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Chapter 81 – Water System





6-81-1              Definitions
6-81-2              Rules & Regulations
6-81-3              Independent Water Supply
6-81-4              Booster Pump
6-81-5              Access By Water Department Employees
6-81-6              Right to Discontinue Service
6-81-7              Use of Hydrants
6-81-8              Maintenance of Plumbing
6-81-9              Deviation From Rules
6-81-10            Bills Payable
6-81-11            Method of Payment
6-81-12            Application for Services
6-81-13            Leaking Service
6-81-14            Taps
6-81-15            Services
6-81-16            Meters
6-81-17            Inspection of Meters, Pipes & Fixtures
6-81-18            Contractor’s Service
6-81-19            Water Rates
6-81-20            Fixed Charges
6-81-21            Liability of Landlords
6-81-22            Due Date
6-81-23            Second Water Meters
6-81-24            Second Meter Backflow Devices Required
6-81-25            Cost of Second Meter
6-81-26            Installation of Second Meter                                                                         


SECTION 6-81-1                  DEFINITIONS. Unless the context specifically indicates otherwise, the meaning of the terms in the following rules and regulations shall be as follows:

             “City” shall mean the City of  Belle Plaine, Benton County, Iowa.

             “Council” shall mean the City Council, Belle Plaine, Iowa.

             “Water Department” shall mean all city facilities and accessories for producing, treating, pumping, storing and distributing water for public use.

             “Superintendent ” shall mean the Director of Public Works and/or Water/Wastewater Operator.

             “Person” shall mean any individual, firm, company, associate, society, corporation or group.

             “City Water Mains” shall be construed to mean any pipe laid in a city street, alley, or property easement accepted by the Council, said pipe being owned or installed by the City for the distribution of City water throughout the area served and on which all owners of abutting properties have equal rights and is controlled by public service lines running from city mains through private property, and shall exclude any service line laid for the express purpose of serving only one customer, whether situated in a public thoroughfare or upon public property or both.

             “Service Pipe” shall mean a water pipe laid from a City main into the premises to be served with water. The service pipe shall include the corporate cock, lead-in pipe, curb stop box and shut-off, and all valves and pipes inside the building through which water passes before it reaches the water meter. The homeowner is responsible from the main in.

             “Consumer” shall mean anyone using water furnished by the Municipal Waterworks of the City of Belle Plaine.

             “Sewer Service Line” shall mean a sewer pipe or conduit which carries water-carried waste from residences, businesses, institutions and industrial establishments.

             “Shall” is mandatory; “May” is permissive.

             “Landlord” shall mean any person or persons receiving rent for use of property on which a City water meter is located.

             “Renter” or “tenant” shall mean any person paying rent in the form of cash or other consideration for premises upon which a City water meter is located.

 SECTION 6-81-2                  RULES AND REGULATIONS. The following rules and regulations shall be considered a part of the contract with every person using water supplied by the City of Belle Plaine, Iowa, through the Municipal Waterworks system, and every such person who takes water shall be considered as having expressed agreement to be bound thereby even through he does not sign, or has signed, an application for the water service.

 SECTION 6-81-3                  INDEPENDENT WATER SUPPLY.  No connection from any other water supply to any system of piping supplied by City water shall be made or maintained unless authorized and the connection approved by the Council.

 SECTION 6-81-4                  BOOSTER PUMP.   At no time shall a consumer of Belle Plaine water be allowed to use a booster pump to increase water pressure.

 SECTION 6-81-5                  ACCESS BY WATER DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES. All authorized employees or agents of the City shall have free access at proper hours to all parts of every building in which meters are located or where water is to be delivered or consumed.

 SECTION 6-81-6                  RIGHT TO DISCONTINUE SERVICE. The City Water Department does not guarantee a constant supply of water to any consumer and shall not be liable for damages for any failure to supply the same, nor shall it be liable for any claim or damage by reason of breaking of service pipe, stop-cock, or other equipment or if for any reason the supply of water shall be shut off to make repairs, connections or extensions or for any other purpose that my be found necessary. The right is reserved to cut off the supply of water at any time. Whenever practicable, notice in advance of such shut-off shall be given and the supply turned on again as quickly as possible.

