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A. Accounts to be in name of the fee owner. Effective October 1, 2006, all accounts for water/sewer/stormwater shall be kept in the name of the fee owner of the property or premises served; provided, that:

1. Rental tenants whose accounts are in their own names as of October 1, 2006, may retain their existing accounts in their names until they change service address or their accounts are otherwise terminated;

2. Tenants may put service in their own names pursuant to VMC 14.04.192 through 14.04.195;

3. As provided by RCW 35.21.217, the fee owner may request to have duplicate bills mailed to a tenant, lessee, contract buyer, or agent; provided, that:

a. This shall not relieve the fee owner from liability for charges incurred; and

b. Current contact information for the fee owner and for the tenant, lessee, contract buyer, or agent must be provided to the city, on forms approved by the city, in order for a customer/owner to have bills mailed to a tenant, lessee, or agent; and

4. Nothing in this section shall prevent a tenant from paying a utility charge which has been billed to a fee owner.

B. Ownership of Lines. The department shall install, own and maintain all water service lines from the main to and including the meter. Water service lines from the main to and including the meter box may be installed by the customer’s contractor, subject to payment of fees, inspection and approval by the city. Customer lines from the meter to the building or premises shall be installed, owned and maintained by the customer. Insofar as is possible, customer lines leading to such service lines shall be installed so that they will not be under any concrete walk or driveway or other obstruction.

C. Individual Service Required. Each service line or sewer lateral shall be connected to only one house or building or a multi-tenant commercial building and for only one consumer insofar as practicable; provided, that the owner of a multifamily building may at their option supply such building from a single connection, in which case the billing provisions of VMC 14.04.190 shall apply. Any meters that are inter-tied within the customer’s system shall be combined into one account; separate accounts for inter-tied meters will not be allowed.

D. Installation on Private Property. Service lines and meters shall not be installed on private property except where the department finds that service can be afforded in no other practical way, in which case an easement granted to the city shall be secured from the legal owner.

E. Charge for Installation of Larger Service Line or Relocation of Existing Service Line. Whenever a customer desires to have a service line changed to a larger size, the customer shall pay all charges and fees applicable for installation of such larger size line and meter. Whenever a customer desires to have an existing service line relocated without a change in size of service the customer shall pay the costs as required in VMC 14.04.210(G). In either case, the work shall be done by the department at the customer’s expense as provided in VMC 14.04.090. In all cases, the customer shall pay the costs thereof in advance.

F. Transferring Customer Line. Whenever a service line is relaid or changed in position for any reason by the department, the customer shall immediately upon notice and at the customer’s own expense transfer the customer line to the newly laid or newly positioned service line.

G. Customer Responsible for Installation and Maintenance.

1. The water customer to be served by the department’s mains shall install and maintain, at the customer’s own expense, all water pipe, fixtures, and plumbing on the customer’s premises and shall own and maintain the customer line to the meter.

2. The sewer customer to be served by the department’s mains shall install and maintain, at the customer’s own expense, the sewer lateral from the premises to the public sewer main and shall own and maintain the sewer lateral from the premises to the public sewer main.

3. The customer or authorized agent shall be responsible for obtaining all building and right of way use permits required for work performed either on the premises or within public rights-of-way; provided, that the city may reimburse the customer for the cost of repair of that portion of the sewer lateral within dedicated public right-of-way, if damage to the sewer lateral was the result of deficiencies caused by acts or omissions of the city or third parties not acting as agents of the customer, and specifically excluding damage to the sewer lateral resulting from deficiencies caused by acts of God, root intrusion from the customer’s trees or any other act or omission of the customer or customer’s agent(s) or contractor(s). A claim for such reimbursement shall be submitted to the city within 10 days of the incurrence of such costs and shall meet all of the following criteria:

a. Eligible costs shall include only those actual expenses paid by the customer for any required city permits or to a licensed, bonded contractor.

b. Only that portion of costs for repair work done within the dedicated right-of-way shall be eligible.

c. The customer shall submit copies of the itemized invoices from the contractor. Such invoices shall indicate the type and cause or suspected cause of such damage.

d. The amount of the reimbursement shall not exceed the estimated cost for installation of a new sewer lateral from the public sewer to the property line.

e. All work shall be in conformance with city codes, ordinances and standards, including obtaining all necessary permits, inspections and approvals.

f. The director shall investigate all claims submitted for reimbursement and shall determine the validity of such claims and the amount of reimbursement, if any, which is due the customer.

