Chapter 9.13


9.13.010    Purpose.

9.13.020    Definitions.

9.13.030    Adoption of state regulations.

9.13.040    Adoption of accepted procedure and practice.

9.13.050    Prevention of backflow.

9.13.060    Implementation of cross-connection control program.

9.13.070    Enforcement.

9.13.080    Judicial enforcement remedies.

9.13.090    Indemnification.

9.13.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the health and safety of the citizens of the city of Wenatchee by protecting the public water system from contamination due to backflow through cross-connections as required by state law. The objectives of this chapter are to:

(1) Protect the public water system from contamination due to backflow through cross-connections from backpressure and backsiphonage.

(2) Eliminate or control cross-connections between the public water system and the customer’s water system.

(3) To establish legal authority to carry out all inspections, monitoring, and enforcement procedures necessary to ensure compliance with this chapter. (Ord. 2018-15 § 1)

9.13.020 Definitions.

Unless the context specifically indicates otherwise, the following terms and phrases, as used in this chapter, shall have the meanings hereinafter designated:

(1) “Air gap” shall mean a physical separation between the free-flowing end of a potable water supply pipeline and the overflow rim of an open or nonpressurized receiving vessel. To be an air gap approved by the city, the separation must be at least:

Twice the diameter of the supply piping measured vertically from the overflow rim of the receiving vessel, and in no case be less than one inch, when unaffected by vertical surfaces (sidewalls); and

Three times the diameter of the supply piping, if the horizontal distance between the supply pipe and a vertical surface (sidewall) is less than or equal to three times the diameter of the supply pipe, or if the horizontal distance between the supply pipe and intersecting vertical surfaces (sidewalls) is less than or equal to four times the diameter of the supply pipe and in no case less than one and one-half inches.

(2) “Backflow” shall mean the undesirable reversal of flow of water or other substances through a cross-connection into the public water system or customer’s potable water system. This can be caused by backpressure or back siphoning.

(3) “Backflow assembly tester (BAT)” shall mean an individual meeting the requirements of Chapter 246-292 WAC and certified under Chapter 70.119 RCW to inspect, field test, maintain, and repair backflow prevention assemblies, devices, and air gaps that protect the public water system.

(4) “Backflow preventer” shall mean an air gap, a backflow prevention assembly, or an atmospheric vacuum breaker that is relied upon by the purveyor for the protection of the public water system. The requirements of WAC 246-290-490 do not apply to backflow preventers installed for other purposes.

(5) “Backflow prevention assembly” shall mean a reduced pressure backflow assembly (RPBA), a double-check valve assembly (DCVA), or other testable backflow preventer approved by the purveyor. Refer to the references listed in WCC 9.13.040 for more information about specific assemblies.

(6) “Backpressure” shall mean a pressure (caused by a pump, elevated tank or piping, boiler, or other means) on the consumer’s side of the service connection that is greater than the pressure provided by the public water system and which may cause backflow.

(7) “Backsiphonage” shall mean backflow due to a reduction in system pressure in the purveyor’s distribution system and/or customer’s water system.

(8) “Cross-connection” shall mean any actual or potential physical connection between a public water system or the customer’s water system and any source of nonpotable liquid, solid, or gas that could contaminate the potable water supply by backflow.

(9) “Cross-connection control specialist (CCS)” shall mean a person holding a valid Washington State Department of Health cross-connection control specialist certification in accordance with Chapter 246-292 WAC.

(10) “Customer” shall mean the owner or operator of the property to which water service from the public water system is supplied. (Ord. 2018-15 § 1; Ord. 2003-03 § 1. Formerly 9.13.010)

9.13.030 Adoption of state regulations.

(1) The rules and regulations of Chapter 246-290 WAC (Group A Drinking Water Regulations) pertaining to public water supplies as presently set forth therein or as such rules and regulations may be amended from time to time in the future are hereby adopted by this reference and incorporated herein as though fully set forth.

(2) The rules and regulations of the Uniform Plumbing Code adopted under RCW 19.27.031(4) and amended under Chapter 51-46 WAC as it applies to the cross-connection control program. (Ord. 2018-15 § 1; Ord. 2003-03 § 2. Formerly 9.13.020)

9.13.040 Adoption of accepted procedure and practice.

The following manuals are adopted by the city of Wenatchee as references and technical aids for accepted procedure and practice related to cross-connection control:

(1) “Cross-Connection Control Manual, Accepted Procedures and Practice,” Sixth Edition, December 1995, published by the Pacific Northwest Section, American Water Works Association, or latest edition thereof.

(2) “Manual of Cross-Connection Control,” Ninth Edition, December 1993, published by the Foundation for Cross-Connection Control and Hydraulic Research, University of Southern California, or latest edition thereof.