 Whenever a property owner abandons an old service line and tap, it shall be the responsibility of the property owner to disconnect the old line at the main shut-off, securely plug the tap hole and notify the Water Superintendent to inspect the disconnection before covering.

 When it is necessary for employees of the Water Department to open the street to shut off a tap on account of a leaking service, nonpayment of bills, or noncompliance with these rules, the owner of the property shall be charged with all expense thereby incurred by the Water Department personnel. All bills for such work are due and payable ten (10) days after customer is billed unless other arrangements are made with the Superintendent. Service may be disconnected for any delinquent account.

 SECTION 6-81-7                  USE OF HYDRANTS. No person other than an authorized employee of the City Water Department or Fire Department shall open or use a fire hydrant without previous permission from the Council.

 Only hydrant wrenches of a design approved by the Water Department shall be used. Care shall be taken that the cap chains are not broken or caps lost and the caps shall be replaced after the use of the hydrants. No hydrants shall be used that appear to be in defective condition, and, if a hydrant is in a defective condition, the water office should be notified immediately and given the location thereof.

 Fire hydrants are not to be obstructed by the users thereof and shall be available at all times for the use by the Fire Department.

 All unauthorized use of hydrants may be subject to civil penalties as provided for in the Municipal Code of the City of Belle Plaine, in addition to any other use charges levied by the Department.

 SECTION 6-81-8                  MAINTENANCE OF PLUMBING.  All persons taking water shall keep their service pipes, stop cock, curb cock, fixtures, meters and apparatus in good repair and protected against frost at their own expense and shall prevent all waste of water.

 The water customer is held responsible for any damage to water meter by freezing, over-heating, rough usage or loss. The meters are the property of the Water Department and may be repaired by the Department at the expense of the customer and without notice to him. The customer must keep the meter and remote readily accessible for meter reading or inspection. Superintendent has right to order replacement or relocation of meter or remote if the meter or remote is not easily accessible to the reader. The user of more than a 5/8 inch meter will be charged the difference in the cost.

 SECTION 6-81-9                  DEVIATION FROM RULES.  If unusual subsurface or other conditions make it impracticable, in the opinion of the Superintendent for the City, to complete any installation in conformity with these rules and regulations, the work may be performed in such a manner and under such plans as may be found to be practicable in the judgment of the Superintendent for the City.

 SECTION 6-81-10                BILL PAYABLE.  Payments of current water bills shall be made at the Water Department Office located at City Hall in the Clerk’s Office. Change in ownership of property and change in mailing address in connection with the supply of water to a metered building shall be reported at the Water Department Office located at City Hall.

 SECTION 6-81-11                METHOD OF PAYMENT.  Payment of bills shall be made by cash, check or money order. Check or money order shall be made payable to the Belle Plaine Water Department. Checks, unless certified, are credited subject to collection. Cash payments are to be made only at the Water Department Office at City Hall. Checks and money orders may be delivered at the Water Office or mailed at the sender’s risk to the Water Office. 

 Checks returned for insufficient funds shall cause a collection fee to be levied upon the account remaining unpaid, which the amount shall be added to the outstanding balance due. Service shall be disconnected unless payment is received in full for the outstanding balance plus collection fees. Payment will be accepted from 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. daily except Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The right is reserved to decline any payment tendered after these hours. Bills for water are due and payable when rendered.

 Any water shut off that is not turned on again by 4:00 P.M. will not be restored until the following day. Any water shut off and not turned on by Friday at 4:00 P.M. will not be restored until the following Monday. Any water shut off prior to a holiday will not be restored until first working day after the holiday. Any water turned off under this section shall not be restored until $35.00 reconnection fee is paid.

