Chapter 13.16
WATER AND SEWER RATES AND CHARGES

Sections:

13.16.010    Definitions.

13.16.020    Application required.

13.16.030    Water and sewer user charges.

13.16.040    Classes of users.

13.16.050    Assigning each user class a number of ERU’s.

13.16.060    Equivalent residential unit charge.

13.16.070    Reassignment of a user.

13.16.080    Records.

13.16.090    Equivalent resident unit schedule.

13.16.100    Minimum rating.

13.16.110    Multiple rating.

13.16.120    User charges within incorporated limits.

13.16.130    Constant cost factor-water (CW).

13.16.140    Water excess use cost factor(s).

13.16.150    Constant cost factor-sewer (CS).

13.16.160    Special user-water.

13.16.170    Special user-sewer.

13.16.180    Number of employees.

13.16.190    Request for appeal.

13.16.200    Review by town.

13.16.210    Request not substantiated.

13.16.220    Request substantiated.

13.16.230    Court appeal.

13.16.240    Review and revision of rates.

13.16.250    Out of town users.

13.16.260    Owner responsible for payment.

13.16.270    Billing.

13.16.280    Due date.

13.16.290    Late charge.

13.16.310    Discontinuance of service.

13.16.320    Notification of discontinuance.

13.16.325    Termination of water service.

13.16.330    Reinstatement of service.

13.16.340    Voluntary request for temporary discontinuance.

13.16.345    Temporary discontinuance of water and sewer charges because of frozen water and/or sewer service lines.

13.16.350    Shut-off and turn-on charge(s).

13.16.010 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

“Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)” means the quantity of oxygen utilized in the biochemical oxidation of organic matter under standard laboratory procedure in five days at twenty (20) degrees Celsius, expressed in milligrams per liter (mg/l).

“Equivalent residential unit (ERU)” means a unit of water or wastewater which incurs the same costs for operation and maintenance as the average volume of water used by, or domestic wastes discharged from, a single-family residence. In the town, one ERU shall be equivalent to two hundred sixty-seven (267) gallons per day of water or wastewater with, in the case of wastewater, a strength equal to or less than that of average domestic wastewater. Average domestic wastewater strength shall be considered to have two hundred fifty (250) mg/l BOD and two hundred fifty (250) mg/l suspended solids.

“Person or owner” means any individual, firm, company, association, society, corporation or group.

“Town” means the town of Winthrop, Washington.

“Town council” means the town council of the town of Winthrop, Washington.

“User” means every person using any part of a utility, either water or wastewater, of the town of Winthrop, Washington.

“Utility(ies)” means either the water service utility or the wastewater service utility, or both.

Where there is no definition in this chapter, definitions in Title 17, Zoning, will be used. (Ord. 715 § 1 (Exh. A)(part), 2019: Ord. 407 Art. I, 1993)

13.16.020 Application required.

Any person, prior to connection to, and use of, the town water or sewer systems, shall make application to the town in a manner consistent with the town water and sewer use ordinances, and shall pay all applicable charges and fees. (Ord. 407 Art. II, 1993)

13.16.030 Water and sewer user charges.

User charges shall be levied on all users of the public water and sewer utilities which shall cover the cost of operation and maintenance, debt service, taxes, and other administrative costs of such water and sewer utilities. The user charge system shall distribute these costs in proportion to each user’s contribution to the utility loadings. (Ord. 407 Art. III § 1, 1993)

13.16.040 Classes of users.

There shall be established classes of users such that all members of a class use the same volume of water of discharge approximately the same volume and strength of wastewater per residence, facility, seat, or other appropriate unit. (Ord. 407 Art. III § 2, 1993)

13.16.050 Assigning each user class a number of ERUs.

There shall be assigned to each user class, a number of equivalent residential units (ERU’s) for each appropriate unit, and this number of ERU’s shall represent the ratio of the costs incurred by the use of water for or wastes from the unit to the costs incurred by the use of water for or wastes from the average single-family residence. (Ord. 407 Art. III § 3, 1993)