(3) “Cross-Connection Control Guidance Manual,” published by the Washington State Department of Health, Division of Drinking Water. (Ord. 2018-15 § 1; Ord. 2003-03 § 4)

9.13.050 Prevention of backflow.

The city of Wenatchee water system hereinafter referred to as the city establishes this chapter and the following policies to protect the water system from the risk of contamination as the result of cross-connections. For public health and safety this chapter shall apply equally to all new and existing customers.

(1) The customer is solely responsible for compliance with all applicable regulations, and for prevention of contamination of his plumbing system from sources within his/her premises.

(2) Upon request by the city, the customer shall complete and submit to the city a risk assessment questionnaire. Customers shall make their premises, including buildings and structures, to which water is supplied accessible to the city’s CCS and/or authorized staff as needed to assess the degree of potential health risk to the water system and inspect backflow prevention assemblies. Any action taken by the city to survey plumbing, inspect or test backflow prevention assemblies, or to require backflow prevention is solely for the purposes of reducing the risk of contamination of the distribution system.

(3) All nonresidential and residential premises, wherein there exists a condition or situation that increases the risk to the purveyor’s distribution system, shall be eliminated or isolated by an approved double-check valve assembly (DCVA) or reduced pressure backflow assembly (RPBA) as required by the purveyor. All premises described in Table 9 of WAC 246-290-490 shall be isolated with an RPBA unless exempted under subsection (6) of this section.

(4) The customer shall be responsible for all costs associated with the purchase, installation, testing, inspection, maintenance and repair of all backflow preventers.

(5) Prior to the installation of a backflow preventer, the customer shall obtain and complete a permit from the city of Wenatchee.

(6) Substitutions or exceptions to the type of backflow prevention required under this chapter may be allowed when the purveyor determines that the circumstances and good engineering practices allow such substitution without compromising protection of water quality and public health. Decisions made under this section are subject to periodic review and may be revoked whenever a cross-connection is made or a risk to public health or water quality is present.

(7) An approved backflow assembly is required on all privately owned fire protection systems, including but not limited to hydrants, fire department connections, and fire sprinkler systems, commensurate with the CCS’s assessed degree of hazard and shall include a water meter for detecting water consumption.

(8) All backflow prevention assemblies and/or air gaps shall be inspected and tested:

(a) At the time of installation;

(b) Every 12 months after initial installation;

(c) After the assembly is repaired;

(d) After the assembly is moved, relocated, or reinstated; and

(e) More often if tests indicate repeated failures.

(9) Backflow assembly test shall be performed by a person holding a current backflow assembly tester certification and who has met the requirements of the city of Wenatchee’s cross-connection control program.

(10) The customer shall immediately notify the city of any backflow incident occurring within the premises and shall cooperate fully with the city in any investigation. (Ord. 2018-15 § 1; Ord. 2003-03 § 3. Formerly 9.13.030)

9.13.060 Implementation of cross-connection control program.

(1) The city of Wenatchee CCS shall implement and be in responsible charge of the city of Wenatchee cross-connection control (CCC) program. The CCS may inspect, approve and disapprove backflow prevention assemblies, approve and disapprove installation locations, require corrections, modifications, repairs, or maintenance on backflow prevention assemblies and inspect the premises of all customers where backflow prevention assemblies may be required.

(2) All provisions of WAC 246-290-490 shall be executed and applied by the public works department in determining when cross-connections are prohibited and when backflow prevention assemblies shall be required and tested under the city of Wenatchee cross-connection control program. The written program shall be consistent with this chapter and shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 246-290 WAC (Group A Drinking Water Regulations). The director of public works or his/her authorized personnel in consultation with the CCS shall have the authority to make decisions related to cross-connections in cases and situations not provided for in this chapter or the written program. A copy of these provisions is on file with the public works department.

(3) If any provision of this chapter, or in the written CCC program, is found to be less stringent than or inconsistent with the drinking water regulations (Chapter 246-290 WAC), or other state statutes or rules, the state statute, rule, or regulation shall apply. (Ord. 2018-15 § 1; Ord. 2003-03 § 5. Formerly 9.13.050)

9.13.070 Enforcement.

(1) Notice of Violation. Whenever the city finds that any customer has violated or is continuing to violate any provision of this chapter, or an order issued hereunder, the city may serve upon such customer a written notice of the violation that will include a minimum of an additional 10 days to comply and notification that water services will be terminated on the next business day following the specified due date. Nothing in this section shall limit the authority of the city to take any action, including emergency actions or any other enforcement action, without first issuing a notice of violation.