 Should a bill remain unpaid beyond the final payment due date, the water may be shut off from the premises and when so shut off shall not be turned on again until water rents and all other charges due for turning on the water have been paid.

 SECTION 6-81-12                APPLICATION FOR SERVICES. An application for service, if required, shall state fully and truly the purpose for which same is required, and application shall answer all questions relating thereto and information furnished shall be affidavit form when required.

A deposit with the City will be required from all renters in the amount of $100.00. After three months, the deposit may be increased to an amount equal to the average of the previous three months, but in no event shall any security deposit be reduced to less than $100.00. The deposit required by this paragraph shall be returned to the user (tenant) without interest when he vacates the premises for which the deposit has been made, less any charges due.

When permission has been granted for water per above regulation, service installation shall be made hereinafter required. Permits shall be issued only to licensed plumbers. All work performed under permit shall be by the permitted or persons employed by him, in compliance with local plumbing regulations.

SECTION 6-81-13                LEAKING SERVICE.  When a service pipe is found to be leaking the Superintendent shall notify the Water Department office who shall then give notice in writing to the property owner, stating that the leak must be repaired or replaced within five (5) days. If not repaired or replaced within said five (5) days, a property tax lien will be imposed against the property for the cost of the City hiring someone to replace or repair it. Notice of filing such lien shall be given to the owner by ordinary mail not less than ten (10) days in advance of such filing. When there is a leaking service line dug up to be repaired and the line is not copper or plastic of the related material listed in Section 6-54-15 of the Belle Plaine Municipal Code, the property owner’s service line must be replaced at the property owner’s expense. The old line must be disconnected at the City main and the curb shut-off has to be pulled. Any damage to the street and parking will be property owner’s expense.

SECTION 6-81-14                TAPS.  Except with the written permission of the Council a separate tap and service shall be installed for each building located on a street or avenue in which there is a City water main and no consumer will be allowed to supply water to other persons or premises. The siamesing of taps or service lines is prohibited after the effective date of this ordinance. Any siamesing of taps or service lines made prior to that date may be obtained by permission of the Council providing this type of service is approved by both property owners.

Provision must be made for the shutting off of water service to either house or premises, independently of the other houses or premises.

No consumer will be allowed to supply water to more than one resident which is fed by a service line smaller than two (2) inches.

Charges for taps and service calls made by employees of the Department shall be fixed by the Council and posted at the City Clerk’s Office. These charges may be changed by the Council without notice to meet changes in cost of labor and material. No person or persons shall make a tap to any water main other than authorized employee or agent of this Department. Tapping sleeves and valves for services four inches and larger may be installed by independent contractors using proper tools if made under the inspection of an authorized employee or agent of the Department.

All taps into city mains or city service water pipes shall be made only by the Superintendent or his authorized assistant. The charge imposed by Section 6-54-20 of this ordinance for making a tap shall be paid in advance and in addition thereto the property owner shall pay for all parts and materials used in the making of such tap when the tap is completed and before the water is turned on.

No city water main or city water service pipe shall be tapped until the owner of the property to be served by such tap has made a written application to the City requesting that such tap be made and agreeing to bear all expenses required to restore and resurface any portion of a public street that has been removed to make such tap. Any damages to city streets, alleys or other public ways have to be repaired within thirty (30) days of completion of work or as prescribed by the Director of Public Works.

Any property owner whose water service line crosses property other than property of the consumer may be required to replace such service line in order to avoid crossing the private property of another party by request of the other party unless the consumer can show written easement rights.

No taps will be inserted unless the location of the excavation agrees with the permit location. Excavation for taps shall be of sufficient size to permit easy access to the main by workmen and said excavation shall be safeguarded in accordance with OSHA standards.

All taps shall be inserted in front of the property to be supplied with water if there is a city water main in the street.

