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Kotzebue Municipal Code

Title 13
PUBLIC SERVICES

13.04 Water and Sewer Utility

Chapter 13.04

Sections:
13.04.005 Purpose
13.04.010 Definitions.
13.04.020 Rates and charges.
13.04.030 Use of city systems required.
13.04.040 Responsibility for utility payment.
13.04.050 Water quality.
13.04.060 Water system ownership.
13.04.070 Classes of water service.
13.04.080 Connections-Expense responsibility-Approval required.
13.04.090 Connections-Application-Contents.
13.04.100 Connections-Application-Changes in service.
13.04.110 Connections-Application- Contesting, denial of conditions.
13.04.120 Terms and conditions of service.
13.04.130 Service commencement-billing.
13.04.140 Termination of service.
13.04.150 Notice, late charges and collection.
13.04.160 Delinquency-Turnoff Notice.
13.04.170 Delinquency-Turnoff.
13.04.180 Delinquency-Restoration of services.
13.04.190 Water meters.
13.04.200 Responsibility for owner’s equipment.
13.04.210 Wasteful use of water.
13.04.220 Customer service line responsibility-circulating pumps.
13.04.230 Installation regulations.
13.04.240 Individual sewage disposal systems.
13.04.250 Discharging waste onto ground.
13.04.260 Discharging waste into manholes.
13.04.270 Cross-connections prohibited.
13.04.280 Plumbing system maintenance.
13.04.290 Plumbing work standards.
13.04.300 Fire hydrants.
13.04.310 Inspections-Authorized.
13.04.320 Inspections-Duty to provide access.
13.04.330 Conflicting provisions.
13.04.340 Violation-Penalty.

________ *Prior history: Prior code 12.01.010-12.10.050 and 12.15.010-12.15.220; Ord. Nos. 83-5 and 85-8

13.04.050 Purpose
Public health and safety require that the city provide sewer, water and solid waste disposal services to the residents of Kotzebue. To that end, all persons must comply with the provisions of this title. The city shall enforce all provisions of this title to protect the residents of the city, to protect and preserve that city’s watershed and to comply with all applicable city, state and federal standards for sewer, water and solid waste disposal services. (Ord. 01-1 2 (part), 2000.