H. Specifications for Customer Lines and Sewer Laterals. All customer lines shall be laid to a depth of two feet below the surface of the ground and shall be equipped with a readily accessible valve for each house or building so that the customer may at any time shut off the entire water supply. Customer lines larger than two inches shall be equipped with an accessible gate valve controlling the full supply on the premises.

All sewer laterals shall be installed in accordance with the department’s standard details and with Chapter 17.20 VMC. When a property is connected to public sewer each sewer lateral shall be provided with a cleanout to within six inches of finish grade at the property line, except that when a cleanout is provided at a distance not to exceed 30 feet from the property line, no additional cleanout will be required at the property line.

I. Installation of Service Lines and Sewer Laterals. All installations performed within public rights-of-way shall be performed by a licensed contractor acting as the owner’s agent. The contractor shall be responsible for obtaining all necessary permits for work within the right-of-way. All installation shall be performed in accordance with the department’s standard details.

J. Liability for Leakage or Stoppage. Under no condition shall the department be held responsible or liable for any partial or complete stopping of flow, any leakage, or damage to any customer’s pipeline, fixtures, sewer lateral, plumbing, premises or contents therein, served by the water/sewer utility.

K. Approval of New, Relaid Lines. Approval of all new, relaid or relocated customer lines must be secured from the department before water will be turned into the service.

L. Temporary Water Use from Hydrants. Temporary use of water from fire hydrants may be authorized by the director. “Temporary water use from hydrants” is defined as use of water from a fire hydrant where an established service point or permanent water meter is not available. The director shall approve a written policy that will include, but not be limited to, when temporary water use from hydrants will be permitted, the appropriate deposit for the renting of a temporary meter, conditions of forfeiture of water meter deposit, rental fees for the temporary meter, and fees for temporary water use from hydrants. Persons requesting temporary water use from hydrants shall apply for a temporary water use permit on forms prescribed by the city at the city of Vancouver utilities administration offices. Such permits shall be subject to conditions of use set forth therein, and subject to the written policy of the director, including provisions for cross connection control and other measures prescribed by the director to ensure the public safety and health and water conservation. This subsection shall not apply to authorized fire-fighting agencies.

M. Temporary Service. Where water service is desired from a permanent service line for a period of less than three years, upon approval of the director, it shall be considered temporary service, except that permanent buildings or establishments where service is discontinued because of change of occupancy shall not be considered as coming under this regulation.

N. Tap and Line for Temporary Service. When a new tap and service line is required for a temporary service, the department shall collect, at the time application is made, an amount covering the estimated installation cost as provided in VMC 14.04.090. The installation cost shall include all labor and material necessary for connection and disconnection and shall not be less than the regular charge for a new service.

O. Advance Payment for Temporary Service. In all cases of temporary service, the department shall collect in advance the minimum charge for one month for the size of meter in use and in no case shall the charge be less than this amount. Temporary services shall be billed at the rate applicable to the current use of the premises.

P. Transfer of Temporary to Permanent Status. Temporary service may be transferred to permanent service status upon payment of system development charges effective as of the date of transfer to permanent status as assessed by VMC 14.04.235.

Q. Existing Service Out of Use. When any existing service line of two inches or less has been out of use for three years or more, the same shall be considered out of service and shall not be used again for water service purposes, unless the department determines that the existing service line is acceptable. (Ord. M-4359 § 1, 2021; Ord. M-4022 § 4, 2012; Ord. M-3755 § 5, 2006; Ord. M-3543, 2004; Ord. M-2486 § 1, 1984; Ord. M-1167 § 5, 1970; Ord. M-810 § 7, 1966; Ord. M-604, 1962; Ord. M-144 § 9, 1954)