SECTION 6-81-15                SERVICES.  A service pipe is designated as that portion of the water pipe supplying one or more buildings extending from the public stop cock or value outside the building extending from the public main stop cock or valve outside the building to a point where the supply is fully metered. A service pipe may be used for the combined domestic and business consumption and fire protection if branch pipe is metered as required by the rules.

The water service pipes in any building shall be of sufficient size to permit a continuous ample flow of water into the building under the average daily minimum service pressure in the street main. The minimum diameter of a service pipe shall be ¾ inch and the service pipe not less than the diameter of the taps controlling it.

The Council designates that copper (Type K) service pipe or approved plastic pipe used with a copper wire for locating purposes be used in all service pipes. The diameter of service pipe must be the same from the tap all the way to a point where the service pipe is fully metered. Service pipes must be laid deep enough to prevent rupture from freezing.

Curb stops installed in service pipes of ¾ inch through two inches shall be inverted key type with check, 3-22333 or equivalent. Service taps four inches and larger shall use a tapping sleeve and valve meeting standard specifications of the Department. The house control valve shall be placed in the service within two feet of the point of its entry in the building wall and shall be of a type approved by the Superintendent. All valves should be located so as to be accessible at all times. Ball valves and stopcocks shall be of the 150 pound test class as specified in the manufacturer’s catalog.

The stop box used shall be of a design approved by the Water Department, fitted with a substantial cover marked with the word “Water”, and shall be located within one foot outside of the sidewalk or if no sidewalk is present, then within ten feet of the curb. If impossible to install such box at this location, the same may be relocated with the permission of the Superintendent. The approved stop box is one inch or larger pipe with extension rod.

After a tap has been inserted or a service pipe installed, the backfill around the main and service shall be of sand and carefully tamped around and under the main and service. The remainder of the backfill shall be free from stone larger than six inches in diameter and shall be satisfactorily compacted either by tamping or flushing or both. The service pipe shall not be laid within six inches of another subsurface structure conduit or pipe, unless subsurface conditions make it impossible to do otherwise. Where new service pipe runs parallel to a sewer service line, it shall be separated by ten feet horizontal distance for its entire length, with a minimum three feet vertical separation.

Plumbers installing water service pipes shall close the curb shut-off and leave it closed upon completion of their work. Service pipes shall be thoroughly flushed before meter is attached.

A new service or a repair to a service shall be subjected by the plumber to a water test under the main pressure for a period of ten minutes. All pipes and appurtenances shall remain uncovered for the duration of the test and shall show no signs of leakage.

When the service or a pipe is damaged by the contractor for the City, or a public utility corporation, the plumber making the repair will only be obliged to replace the damaged portion of the service in conformity with the regulations even if the repair is more than one-half of the service or if a new tap is inserted.

SECTION 6-81-16                METERS. All water furnished for domestic and business consumption through the water mains shall be measured by meters of a pattern and type approved by the Council. No unmetered city water shall be used in any premises where the supply is recorded as fully metered or on that part of any premises that is recorded as being supplied through a meter or meters. A complete record shall be maintained on each individual meter showing make, size, date of purchase, residence or place of business where installed and date removed for routine tests and repairs.

In setting a meter, the dial shall be set horizontal; the connection shall be made by coupling, unions or flanged union on both inlet and outlet end, and bored for sealing with holds not less than 3/32 of an inch in diameter; between the meter and the meter main a stop cock or valve shall be placed in the service within one foot of the meter; there shall be a valve on the outlet side of the meter in addition to the inlet valve.

No meter shall be set or reset in a pit within the building without permission of the Council. For one inch or smaller meters, the pit shall not be less than two feet six inches wide by three feet six inches long and less than four feet in depth and shall be provided with a cover so constructed so as to permit the entire pit being uncovered by one man. All mobile homes will have either a pit for water meters or the meter can be installed inside the trailer. For larger meters, pits shall be of sufficient size to permit access to all portions of the meter and connections and if covered shall be provided with an opening of at least two feet square or two feet six inches in diameter. The cover to such opening shall be provided with suitable handle or grip and shall not be too heavy for one man to lift. Pits more than four feet in depth shall be provided with a permanent built-in ladder. Meter boxes approved by the Council may be used. All water meters shall be sealed by an employee of the Water Department when set.