13.04.010 Definitions.
The following words shall have the following definitions as applied to this chapter:
A. “Commercial structure” means any structure located within the city limits used primarily for commercial business functions, whether or not for profit, and all multi-unit dwellings of six-plex and above;
B. “Customer service line” means the pipes, valves, fittings and appurtenances required for extension from utility mains to a building, structure or establishment;
C. “Owner” means any person, group of persons or legal entities claiming legal ownership in the subject real property to which utility services are provided, whether by deed or other document, by which legal interest has conferred such interest;
D. “Person” means an individual, firm, partnership, association, organization, corporation or other legal entity;
E. “Premises” means any real property and its appurtenances and structures to which the utility services are provided.
F. “Residential structure” means any structure located within the city limits which is used primarily as a family residence; in addition, which is not used for commercial business functions;
G. “Residential/Commercial structure” means a residential structure which is also used for commercial business functions.
H. “Seasonal commercial structure” means a commercial structure, as defined above, that operates as a commercial business for no more than one hundred and twenty days in any calendar year. Such seasonal commercial structures shall be classified as commercial for purposes of this title;
I. “Senior citizen” means any resident of the city who is sixty-five years of age or older;
J. “Sewage system” means the system, owned and operated by the city, used for the collection and disposal of human excreta, liquid or other water-carried waste;
K. “Utilities” means the water and sewer system and solid waste disposal, which the city owns and operates;
J. “Water system” means a water supply system owned and operated by the city.(Ord. 01-1 2(part) (Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.020 Rates and charges.
Rates and other charges for services, including solid waste disposal, shall be regulated solely by the city council. The rate schedule shall be adopted in ordinance form. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000; Ord. 98-2 6, 1998; Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.030 Use of city systems required.
A. It is unlawful for any person to construct, maintain or utilize a source of water, other than the community water system, for drinking or sanitary purposes:
(1) If the property line for the building or structure is within two hundred feet of a water and sewer main line; and,
(2) If the building or structure can feasibly be connected to the system from an engineering standpoint as determined by the public works director and approved by the city manager.
B. It is unlawful for any person to dispose of sewage, liquid wastes or human excreta from any building or structure within the city by any method other than through the utilization of the sewage disposal system:
1. If the property line for the building or structure is within two hundred feet of a water and sewer main line;
2. If the building or structure can feasibly be connected to the system from an engineering standpoint as determined by the public works director and approved by the city manager.
C. All property owners shall comply with the requirements of this section, within one year, after city water and sewage service becomes available to the parcel as set forth in subsections A and B of this section.
D. If city water and/or sewer services are not within two hundred feet of the property, as set forth in subsections A and B of this section, all property owners shall comply with applicable standards of the State Department of Environmental conservation for the operation and/or maintenance of individual drinking water systems and individual sewage disposal systems and shall construct and maintain such individual systems so as not to contaminate any source of drinking, public or domestic water supply. As set forth in section 13.04.240, the public works director shall maintain a file of the applicable laws and regulations of the state for such individual water and sewage systems. (Ord. 01-1 2 (part), 2000 (Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.040 Responsibility for utility payment.
A. Utility accounts will be maintained in the name of the owner or occupant of the premises served, as specified at the time of application for service or thereafter changed by written request. If the account is in the name of an occupant who is not the owner of the premises, the owner remains responsible for payment of all utility related fees and charges if the occupant fails to make such payment, in a timely manner.
B. The city may use all legal or equitable remedies for collection of overdue utility fees and charges in connection with provision of utility services, including fees for service or consumption and charges duly made for construction, installation or repairing the facilities. Judgments obtained for unpaid utility fees and charges shall be imposed as a lien against real property and foreclosed in the same manner as a lien for taxes due. (Ord. 01-1 2 (part), 2000: Ord. 88-11 1, 1988; Ord. 85-8 1, 1985)

13.04.050 Water quality.
The city will exercise reasonable diligence to supply safe and potable water at all times. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000: Ord. 86-8 1(part); 1986).

13.04.060 Water system ownership.
All water mains, valves, fittings, hydrants and other appurtenances, except customer service lines, shall be the property of the city. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000: Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986)