(2) Compliance Orders. Whenever the city finds that a customer has violated, or continues to violate, any provision of this chapter, or order issued hereunder, the city may issue a compliance order to the customer responsible for the violation. This order shall direct that the cross-connection be eliminated or protected with an approved backflow prevention assembly and that the assembly be installed and properly operated and maintained. The order shall specify that water services shall be discontinued and/or applicable penalties imposed unless, following a specified time period, the directed actions are taken. A compliance order may not extend the deadline for compliance beyond any applicable state or federal deadlines, nor does a compliance order release the customer from liability from any past, present, or continuing violation(s). Issuance of a compliance order shall not be a prerequisite to taking any other action against the customer. Failure to comply with any terms or requirements of a compliance order by a customer shall be an additional and independent basis for termination of water services or any other enforcement action authorized under this chapter and deemed appropriate by the city.

(3) Cease and Desist Orders. The city may issue a cease and desist order upon finding a customer has or is violating this chapter. The decision to issue a cease and desist order shall consider the likelihood that a customer’s violations could cause a severe threat to the public water system. The order issued by the city will direct the customer to cease and desist all such violations and to: (a) immediately cease such actions creating a cross-connection; (b) comply with all applicable cross-connection control standards and requirements; (c) take such appropriate action as may be needed to properly address a continuing or threatened violation, including halting operations. Issuance of a cease and desist order shall not be a bar against, or prerequisite for, taking any other action against the customer.

(4) Recovery of Costs Incurred by the City. Any customer violating any of the provisions of this chapter or who creates or maintains a cross-connection without an approved, operational backflow prevention assembly shall be liable to the city for any expense, loss, fines, or damage caused by such violation or backflow incident. The city will bill the customer for the cost incurred by the city for any cleaning, repair, replacement work, or other damages caused by the cross-connection. Refusal to pay the assessed costs shall constitute a violation of this chapter enforceable under the provisions of this section and WCC 9.13.080.

(5) Noncompliance Fines. Notwithstanding any other section of this chapter, any customer found by the city to have violated any provision of this chapter, or orders issued hereunder, shall be fined in an amount not to exceed $1,000 per violation. Each day on which noncompliance shall occur or continue shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation. Such assessments will be billed separately from the utility billing for services. Unpaid charges, fines, and penalties shall be sent to collections. Issuance of an administrative fine shall not be a prerequisite for taking any other action against the customer.

(6) Termination of Water Services. The city shall have authority to terminate water services through the issuance of a notice of violation, compliance order or cease and desist order to any customer upon determining that such customer has: (a) refused access allowed by this chapter thereby preventing the implementation of any purpose of this chapter; (b) violated any provision of this chapter including failure to install or test a backflow assembly; or (c) violated any lawful order of the city issued with respect to this chapter. The city will attempt to provide reasonable notice to tenants and owners prior to water service being terminated, but if the city determines the cross-connection or other violation of this code presents an imminent and serious threat to the public water system, the city may immediately terminate the customer’s water service, the notice and appeal rights set forth herein notwithstanding. Service will be restored after the customer has made arrangements to come into compliance and paid a disconnect/connect charge, as established in WCC 1.99.060. If a customer makes arrangements for compliance and payment after 4:30 p.m., the water will not be reconnected until the next morning. If a customer wishes to have their water reconnected after 4:30 p.m., they will be charged after hours rates per WCC 1.99.060.

(7) Administrative Hearing. A customer shall be afforded the opportunity to an administrative hearing to contest the city’s determination to suspend services, terminate water services, impose penalties, recover costs, or establish compliance schedules. Any hearing pursuant to this section must be requested by the customer in writing within 10 days after the customer receives notice of the city’s determination. The customer’s written request for hearing shall be filed with the city director of public works (director). Failure to submit a timely notice shall be deemed to be a failure to exhaust administrative remedies and shall preclude any further review. The city will conduct the hearing within 20 days of the receipt of the request (or within five days if the customer is contesting suspension or termination of wastewater services). The administrative hearing will be held before the director, or his or her designee. Formal rules of evidence will not apply; provided, however, that the director will review the existing record, and only the customer and the city will be allowed to present oral testimony and documentary evidence to the director. The director will issue a written decision within 10 days of the conclusion of the hearing. Except as otherwise provided, all decisions by the director shall be final and conclusive on all parties unless appealed to the hearing examiner under subsection (8) of this section. The director’s decision, action, or determination shall remain in effect during such period of appeal.