No seal placed by the Water Department personnel for the protection on any meter, valves, fittings or other water connections shall be tampered with or defaced. It shall not be broken except on written authorization from the City Clerk’s Office. Where the seal is broken, the Council reserves the right to order the meter removed for test at the expense of the consumer.

Meters must always be accessible to and handled only by employees of the Water Department. They must be protected from freezing, hot water or other injury by the care and at the cost of the consumer, who is held responsible for all damages. Meters can be repaired without notice.

All meters shall be set or reset by the Water Department employees so that they may be easily examined and read. In all premises which are to be fully supplied by water, the meter shall be set within two feet of the building or vault wall at the point of entry of the service pipe. If the service pipe between the meter is situated back of the building line or conditions exist in the building that prevent a setting of a meter at the point of entry, the meter may be set outside of the building in a proper water tight and frost proof pit or meter ox or at other locations approved by the Council.

When a meter is removed without permission it must be tested before reset, or it shall be replaced by a new meter.

The meter size will be determined by the Water Department. Routine tests and normal repairs to the water meters will be made by the Water Department employees with no charge to the consumer. However, special tests requested by the consumer and repairs as a result of failure by the consumer to properly protect a water meter or seal will be billed to the consumer on the basis of the cost of repair parts plus labor.

In any premises where water may be obtained through more than one metered service the Council reserves the right to shut off and seal any service.

SECTION 6-81-17                INSPECTION OF METERS, PIPE AND FIXTURES. The Water Superintendent and employees of the Water Department shall be permitted Monday through Friday from 7:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. to enter the premises or buildings of the consumers for the purpose of reading meters and examining the water pipe and fixtures, and the manner in which water is used. The Water Department reserves the right to test or remove a meter whenever it is deemed advisable so to do. Refusal on the part of the owner, to permit an employee of the Water Department to enter such premises at any reasonable hour for reading the water meter or inspecting water pipes and fixtures shall be sufficient cause to forthwith discontinue the water service at such premises.

Should a meter become out of order the consumer shall be charged with the average monthly consumption as shown by the meter, when in order, for the six months previous, or fraction thereof if the same has not been used for that length of time.

Any property owner may require a meter to be tested by paying into the office of the Water Department the sum of $35.00 and should the meter register 2% or more fast, such property owner shall be entitled to an adjustment on the basis of the over-registration for four months and a refund of the $35.00 deposit. The deposit will not be refunded in the event the meter passes the accuracy test.

The Council shall not be responsible for pipes and fixtures belonging to any consumers or damage to same for any reason. All owners, at their own expense, must install and maintain service pipe from the city water mains and their apparatus in good working order and properly protected from frost and other dangers. No claims shall be made against the Council or Water Department by reason of breaking of any of the service pipes or apparatus or for accidental failure in the supply of water.

A bill for materials, labor, taps or service charges for which customer has been billed and has failed to pay within three months after billing may be certified to the County Auditor’s Office for collection with taxes assessed the customer’s real estate.

SECTION 6-81-18                CONTRACTOR’S SERVICE.  When work has progressed to the place where the finished plumbing is installed, the contractor will make an application to the City for a meter and remote wire. Once application is approved, the contractor shall make arrangements to pick up the material at the Waste Water Treatment Plant from the Waste Water/Water Operator. Should the contractor fail to have the meter set at this time he shall be assessed a $250.00 penalty for each month or part thereof the property was without a meter, with service subject to termination in the event the penalty is not paid and the meter set within two days. The contractor shall also be subject to revocation of the City license.