13.16.060 Equivalent residential unit charge.

The equivalent residential unit charge per appropriate unit shall be established in proportion to the volume of water used or volume and strength of wastes discharged from that unit such that each user pays their proportionate share of the water or sewer utility costs. (Ord. 407 Art. III § 4, 1993)

13.16.070 Reassignment of a user.

Should the town determine that a user is incorrectly assigned to a user class or incorrectly assigned a water or wastewater volume, or wastewater strength, or incorrectly assigned a number of ERU’s, the town shall reassign a more appropriate user class, water or wastewater volume, or wastewater strength, or number of ERU’s to that user and shall notify that user of such reassignment. (Ord. 407 Art. III § 5, 1993)

13.16.080 Records.

Records of all assigned rates and any assigned wastewater volumes and strengths to user and user classes as well as the wastewater characteristics forming the basis of the ERU shall be kept on file at Town Hall and shall be open for public inspection. (Ord. 407 Art. III § 6, 1993)

13.16.090 Equivalent resident unit schedule.

 

USE CLASS

ERU

UNIT

Accessory dwelling unit

0.5

Per unit

Automobile repair/service

1.0

1.9

2.8

3.9

5.0

6.0

1 through 2 employees

3 through 6 employees

7 through 10 employees

11 through 15 employees

16 through 20 employees

21 through 25 employees

Barber and beauty shops

0.3

Per station

Bed and breakfast

1.0

0.5

Per establishment

Per room (limit 2)

Bowling alley

0.5

Per lane

Cafes, cafeterias, taverns, bars, restaurants

0.07

Per seat

Plus

2.5

Per disposal unit

Car washes

2.0

1.0

Per wash bay

Per wash bay with 60% recirculated water

Churches, lodges, clubs

1.0

Per unit

Plus

Plus

Plus

0.6

0.07

2.5

Per kitchen

Per cocktail lounge seat

Per disposal

Gas stations, including 1 employee/8hr. shift

1.5

Per dispenser island

Plus

0.2

Per fuel nozzle in excess of four per island

Hotels, motels, cabins, lodges, inns

Plus

Plus

Plus

0.4

0.2

0.1

0.5

Per unit with 1 to 2 beds

Per bed over 2 per unit

Per kitchen

Per coin-operated washing machine

Institutions with permanent or temporary residents, rest homes, etc.

0.4

Per resident

Plus

Plus

0.2

2.5

Per 3 employees

Per disposal unit

Laundries:

 

 

Coin-operated

Commercial

0.5

0.75

Per machine

Per machine

Multifamily residence, apartments

0.78

Per unit

Offices, factories, small businesses, stores, museums, visitor centers:

1.0

1.9

2.8

3.9

5.0

6.0

1 through 2 employees

3 through 6 employees

7 through 10 employees

11 through 15 employees

16 through 20 employees

21 through 25 employees

Overnight/transient and single-family tourist accommodations

1.0

1.5

2.0

Per unit—3 or less bedrooms

Per unit—4 to 5 bedrooms

Per unit—6 to 7 bedrooms

Over 7 bedrooms classified with hotels, motels, cabins, lodges, inns

Public showers

0.5

 

R.V. parks

0.5

Per space

Sanitary waste dumping facilities

2.5

Per dumping fixture

Swimming pools in conjunction with other use classifications

1.0

Per 25,000 gallons or fraction thereof of pool capacity

Schools, elementary, day care

 

 

Preschool

Junior high

High

0.05

0.06

0.07

Per capita

Per capita

Per capita

Single-family residence (including duplexes and mobile homes occupied as single-family residences)

1.0

Per unit

Special user-water

Special user-sewer

As determined under Sections 13.16.160 and 13.16.170

Supermarkets, grocery stores

1.0

1.9

2.8

3.9

5.0

6.0

1 through 2 employees

3 through 6 employees

7 through 10 employees

11 through 15 employees

16 through 20 employees

21 through 25 employees

Plus

Plus

Plus

2.5

2.5

1.5

Per butcher shop

Per disposal unit

Per kitchen—commercial

Theaters

0.02

Per seat

(Ord. 715 § 1 (Exh. A)(part), 2019: Ord. 407 Art. III § 7, 1993)