13.04.070 Classes of water service.
The classes of service shall be residential, commercial, special commercial or combination thereof, and by special service contract. Approval of a water and sewer agreement shall constitute an account classification as set forth below:
A. Residential. City utilities provided to a residential structure, per unit, for multi-dwelling units of five units or less.
B. Commercial. City utility services provided to a commercial structure.
C. Residential/Commercial Combination. If services are available to a customer for use in a residential structure which is also used for commercial purposes (or vice versa), the commercial rate shall apply for the combined use if the nature of the commercial enterprise is such that water and/or sewer usage is increased over that of the normal residential usage for that structure, as determined by the public works director and approved by the city manager. A water meter shall be required as per section D. Special Service Contract. Contract services shall consist of those services provided by the city for utility connections and related service to those persons or entities under a written contract authorized by the public works director and with the approval of the city manager.
E. Seasonal Commercial. City utilities provided to a commercial structure for no more than one hundred and twenty days in any calendar year. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000: Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.080 Connections-Expense responsibility- Approval required.
A. All connections to the city water and sewer system shall be made at the expense of the owner of the premises and payable in advance to such connection.
B. All customer service lines shall remain the responsibility of the owner of the premises, including but not limited to, the cost of repair, modification, disconnection or reconnection.
C. All modifications, repairs, disconnections and reconnections shall be made after the approval of the public works director with concurrence by the city manager, and shall comply with the service connection specifications. Service connection specifications shall be on file at the office of the public works department. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000: Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.090 Connections-Application-Contents.
A. Legal name and address of the owner of the premises.
B. Description of the property and building for which the water and sewer service is requested.
C. All person applying for individually installed water line connections shall provide the public works director with design and installation information, to assure that the water line will be adequately protected against cold weather and permafrost conditions.
D. Applicants for a commercial structure connection, intended for fire protection systems, shall provide the public works director with all design calculations and fire protection demands for review. (Ord 01-1 2 (part), 2000:(Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.100 Connections-Application-Changes in Service.
A. Owners desiring a material change in the size, character, extent of equipment or operation which would result in a material change, in the amount of water used, shall give the public works director written notice prior to the change. A new water and sewer agreement must be submitted reflecting the proposed change.
B. Owners desiring a change in the size, location or number of services, must submit a new water and sewer agreement reflecting the proposed change.(Ord.. 01-1 2 (part), 2000: (Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.110 Connections-Application-Contesting, denial of conditions.
Any person whose application for a connection, has been denied or approved with conditions, may present evidence supporting the application to the public works director, who shall then hear the matter and present his recommendations to the city manager. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000: Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.120 Terms and conditions of service.
A. The owner shall pay for the water and/or sewer service at the rate and in the manner specified by the city council, and as revised or modified from time to time, by the city council.
B. The city shall have the right to charge and collect the rates provided for in the ordinance codified in this chapter, as it may be amended from time to time as provided by law.
C. The city may disconnect water and/or sewer service at any time with written notice to the owner, for an infraction of any provision of this chapter. The city may disconnect the service and remove its equipment:
1. If the utility bill or payment due, pursuant to an agreement for the installation of facilities, becomes delinquent; or
2. If any part of the customer’s system is determined by the city to be unsafe or hazardous or contrary to the provisions of applicable construction, building, plumbing or electrical codes.
D. The city may install water meters to register the water used which shall be maintained at the owner’s expense.
E. The city shall not be held responsible for any damage by fire, flooding or other causes resulting from defective wiring, piping, fixtures or appliances, to the premises supplied with water or sewer service installed or owned by the owner of such premises. The fact that agents of the water and sewer system have inspected the piping, fixtures or appliances shall not constitute any liability against the city or the employees thereof for damages to persons or property resulting from defective piping, fixtures or appliances, installed or owned by the owner of such premises.
F. The city may interrupt the water and sewer utility for any reasonable period of time for repairs, maintenance or inspection. This interruption shall not be considered a breach of obligation neither by the city, nor in any way relieve the owner of their obligations, as set forth in this chapter.
G. The public works director, with the approval of the city manager and the concurrence of the city council, shall promulgate regulations necessary to carry out the purposes of this title. (Ord. 01-1 2 (part), 2000: Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.130 Service commencement-Billing.
A. The owner shall be billed for water and/or sewer service at the rate and in the manner specified by the city council commencing on the date the service connections are complete and usage of water and sewer service begins.
B. Each bill rendered shall be due when mailed. If the bill has not be paid, by the last day of the month in which mailed the account shall be considered delinquent.(Ord. 01-1 2 (part), 2000: Ord. 92-14 1,1993; Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.140 Termination of service.
The owner of the premises, where a city water and/or sewer service is used, shall give written notice to the public works director to disconnect water and/or sewer service. Discontinuance of service shall not relieve the owner of liability for payment of services which are available or previously received or penalties levied prior to disconnection. The owner shall pay a disconnect fee according to the rate established by the city council. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000. Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.150 Notice, late charge and collection.
A. Written notice of account delinquency may be sent by the city, to each delinquent account on or after the account has become delinquent.
B. A late charge of ten and one-half percent per annum, or as otherwise provided by state law, will be levied against all delinquent accounts.
C. When an account is delinquent, as defined in section 13.04.130 of this chapter, the city may bring an action against the owner of the property responsible for the account for the full amount of the delinquency plus any costs, attorney fees and interest at the legal rate. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000: Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.160 Delinquency-Turnoff notice.
After an account becomes delinquent, a written turn-off notice shall be sent to the owner. The notice shall state a date on or after which water service will be turned off, if the delinquent account is not paid in full. Personal delivery of the notice to the premises served or mailing of the notice to the address of record of the owner, shall be considered delivery to the owner. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000: Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.170 Delinquency-Turnoff.
The city retains the right to withhold services from a person or entity, as a result of a delinquent account. The withholding of services, by the city, does not relieve the owner from the obligations incurred for services previously rendered, and for services and costs incurred with the disconnection and connection of such services. In all public facilities having fire protection systems connected to a water system, written notice shall also be provided to the fire department upon withholding of such services. The city is not responsible for any damages to customer service water lines resulting from the discontinuance of water service for a delinquent account. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000: Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.180 Delinquency-Restoration of services.
In all instances where the water has been turned off because of a delinquent account, a reconnect fee shall be levied against the account, for restoration of services, as established by the city council. No owner shall be authorized any new water, sewer and/or solid waste disposal service until all existing delinquent accounts are paid in full. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000: Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.190 Water meters.
A. All commercial, residential/commercial and seasonal commercial structures shall be required to install a water meter which shall be maintained at the owner’s expense. Water meters must be visibly accessible at all times for inspection and meter reading by public works personnel.
B. Owners of non-metered commercial structures, residential/commercial combinations as set forth in section 13.04.070C and seasonal commercial structures will be notified by the public works director in writing that they will have sixty days to install a water meter. If the water meter is not installed, within sixty days of notification the public works department will install a water meter and bill the owner for labor and materials. At the discretion of the public works director, with approval of the city manager and upon reasonable cause, the public works director is authorized to require the installation of a water meter in any structure at the expense of the owner. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000: Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.200 Responsibility for owner’s equipment.
A. The city shall not be liable for any loss or damage of any nature whatsoever, caused by any defect in the owner’s lines, plumbing or equipment. The city shall not be liable for loss or damage due to interruption of service or temporary changes in pressure.
B. The owner shall be responsible for valves on his premises being turned off when the water service is on.
C. City equipment on the owner’s premises remain the property of the city and may be repaired, replaced or removed by the city at any time without the consent of the owner. No payment will be made to the owner for the right to install, maintain, replace or remove city equipment on his premises. The owner shall keep vicious dogs or other animals secured or confined to avoid interference with the utility operation and maintenance.
D. The owner shall be liable for any damage to equipment, owned by the city, which is caused by an act of the owner, his tenants, agents, employees, contractors, licensees or permittees. Damage to equipment shall include, but not limited to, breaking of seals or locks, tampering with meters, or injury to meters including, but not limited to, damages caused by hot water, steam or freeze-up. (Ord. 01-1 2 (part), 2000: Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.210 Wasteful use of water.
It is unlawful for any person to wastefully use water. It is wasteful use of water to allow water to run for the purpose of preventing water or sewer lines from freezing. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000: Ord. 88-13 1, 1988).