 No one except an employee of the City shall set, repair or remove a water meter, except with permission of the Water Operator. Anyone tampering with a water meter shall be assessed a $250.00 penalty. When a water meter is removed by a contractor, after receiving permission from the Water Operator, the meter must be returned to the Waste Water Treatment Plant and placed in the possession of the Operator or be assessed a $250.00 penalty for each month or part thereof for which it is not returned. Conduit for meter wire on new construction is required.

 SECTION 6-81-19                WATER RATES.  Water rates shall be established by resolution of the Council and shall be automatically adjusted on July 1st of each year in accordance with the Consumer Price Index or as special circumstance dictate. . The Water Clerk shall annually, as part of the budget preparation, review the adequacy of the rates and make recommendation to the Council concerning the need for any changes.

All water service bills shall be due on the due date shown on the water bill and may be considered a delinquent account if not paid by that date. Water service may be disconnected for any customer who has a delinquent account.

SECTION 6-81-20                FIXED CHARGES.  The schedule of fixed charges attached hereto is hereby adopted and approved and made part of the ordinance.

                      Renter’s Meter Deposit………………………………………………$100.00

                     Meter Repairs – Frozen Meter or Other Damages from Neglect or Abuse (5/8″, 5/8″ x ¾”, ¾”)………………………………………………………. $100.00

                      Meter Repairs – Frozen Meter or Other Damage from Neglect or Abuse After Hours……………………$100.00 plus labor @ $50.00/hr (Minimum of 2 hours)

                       Meter Repairs – Frozen Meter or Other Damage from Neglect or Abuse (1″ or Larger)………………………………………………………………..$125.00

                       Service Calls After Hours…………………………$50.00/hr (Minimum 2 hours)

                      Tractor and Man……………………………………………………….$110.00/hr.

                     Tractor and Man After Hours……………………$125.00/hr (Minimum 2 hours)


                     Meter Accuracy Test…………………………………………………….$35.00

                     ¾” to 2″ Water Taps…………………………………………………….$150.00

                      Taps Over 2″ – Contractor furnished material and makes tap……………..Cost

                     Sewer Taps………………………………………………………………..$75.00

                    Delinquent Water Shut Off………………………………………………..$35.00

                     Temporary Non-Problem Water Shut Off & On……….$15.00 off and $15.00 on

                     Lightening or electrical charge that damages meter should be treated the same as a frozen meter.

 SECTION 6-81-21                LIABILITY OF LANDLORDS.  Landlords shall be liable for all water and sewer service charges to properties owned by them and unpaid at the time that the leased premises are vacated by the tenant unless the vacating tenant has made a $100.00 water security deposit with the City.

 SECTION 6-81-22                DUE DATE.  All rates and charges shall be paid by the customer or user on or before the fifteenth (15th) day of the month after mailing by the City Clerk. All accounts unpaid after the fifteenth day shall be considered as delinquent and shall have added to the total charge a penalty of five dollars ($5.00) if not paid by the fifteenth of the month for each month thereafter and until the bill is fully paid. When the fifteenth day falls on Sunday or a holiday, the City Clerk shall accept payment on the first business day thereafter without penalty.

 SECTION 6-81-23                SECOND WATER METERS.  Residents will be allowed to install a second water meter which will only measure water used for outside purposes such as filling swimming pools, watering lawns and gardens, and other outside uses. This meter will not subject residents to a sewer charge for water that will never enter the sanitary sewer system.

 SECTION 6-81-24                SECOND METER BACKFLOW DEVICES REQUIRED.  Second water meters will require backflow prevention devices approved by the City.

 SECTION 6-81-25                COST OF SECOND METER.  Fees for the second meter and installation of the meter will be set by resolution of the City Council.

 SECTIOIN 6-81-26               INSTALLATION OF SECOND METER.  Residents must have plumbing adapted so that water through the second meter can only be used for outside watering purposes and no hose or other attachment can be used to carry or pipe water into the house or building where it would enter the sanitary sewer system.  Installation must be inspected and approved by the Superintendent. If at any time the homeowner decides that the second meter is no longer required, the plumbing must be returned to a single meter configuration

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