Policies - Water
Water Rules and Regulatios - Policy Adopted 06/09/2014
Blue Earth Light and Water (hereafter referred to as BELW) has assembled this guide to assist its customers, prospective customers and their architects, engineers or plumbing contractors in planning for, making arrangements for, obtaining and maintaining municipal water service. The information presented here is intended to supplement the requirements of the Minnesota Plumbing Code Chapter 4715 and all other applicable federal, or state, and municipal codes, regulations, laws and ordinances. It is always necessary to refer to and comply with such other codes, regulations, laws, and ordinances when planning, designing, and installing a new water service. Specific requirements of BELW do not intentionally conflict with any other requirements known to be in effect as of the publication date of this guide. Any apparent conflicts of this nature should be brought to the attention of BELW for interpretation. BELW wishes to serve its customers promptly and satisfactorily. It will endeavor to cooperate with customers and their authorized representatives to the fullest extent in completing service connections with as little delay and inconvenience as possible, and will gladly give special attention to any particularly difficult situation confronting a customer. BELW will be happy to confer with those customers desiring information concerning rates, services, fees, charges, etc., upon request by telephone or otherwise. Such requests should be directed to an BELW Customer Service Representative (at the BELW Main Office, 125 E 7th Street, phone 507.526.2191, or fax 507.525.5510 or online The current Water Service Rules and Regulations are also available at: http://www.BELW.org
SECTION 200 GENERAL INFORMATION
201 Scope and Applicability
201.1 The requirements of this section shall govern the furnishing of water by BELW from the public water main to premises inside and outside the City of Blue Earth.
201.2 Every customer applying for water service or receiving water from the public water main, and/or owner of property for which such application is made or water is received, shall be deemed by such application or use, to consent to abide by all the rules and regulations established and to all material/construction requirements and modifications described herein.
The property owner is responsible for the cost of installing a water service. The property owner owns the water service from the curb box (water shut off) to the facility/house, and is responsible for its repair, maintenance or replacement. BELW will not be responsible for cost associated for repair or maintenance on the property owned service line.
BELW maintains ownership and is responsible for the curb box and the water line from the curb box to the water main.
203 Private Well
Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following words and terms shall have the meaning set forth below: A. Person shall mean any natural person, or partnership, or association, private or public corporation. B. Private water supply system shall mean a system owned and operated by a person for collection and delivery of piped water for human consumption into commercial, industrial, or residential buildings or structures. C. Public water and supply system shall mean the City of Blue Earth water supply system.
No person shall build, establish, expand or maintain a private water supply system within the City of Blue Earth. Unless there shall be no public water supply system within three-hundred (300) feet from the point on property of such person which is nearest the public water supply system any associated action will require the verification from BELW
204 Temporary Interruption of Service
BELW reserves the right to interrupt the flow of water within the distribution system to any premises at any time to facilitate system improvements, repairs, testing and connections, to ensure adequate fire flows or for any other good cause. BELW will attempt to furnish an uninterrupted supply of water to all customers. BELW, or a designated representative, will attempt to notify customers in advance by telephone, letter or doorknocker of any planned (non-emergency) interruption in their water service.
205 Termination of Service
205.1 Water service provided to a premises may be terminated, upon the giving of written notice, for the following reasons:
(1) The customer or owner of the premises served, or any person working on any pipes or equipment thereon which are connected with the public water main, has violated any of these rules relative to the water supply system or connections with it.
(2) The customer or owner of the premises served has threatened to violate or cause to be violated any of the provisions of these rules including, but not limited to, installation of backflow preventers where required at meters and/or elsewhere.
(3) Any unpaid water service charge or other financial obligation imposed by the provisions of these rules.
(4) Fraud or misrepresentation by the owner or customer in connection with an application for service.
(5) Unauthorized use of water during a declared water shortage.
(6) Unauthorized use of fire hydrants or fire protection systems.
(7) Denial of access to a water service line, backflow preventer or water meter.
205.2 Form of Notice
A notice of intent to terminate water service for a reason set forth in Section 203.1 above will be mailed to the person in whose name the service has been provided, at the address of record maintained for billing purposes. Service of the notice will be considered complete on depositing the same in the United States mail, properly addressed, with first class postage prepaid.
206 Emergency Interruption of Service
In the event an immediate interruption of water service to a premises is required to protect the public health, safety or welfare, public property or the property of others, or to protect the water distribution system or any of its parts from destruction or damage, BELW may do so without prior notice and without a hearing.