(8) Appeal to the Hearing Examiner. Any decision of the director rendered pursuant to subsection (7) of this section may be reviewed by open record appeal to the hearing examiner. The customer must file written notice of appeal with the city clerk within 10 days following notification of such decision or action. Such notice of appeal shall set forth in reasonable detail the action or decision appealed and the customer’s grounds for reversal or modification thereof. Failure to submit a timely notice shall be deemed to be a failure to exhaust administrative remedies and shall preclude any further review. Following receipt of such notice, the city clerk will schedule a date for a public hearing with the hearing examiner at which time the hearing examiner shall consider the appeal. The date of the public hearing should be no later than 20 days following the date the clerk received notice of the appeal. The clerk will mail written notice to all parties of record to apprise them of the hearing date. The hearing shall be an open record hearing at which the customer and the city may present witness testimony and documentary evidence. At the conclusion of the public hearing the hearing examiner may adopt, amend and adopt, reverse, amend and reverse the findings, conclusions, and decision of the director.

(9) Judicial Review. The decision of the hearing examiner on appeal of the decision of the director shall be final and conclusive unless, within 20 days from the date of final action, the customer files a petition for review with the superior court of Chelan County in the manner prescribed by law. Judicial review shall be a closed record appeal based upon the record created before the hearing examiner. (Ord. 2018-15 § 1; Ord. 2003-03 § 6. Formerly 9.13.060)

9.13.080 Judicial enforcement remedies.

(1) Injunctive Relief. When the city finds that a customer has violated (or continues to violate) any provision of this chapter or order issued hereunder, or any other cross-connection control standard or requirement, he/she may petition the superior court of Chelan County through the city attorney for the issuance of a temporary or permanent injunction, as appropriate. Such injunction shall restrain or compel specific compliance with an order, or other requirement imposed by this chapter on activities of the customer. The city may also seek such other action as is appropriate for legal and/or equitable relief. A petition for injunctive relief shall not be a bar against, or a prerequisite for, taking any other action against a customer.

(2) Civil Penalties. A customer who has violated or continues to violate any provision of this chapter, an order issued hereunder, or any other cross-connection control standard or requirement not reserved by a permit by the department shall be liable to the city for a civil penalty of at least $1,000 per violation but not more than $10,000 per violation. Each day upon which a violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate violation. In the case of noncompliance, penalties shall accrue for each day during the period of such noncompliance. In addition to the penalty amounts assessable above, the director may recover reasonable attorneys’ fees, court costs, and other expenses associated with compliance and enforcement activities authorized under this chapter. This shall include recovery of costs for sampling and monitoring, and the cost of any actual damages incurred by the city. The city shall petition the superior court of Chelan County to impose, assess, and recover such sums. When recommending the amount of civil liability, the public works director shall consider all relevant circumstances, including, but not limited to, the extent of harm caused by the violation, the magnitude and duration, any economic benefit gained through the customer’s violation, corrective actions by the customer, the compliance history of the customer, and any other factor as justice requires, and shall present this analysis as evidence in support of the recommended penalty. Filing a suit for civil penalties shall not be a bar against, or a prerequisite for, taking any other action against a customer.

(3) Criminal Prosecution. A customer who willfully violates any provision of this chapter, or order issued hereunder, or any other cross-connection control standard or requirement shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 per violation or imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed 90 days, or by both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the district court of Chelan County. The above provision applies to any customer who knowingly makes any false statements, representations, or certifications in any application, record, report, plan, or other documentation filed, or required to be maintained, pursuant to this chapter or order issued hereunder, or who falsifies, tampers with, or knowingly renders inoperable any backflow preventer. Where willful or negligent introduction of a substance into the water system causes personal injury or property damage, this action shall be in addition to any other civil or criminal action for personal injury or property damage available under the law.

(4) Remedies Nonexclusive. The provisions in WCC 9.13.070 and this section are not exclusive remedies. The city reserves the right to take any, all, or any combination of these actions concurrently or sequentially against a noncompliant user or to take other actions as warranted by the circumstances. (Ord. 2018-15 § 1; Ord. 2014-02 § 2; Ord. 2010-08 § 14. Formerly 9.13.070)

9.13.090 Indemnification.

The city of Wenatchee will not be held liable for any or all water pressure loss, flow loss, head loss, friction loss, or other costs or damages associated with the use and operation of backflow prevention assemblies including but not limited to interruption of service. For continuous service, it is recommended that at least two assemblies be installed in parallel to prevent total flow loss due to testing and repairs. In cases where the customer has successfully obtained approval from the city for an exception to premises isolation, the customer side of the water meter chamber shall continue to be the beginning of the customer’s system and the customer shall retain the associated responsibilities and liabilities described in this chapter. In all cases, the customer shall indemnify and hold harmless the city for all contamination of the customer’s system or the city’s water distribution system that results from an unprotected or inadequately protected cross-connection within the customer’s premises. Under no circumstances shall the city’s granting of an exception from premises isolation be construed to mean that the city assumes responsibility or liability for any cross-connection incident on the customer’s premises. This indemnification shall pertain to all backflow conditions that may arise from the city’s suspension of water supply, water main breaks, or reduction of water pressure. (Ord. 2018-15 § 1)