13.16.100 Minimum rating.

All user classes shall have a minimum rating of one ERU, for the purpose of computing the monthly user charge. (Ord. 407 Art. III § 8, 1993)

13.16.110 Multiple rating.

A single building having more than one class of use shall be charged the sum of the charges for those classes. The building will be divided into areas of similar use classes and the ERU units for the building will be computed by adding the ERU units for the assigned classes. (Ord. 407 Art. III § 9, 1993)

13.16.120 User charges within incorporated limits.

A. The sewer user charge within the incorporated town limits, shall be calculated by multiplying the total number of ERU’s for each user by the constant cost factor-sewer.

B. The water user charge within the incorporated town limits shall be the sum of, the base water charge and the water excess use charge where:

1. The base water charge shall be calculated by multiplying the total number of ERU’s assigned that user by the constant cost factor-water.

2. The water excess use charge shall be calculated by multiplying the number of gallons, in hundreds, used in the month that are in excess of the user’s base water volume allotment, by the water excess use cost factor(s).

3. The base water volume allotment per month for a user shall be determined by multiplying the total number of ERU’s assigned that user by eight thousand (8,000) gallons per ERU. (Ord. 407 Art. III § 10, 1993)

13.16.130 Constant cost factor-water (CW).

The constant cost factor-water shall be set at eleven dollars and sixty-five cents ($11.65) until such time as it is revised as provided for in Section 13.16.240 of this chapter. (Ord. 407 Art. III § 11, 1993)

13.16.140 Water excess use cost factor(s).

The excess use factor(s) shall be set at nine cents ($0.09) per one hundred (100) gallons until such time as it/they is/are revised as provided for in Section 13.16.240 of this chapter. (Ord. 407 Art. III § 12, 1993)

13.16.150 Constant cost factor-sewer (CS).

The constant cost factor-sewer shall be set at thirteen dollars ($13.00) until such time as it is revised as provided for in Section 13.16.240 of this chapter. (Ord. 407 Art. III § 13, 1993)

13.16.160 Special user-water.

A. Any user that cannot be classified by virtue of the volume of their water use in any of the above user classes shall be considered a special user-water, and will be assigned an appropriate water use volume from which the user’s base water charge and base water volume allotment will be calculated.

B. Each special user shall be evaluated separately based on the peak-month average water use. The water use of the special user shall be determined from estimates or measurements conducted by the user as required by the town.

C. The town will verify the submitted data, and the user shall pay the town for all expenses incurred in verifying the submitted data.

D. The special user charge shall be based on a calculated equivalent residential unit for water use. The special user’s ERU assignment shall be computed by use of the following equation:

ERU(s) = f/F; Where:

“f”

= Special user’s peak-month average flow in gallons/day

“F”

= Average flow of 267 gallons/day (one ERU)

(Ord. 407 Art. III § 14, 1993)

13.16.170 Special user-sewer.

The special user-sewer charge shall be based on a calculated equivalent residential unit for flow, plus a surcharge for excessive strength, if any. The special user’s monthly charge shall be computed by use of the following equation:

SUMCS

=

f/F (1+ (b/B –1) + (s/S –1)) CS; Where:

“SUMCS”

=

Special user monthly charge-sewer

“f”

=

Special user’s peak-month average flow in gallons/day

“F”

=

Average flow of 267 gallons/day (one ERU)

“CS”

=

Constant cost factor-sewer (Section 13.16.150)

“b”

=

Average five-day BOD of the user’s wastewater in mg/l, “b” must be greater than 250 mg/l

“B”

=

250 mg/l, the average five-day BOD of domestic wastewater

“s”

=

Average suspended solids of user’s wastewater in mg/l, “s” must be greater than 250 mg/l

“S”

