the case of more than one structure or residence on one lot served by one meter, each residential dwelling unit shall be charged a monthly service fee.

2. “Multifamily dwelling unit” means each apartment and each complex and mobile/manufactured home park designed to contain or containing two or more apartments, spaces or lots intended or designed to be occupied by one family, which contain or are intended to house space for living, sleeping, preparation of food and eating, and containing toilet and bathing facilities.

3. “Apartment” means three or more separate living units designed to be occupied by one family, which contain or are intended to house space for living, sleeping, preparation of food and eating, and containing toilet and bathing facilities, on a rental basis whose rental period is 30 days or greater per term. An apartment shall not include any building or cluster of buildings in which the person occupying any portion of the structure or lot has an ownership interest in any portion of the structure or lot on which the structure or structures are located. The three or more living units may be contained in one building or group of buildings located on one platted or unplatted lot if all of the units and lot are owned by the person who is the lessor.

4. “Family” means one or more individuals living, cooking and eating together in a residential dwelling unit (as herein defined), related by blood or marriage, but not more distant than first cousins; and not including a group of more than eight persons unrelated by blood or marriage. In case of a rectory, parsonage or convent, 12 persons are considered as a family. Nothing herein is deemed to supplant any provisions of the State Building Code requiring minimum amounts of square footage per person for occupancy of a structure.

5. “Water service unit” shall mean the greater of the following: each structure, or structures, residence, or residences, lot, or portion or separate unit of a condominium used as a dwelling unit by a family, as herein defined, shall be deemed one water service unit. By way of example, a triplex shall be three water service units; a condominium with 20 separate dwelling units shall be 20 water service units. (Ord. 1261 § 1, 2017; Ord. 1210 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1163 § 1, 2013; Ord. 1154 § 1, 2012; Ord. 1147 § 1, 2012; Ord. 1126 § 1, 2011; Ord. 1116 § 1, 2010; Ord. 1112 § 1, 2010).

Appendix S SEWER RATES

A. Connection charge for a single sewer connection to the city’s main: $250.00 together with the costs of materials and repairs to infrastructure.

B. Inspection charge to inspect repairs or installations not performed by the city public works department: $50.00 per hour measured in quarter-hour increments with a one-hour minimum.

C. Monthly Service Fee. Each calendar month during which a sewer service connection is active at any time shall result in the following charges:

1. Each residential sewer connection serving a single residential dwelling unit: $69.55 per month.

Each additional residential dwelling unit using the same sewer service: $69.55 per month.

2. Each commercial sewer connection serving one commercial service: $58.96 per month.

Each additional commercial unit using the same sewer service: $58.96 per month.

3. Each multifamily dwelling unit connection serving at least one multifamily dwelling unit shall be deemed to be one multifamily dwelling unit: $52.69 per month.

4. Usage Charge for Each Commercial Sewer Service Unit. In addition to the monthly base rate charge for each commercial sewer service unit, there shall be charged for sewer usage the sum of $2.28 for each 100 cubic feet of water or portion thereof supplied to the commercial water service unit account commencing with the first 100 cubic feet of water.

5. Minimum monthly base rate charge for each customer shall be determined by multiplying the monthly base rate charge times the number of sewer service units and then adding the usage charge of $2.28 per 100 cubic feet of water or portion thereof supplied to the commercial water service account to the base unit charges, commencing with the first 100 cubic feet of water. (Res. 904, 2019; Ord. 1261 § 1, 2017; Ord. 1210 § 1, 2015).