13.04.220 Customer service line responsibility-Circulating pumps.
A. Subject only to subsection B of this provision, all customer service lines from the building to be served to the point of connection to the water or sewer system, shall be installed by the owner at his own expense. The owner shall remain responsible for maintenance and repair of the customer service line.
Circulation pumps are required on all new customer service water lines. The pumps shall remain the property and responsibility of the owner. All new customer service lines shall be left fully exposed and accessible, until inspected and approved, by the public works director or his authorized representative.
B. Senior citizens may apply to the city for free repair of existing customer service lines. If the city determines that an applicant is the owner and primary occupant of the premises and is unable to pay for repair of the lines it may, through the city manager, elect to grant the application. Applications may not be granted to persons with past due accounts with the city. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000: Ord. 90-1 1, 1990; Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.230 Installation regulations.
The city council, after public hearing, may establish regulations for the installation of domestic fixtures connected to the water and sewage systems, water and sewer customer service lines and all related appurtenances as needed to assure the safe utilization of the water and sewer systems. (Ord. 01-1 2 (part), 2000: Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.240 Individual sewage disposal systems.
It is unlawful for any person to operate or maintain an individual sewage disposal system unless, such system is so constructed and maintained that it does not contaminate any source of drinking, public or domestic water supply, and complies with applicable standards of the State Department of Environmental Conservation. The public works director shall maintain a file of such laws and regulations, of the state, available for public reference. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000: Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.250 Discharging waste onto the ground.
It is unlawful for any person to discharge sewage or other domestic waste onto the surface of the ground within the city. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000: Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986.