=

250 mg/l, the average suspended solids of domestic wastewater

(Ord. 407 Art. III § 15, 1993)

13.16.180 Number of employees.

Whenever any assigned rate or classification is based upon the number of employees of the user it shall be the duty of the user to furnish to town the names and number of employees of the user. (Ord. 407 Art. III § 16, 1993)

13.16.190 Request for appeal.

A. Appeals may be taken by any user if the user believes:

1. That the user class to which the user’s premises has been assigned is incorrect;

2. That the utility rate established for the user class to which the user’s premises are assigned is incorrect.

B. Such appeal shall be initiated by written request and shall set forth all appropriate information and data upon which the user bases his/her contention that one or both, of the grounds for appeal above set forth exist. (Ord. 407 Art. IV § 1, 1993)

13.16.200 Review by town.

Review of requests shall be made by the town council, who shall determine if it is substantiated or not, including recommending further study of the matter by town personnel or private consultant(s). (Ord. 407 Art. IV § 2, 1993)

13.16.210 Request not substantiated.

If the user’s request is determined not to be substantiated, the user shall pay the town for all expenses incurred in investigating the request. (Ord. 407 Art. IV § 3, 1993)

13.16.220 Request substantiated.

If the request is determined to be substantiated, the user charges for that user shall be recomputed based on the approved revised flow and/or strength data and the new charges thus recomputed shall be applied retroactively up to six months, as applicable. (Ord. 407 Art. IV § 4, 1993)

13.16.230 Court appeal.

A. Nothing herein contained shall be deemed or construed to be a limitation or restriction upon the right of any user who feels aggrieved by this chapter, or any action taken thereunder, to appeal such grievance(s) to the superior court of Okanogan County, Washington.

B. If such action be brought, the nonprevailing party shall pay all costs incurred by the prevailing party in such action, including a reasonable sum as attorney’s fees, all of which shall be included in the judgment rendered by the court in such action. (Ord. 407 Art. IV § 5, 1993)

13.16.240 Review and revision of rates.

The constant cost factor-water, the constant cost factor-sewer, and the water excess use cost factor, set in Sections 13.16.130, 13.16.140 and 13.16.150 of this chapter shall, as a minimum, be reviewed annually and revised periodically by resolution of the town council, to reflect actual costs of operation, maintenance, replacement and financing of the water and sewer utilities. (Ord. 407 Art. V, 1993)

13.16.250 Out of town users.

The user charge for property not located within incorporated town limits shall be two times the user charge for users within town incorporated limits as determined in Section 13.16.120. This provision shall not apply to the sewer user under the Sun Mountain Contract, and the water user under the U.S. Forest Service Contract. (Ord. 407 Art. VI, 1993)

13.16.260 Owner responsible for payment.

All utility bills, including water and sewer, shall be the responsibility of the property owner for the purposes of liens which may be assessed by the town of Winthrop as provided by law. However, duplicate utility billings may be sent to the tenants or residents of commercial or residential property under the following conditions, but not to relieve the property owner from liability for charges incurred:

A. Upon the request of the owner or tenant of the real property, billing may be sent to the tenant or to an agent of the owner; provided, that a current address of the owner of real property is maintained with the town of Winthrop, which is the responsibility of the owner, and any changes in the residents or tenants of the property are made known to the town by the owner.

B. Such billing, when sent to tenant or agent, will become the responsibility of the tenant or agent, as well as the property owner, and each can be held jointly and severally liable for such billing.

