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A. Trespass. Any person or persons found trespassing upon the watershed, polluting the water, damaging or attempting to sabotage or destroy any reservoir, tank pump, pump house, pipeline, treatment plant, or any other property of the department shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter.
B. Cross Connections. No person shall connect in any manner any fire pump or other apparatus drawing from any other water supply or carrying any foreign liquid or material to any main or pipe connected to the city water system even though such connection may be protected to some extent by check valves or closed gate valves, except in conformity with VMC 14.04.155. Particular attention is called to the danger of pollution from ice machines, compressors, sewage pumps and other apparatus causing pressures higher than those in the system. Any customer having or making any such cross connection shall immediately remove it and pay the department all costs, direct and consequential, incurred because of the connection. The existence of any cross connection, whether open or not, shall be deemed cause to hold the customer solely responsible and liable for any and all expense, claims, or suits and damages, either direct or resultant, that could in any possible manner have been caused by such cross connection.
C. Authority to Disconnect. The department shall have the right to shut off the supply of water whenever it is necessary to make repairs, improvements, enforce rules or for any operating reason. In all such cases, reasonable previous notice will be given to consumers, except in emergencies, shut off to prevent damage to plumbing. The department shall be responsible for closing at the meter all service lines which are affected by a shut-down to preclude drainage of water from tanks. The necessary work will be done as rapidly as practicable and whenever feasible, at times which will cause the least inconvenience. The department shall not be held responsible or liable for any direct or resultant damage to any person, company or consumer or to any pipe, fixture or plumbing caused by cessation of supply or reduced or insufficient pressure.
D. Dangerous Industrial Uses. Water for steam boilers, gas engines, ice plants or other industrial use involving possible danger will not be furnished by direct pressure from the mains.
E. Defective Customer Equipment. The department shall have the right to refuse water service or to discontinue water service without notice at any time to any customer upon finding any apparatus or appliances, the operation of which will be detrimental to the water system or an annoyance to any or all of its customers. Standpipes, hydrants, gate valves or any other apparatus or equipment that causes water-hammer or any danger to the water system or other customer’s plumbing shall be immediately repaired or removed upon notice from the department.
F. Liability for Damage. The customer shall be responsible for and pay for any damage to meter, meter boxes, seals, curb stops, yokes, pipe, and other appliances belonging to the department caused by any unauthorized use, carelessness or neglect by the customer.
G. Unauthorized Alteration of Equipment. The department shall, under all circumstances and conditions, exercise through its authorized employee, full authority and complete jurisdiction over the entire water system. No one other than an authorized employee of the department shall remove, relocate, turn off, turn on, test, regulate, repair, damage, or otherwise molest or alter any meter, curb stop, yoke, valve, or other property of the department. Any person so doing shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter and subject to amounts assessed under VMC Title 22.
H. Department Access. The department shall have access to all portions of the premises of the consumer at any reasonable time for inspection of the use of water and the customer’s pipe, fixtures, plumbing and any other apparatus, in any manner connected with the city water system. The department shall have the right and option to demand termination of use or to require any repair, change, removal or improvement of any pipe, fixture, plumbing or other apparatus that will in the opinion of its engineer in any manner affect the water supply or water system or the supply or fixtures of other consumers.
I. Noncompliance. If any customer fails to comply with any of the rules and regulations in force the department shall give notice of such failure. If the customer does not comply as the rules provide and within reasonable time, the department shall have the right to shut off the water and collect the scheduled charge for restoration of service or to remove the meter and make the same charge for resetting as if the meter were removed at the customer’s request. Any person who fails to comply with any of the rules and regulations in force consistent with this chapter shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter.
J. Tampering with Fire Hydrants. It shall be a violation of this chapter for any person other than an employee of the department or the city fire department to operate, alter, change, remove, disconnect, connect with, or interfere or attempt to interfere in any manner with any fire hydrant owned or used by the city without first obtaining a permit from the department.
K. Unlawful to Turn on Water Without Authority or After Shut Off for Nonpayment. Subject to the provisions contained in VMC 14.04.191 through 14.04.196, if water is shut off for nonpayment and is subsequently turned on by any water customer or other person without authority from the department and any outstanding bill for prior water service charges remains unpaid, the department may then stop water service by either shutting off the water at the main, by removing the meter, or by any other appropriate method. The charge for stopping water service by any other method and the charge for subsequent restoring of the water service shall be as set forth in this title. All such charges shall be charged to the customer or such other person and when the delinquent customer and/or such other person occupies the premises, water shall not again be furnished to the premises until the charges have been paid. The remedies and charges set forth in this section shall be in addition to and not in lieu of amounts assessed under VMC Title 22.
L. Unauthorized use of water. If any person makes or lays or installs any pipe or pipes or connections thereto or makes or breaks any connection to any meter or breaks any seal attached to any meter or seal or reseals any meter with the purpose or intent of obtaining water without paying the just charges for the same, the department shall forthwith, upon becoming aware of the fact, have the authority to shut off and stop the entire supply to the premises affected without prejudice to its right to collect any and all charges due for water legally or illegally or properly or improperly theretofore obtained or delivered. Such authority shall include the right to shut off the water supply serving the premises in any public street or right-of-way and charge the costs of labor and materials to such person or customer or to both. If the improper connection is on public property, the department will make the necessary changes, removals or repairs, but if on private property, the customer shall do the work directed immediately upon demand. The customer having had such unauthorized supply shall pay on an estimated basis for the water used for the period during which such unauthorized service may have been obtained. The department’s estimate of charges due shall be deemed conclusive unless rebutted by the customer by clear and convincing evidence. The customer shall also pay all costs for labor and material used in removing the unlawful connections wherever found and in restoring the service line and meter to perfect conditions and all this work must be done and the cost thereof must be paid before service may be restored. Violation of any provisions of this subsection and failure to pay for all costs incurred shall constitute a violation of this title.
M. Sharing or selling water to another. No person shall sell or permit any person or persons to carry water from, or to connect to any water pipe or hose heading from the customer’s piping, whether on the same premises or adjoining property unless such person first obtain written permission or approval from the department. Where such use has been made the customer shall discontinue the practice on demand and pay for all charges and use as estimated to be reasonable by the department. Any person so doing shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter.
N. Access to and Obstruction of Meters, Hydrants, Manholes, and Easements.
1. No material or obstruction shall be placed on or over the meter box at any time regardless of whether the box is installed on public or private land.
2. No vegetation will be allowed to overgrow a meter box. Vegetation will be trimmed at the department’s discretion within an area that is two feet horizontal and five feet vertical of the meter box.
3. No person shall open, enter into, place, or allow anything to be placed in a manhole of the city’s sanitary sewer system without written approval from the director.
4. No person shall damage, obstruct or cover a manhole of the city’s sanitary sewer system.
5. No person shall plant trees, shrubs, or other plants within a water or sewer easement or obstructing a meter without prior written approval from the director.
6. No person shall place any part of a structure or any permanent equipment within a water or sewer easement or obstructing a meter without prior written approval from the director. Prohibited structures include buildings, houses, decks, garages, tool or storage sheds, swimming pools, walls, and fences. Prohibited permanent equipment includes air conditioning units and heat pumps. (Ord. M-4359 § 1, 2021; Ord. M-4022 § 7, 2012; Ord. M-3755 § 7, 2006; Ord. M-3029 § 4, 1992; Ord. M-898 § 1, 1967; Ord. M-810 § 8, 1966; Ord. M-144 § 13, 1954)