13.04.260 Discharging waste into manholes.
It is unlawful for any person to discharge sewage or other waste materials into the city sewage utility, through the lift stations or manholes, without prior written approval of the public works director. (Ord. 01-1 2 (part), 2000: Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.270 Cross-connections prohibited.
No person shall cross-connect the water system to any private water supply by means of hose, piping, fixtures, heating units or any other manner whatsoever. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000: Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.275 Multiple buildings, structures or establishments - Connections prohibited.
It is unlawful for any person to connect multiple buildings, structures or establishments to a customer service line, except that seasonal commercial structures may be connected at the owner’s expense, to a customer service line and separately billed, metered and maintained in a manner as determined by the public works director and approved by the city manager. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000).

13.04.280 Plumbing system maintenance.
All users of the water and sewer system shall maintain their individual water and sewer facilities in good repair at their expense. Water and sewer service may be discontinued by the city where it is determined that defective fixtures, lack of necessary repairs, or misuse of sewage facilities may affect the safe operations of the water and sewer system, or where there is refusal to permit an inspection by a representative of the city. However, this does not relieve the use of the obligations and monthly service charges incurred under this chapter by nature of having the service available. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000: (Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.290 Plumbing work standards.
All plumbing work shall comply with the Uniform Plumbing Code as adopted by the city. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000: Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.300 Fire hydrants.
No person or persons, other than those designated and authorized by the city, shall open any fire hydrant belonging to the city, attempt to draw water from it, or in any manner damage or tamper with it. No tool, other than special hydrant wrenches, shall be used to operate a hydrant valve. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000: Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.310 Inspections-Authorized.
The public works director, or his designated representative is authorized to make inspections, at reasonable times as are necessary to determine satisfactory compliance with this chapter and regulations promulgated under this chapter. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000: Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).
13.04.320 Inspections-Duty to provide access.
The owner of the premises shall provide the public works director, or his designated representative access to the premises for the purpose of making such inspections and perform such maintenance, as is necessary for the city to provide utility services to the owner, in compliance with the requirements of this chapter and regulations promulgated under this chapter. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000: Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

13.04.330 Conflicting provisions.
In any case where a provision of this chapter is found to be in conflict with the provision of any zoning, building, fire safety or health ordinance, code or resolution of the city, existing on the effective date of this chapter, the provision which in the judgment of the city manager, established the higher standard for the promotion and protection of the health and safety of the people of the city shall prevail over any case where such ordinance, code or resolution establishes a lower standard. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000: Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986

13.04.340 Violation-Penalty.
Any person who violates any provision of this title or Title 12 of this code or any regulation adopted pursuant to this title or Title 12 of this code, shall be subject to a civil penalty of one hundred dollars. Each day’s failure to comply shall constitute a separate violation. In addition, any person who violates any provisions of this title or any regulation adopted pursuant to this title shall be responsible for any costs including labor, parts and materials and attorney’s fees, incurred by the city, in preserving the integrity of the city’s utility systems and in enforcing the provisions of this title. (Ord. 01-1 2(part), 2000:(Ord. 86-8 1(part), 1986).

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Posted January, 2002