C. The owner and tenant, or agent, shall sign an application form, giving their consents for the utility service to be billed as provided in this section, and giving the address of each. Copies of such forms shall be provided to both the owner of the real property and the tenant or the resident of the real property, and such form shall also contain notification of the right of hearing on termination of utilities. (Ord. 655 § 1(A), 2013: Ord. 406 Art. VII § 1, 1993)

13.16.270 Billing.

The owner of the property served by the water and/or sewer system(s) shall be billed on a monthly basis, for service rendered in accordance with the rate schedule as set forth in Section 13.16.090 of this chapter with the charges paid monthly. (Ord. 406 Art. VII § 2, 1993)

13.16.280 Due date.

The “due date” for water and/or sewer utility account(s), as used hereunder, shall be the last day of the month following the month in which services were provided. (Ord. 407 Art. VII § 3, 1993)

13.16.290 Late charge.

In the event any water and/or sewer utility account(s) shall remain unpaid, and the unpaid balance exceeds ten dollars ($10.00) after the due date thereof, a late charge of ten dollars ($10.00) shall be added to the utility account(s). (Ord. 682 § 1, 2016: Ord. 407 Art. VII § 4, 1993)

13.16.310 Discontinuance of service.

In the event that any water and/or sewer utility account(s) shall remain unpaid for a period of sixty (60) days following due date thereof, a termination notice shall be given, informing all those affected by the shut-off that termination of service shall occur no sooner than ten (10) days from the date of mailing of the notice of termination of service. Water service may be terminated when any portion of the utility bill is unpaid and delinquent. A shut-off charge of ten dollars ($10.00) shall be added to any account shut off due to delinquency. (Ord. 655 § 1(B), 2013: Ord. 407 Art. VII § 6, 1993)

13.16.320 Notification of discontinuance.

A notice of hearing shall be included on any termination notice as required by Section 13.16.325. In those cases where billing is sent to a tenant, not a property owner, the termination notice shall be sent to the property owner as well as the tenant. If a hearing is requested by the customer within five business days of mailing the notice, the hearing shall be arranged in accordance with Section 13.16.325. Service shall not be terminated until after the date of any hearing. If town personnel are required to go to the premises for the purposes of reconnecting the service for nonpayment after hours, a fee may be assessed in accordance with the fee schedule adopted by resolution of the town council. (Ord. 655 § 1(C), 2013: Ord. 474 § 3(J), 1996: Ord. 407 Art. VII § 7, 1993)

13.16.325 Termination of water service.

As an additional and concurrent method of enforcing a lien of the town for utility charges, the town may terminate the water service from the premises to which said services were furnished, or remove the water meter thereon, and except as provided below for termination of water service to rental dwellings, such water service shall remain terminated until all such charges plus penalties and fees thereon, together with the charges provided for in the water rate schedule for turning the water off and turning the water on or reinstalling such water meter, have been paid.

A. Termination of Water  Service to Rental Dwellings. Except in cases involving public health or safety, or as otherwise provided in this chapter, the town may terminate water service to a residential tenant occupying a rented dwelling pursuant to RCW 35.21.290 and 35.21.300 for a delinquent bill. In the case of a delinquency incurred by a property owner or prior tenant, and if requested, the city shall allow tenants to open an account in their name and on the same terms and conditions as other residential utility customers, without requiring the tenant to pay delinquent amounts for water service billed directly to the property owner or a previous tenant, except as otherwise allowed by law and only when the city offers the affected tenant to set up a reasonable payment plan for the delinquent amounts legally owed. When a rented dwelling is occupied by a tenant who has opened an account in their name, no termination or threat of termination will occur because of the tenant’s landlord or the obligation of the prior occupant of the premises not currently residing therein; provided, however, the term “threat of termination” shall not include the notices authorized by this chapter.

B. Customer Disputes. Customers disputing their utility services termination shall use the following procedure:

1. If requested by the customer as provided in Section 13.16.320, a hearing by the town council, or their designee, shall be held no more than five business days after receiving the request from the customer. The customer shall have the right to come to said hearing and provide evidence why such utility should not be terminated.

2. Any hearing under this section shall be conducted during normal business hours, on an informal basis. A record of the hearing, including the date of the hearing, who was present and the findings made as to whether or not the bill was justly owing and the reasons therefor, shall be made in writing. The written findings shall be filed with the town clerk.

3. Whenever notice of termination is required under this chapter for the utility termination, such notice shall inform the customer of his or her right to a hearing, current phone number and address of Town Hall where a hearing may be requested, and normal business hours to phone in for a hearing, and the time periods involved with the hearings requested as to utility termination. (Ord. 657 § 1, 2013: Ord. 655 § 2, 2013)

13.16.330 Reinstatement of service.

Water service for delinquent account(s) shall not be reinstated until the whole of the delinquent account(s), both water and sewer, plus late charge(s), plus one percent per month interest from due date of the account, plus shut-off charge, plus a turn-on charge of ten dollars ($10.00), have been paid. Nothing herein contained shall be deemed to be a release, relinquishment, waiver or forbearance of any statutory lien right, or other remedy, which the town may have for payment and collection and enforcement of rates and charges due and payable to town hereunder. (Ord. 407 Art. VII § 8, 1993)

13.16.340 Voluntary request for temporary discontinuance.

In the event of voluntary request for temporary discontinuance of service after January 1, 1998, the charge for utilities, both sewer and water, shall be made at fifty (50) percent of the regular rates as established herein. This applies only to the following:

A. Single-family residences;

B. Outdoor uses, such as RV parks, during the months of November through April;

C. Utilities of any use class, when all structures serviced by the utilities are torn down or destroyed, and all other uses of the utilities cease (as determined and verified by town officials) and such utilities have not been voluntarily abandoned pursuant to Section 13.04.310 of the Winthrop Municipal Code.

As used herein a “temporary discontinuance” as it applies to subsections A, B and C of this section shall mean a period of six months or less, unless other arrangements are agreed upon by the town council and the owner, prior to discontinuance and which “other arrangements agreed upon” shall be set forth in the minutes of a regular meeting of the town council and made a part thereof. Provided, however, for subsection C of this section, such temporary discontinuance shall not exceed a period of five years. (Ord. 487 § 1, 1998: Ord. 407 Art. VII § 9, 1993)

13.16.345 Temporary discontinuance of water and sewer charges because of frozen water and/or sewer service lines.

Any user being charged a water user charge and/or sewer user charge within or outside the incorporated limits of the town of Winthrop, hereinafter “town,” upon determination that a water and/or sewer service line has frozen, may apply to the town council of the town for discontinuance of applicable water user charges and/or sewer user charges as required by this chapter, as follows:

A. Such users shall make application in writing to the town council of the town and present such application to the town clerk for placement upon the agenda of the next regularly scheduled town council meeting.

B. Such application shall include the name, address and telephone number of the water and/or sewer service user, street address and Okanogan County assessor’s tax parcel number for the property being served, the dates the water and/or sewer service lines were frozen, the dates requested for discontinuance of water user and/or sewer user charges, verification that such water and/or sewer service lines are/were frozen, and the location of the frozen water and/or sewer service lines, if known.

C. The temporary discontinuance of water user and/or sewer user charges may be approved for the actual days that the water and/or sewer service lines were frozen, as determined by the application submitted by such user to the town council. Such actual days approved shall be for full days (twenty-four (24) hour period) and shall not include partial days.

D. Such user must provide adequate verification to the town council as required in the application that the water and/or sewer service line is/was frozen. Such verification may include a statement in writing from the user, or by a certified plumber or contractor, and inspection by the town, if required by the town council.

E. The town council shall not consider a temporary discontinuance of water user and/or sewer user charges for periods of less than forty-eight (48) hours that the water and/or sewer service line is/was continuously frozen.

F. The town council shall not approve any requests for temporary discontinuance of water user and/or sewer user charges for a period of more than six continuous months during any calendar year.

G. The application for temporary discontinuance of water user and/or sewer user charges shall be applicable to utilities of any use class. (Ord. 691 § 1, 2017)

13.16.350 Shut-off and turn-on charge(s).

In the event of voluntary request for temporary shut-off and/or turn-on of water furnished by the town to any user thereof, a charge of ten dollars ($10.00) shall be made for each shut-off, and each turn-on. A request for voluntary shut-off and/or turn-on must be made at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance of the time of the desired service. These services shall only be available during normal working hours, except when an emergency exists. (Ord. 407 Art. VII § 10, 1993)