207 Water Supply Shortages
Whenever BELW determines a water supply shortage exists, BELW will take necessary actions to alleviate the situation. Customers will be notified of a declared shortage and of any actions required of them through the use of the news media or other appropriate methods.
An appeal procedure has been established to hear disputes regarding interpretations of these Rules. Appeals will be heard by the Utility Board which has the final authority in disputes.
209 Revisions of Requirements
All requirements stated or implied herein are subject to change at any time without prior notice. Any such revisions will be available at the BELW Main Office.
SECTION 300 RATES
301 Rates Copies of the current Water Rate Schedule (Rate Schedule) established by the Utility Board are available at the BELW Main Office and on the BELW web site (www.BELW.org). 302 Miscellaneous Fees and Charges
302.1 Equipment and labor furnished by BELW and determined to be a customer’s responsibility will be invoiced in accordance with the current BELW fee schedule. Material furnished by BELW and determined to be a customer’s responsibility will be invoiced at inventory cost plus the current overhead rate.
302.2 The BELW Miscellaneous Fee Schedule has been established for commonly provided services (such as water main tapping, frozen meter replacement, and hydrant meter rental), and for unauthorized water use. A copy of this schedule is available at the BELW Main Office.
SECTION 400 WATER SERVICE
401 Responsibility/Ownership The property owner is responsible for the cost of installing a water service. The property owner owns the water service from the curb box (water shut off) to the facility/house, and is responsible for its repair, maintenance or replacement. BELW will not be responsible for cost associated for repair or maintenance on the property owned service line. BELW maintains ownership and is responsible for the curb box and the water line from the curb box to the water main.
402 Installation (depth) Water service installations shall conform to the current version of the Minnesota Plumbing Code Chapter 4715 as adopted by BELW and the requirements of these Rules. All customer owned service lines shall maintain a depth of 78 inches from curb stop to the physical location of the customer as adopted by BELW Board of Public Works. All new water service line installations will be inspected prior to being connected to the water main
403 Access BELW and the Building and Safety Department shall have the right to access the served premises at all reasonable times for inspection, maintenance and operation of any water service component. 404 Single Family Residences Each single family residence shall have a properly sized, individual water service line with a readily accessible curb valve box (shut off) located exterior to the building. No part of an individual water service shall cross another lot line or pass under or through another dwelling unit. 405 Distinct Service Connection Unless special written permission is granted by the Water Superintendent and General Manager, each premises shall have a separate and distinct service connection consisting of an individual service line and separate curb box for each premises, and where permission is granted for branch systems, each branch system shall have its own separate meter and separate curb stop. The supply of water through each separate service must be recorded by 1 meter only, for which only 1 account will be rendered by BELW. If additional or auxiliary meters are desired for recording the subdivision of supply, they must be furnished and set by the owner or consumer at his or her expense and he or she must assume all responsibility for reading and maintaining the same. 406 Residential Multiple-Unit Buildings Whenever a building with two or more units is constructed, and the individual units and underlying property are to be under individual ownership, each unit shall have a separate, properly sized, individual water service line with a readily accessible curb valve located exterior to the building. No part of the individual water service shall pass under or through another unit or lot. However, multiple residential units having common ownership of the property around the units may be served by a properly sized, master water service line extending from the water main to the individual water services and curb valves. In such cases, a homeowners’ association shall be responsible for maintenance and repair of the common service line.
SECTION 500 WATER METERS AND METERING
501 Multiple Unit Installations Whenever a multiple unit residential, commercial or industrial building is to be constructed and served by the City water system, the owner shall submit to BELW for approval a set of drawings showing the proposed water service(s) and a plumbing schematic for the building and a tabulation of the plumbing fixture units to be installed. 502 Meter Ownership All Water meters and metering-related equipment used for water billing will be furnished, owned and maintained by BELW. 503 Meter Access 503.1 BELW shall have the right to access the served premises at all reasonable times to install, read, inspect, maintain or remove any water meter or metering-related equipment. If a customer denies BELW reasonable access to a water meter or metering-related equipment, water service may be terminated until access is gained. 503.2 If a customer does not furnish a protected, suitable location for a meter, BELW may refuse connection of the premises to the City water system. 504 Meter Installation (Location and Number) (1) In a single-family residence and residential multiple-unit buildings where the individual units and underlying property are to be under individual ownership, the meter shall be installed in the residence/unit being served. (2) Water meters installed to serve manufactured homes with an unheated crawlspace, or structures of a temporary nature shall be installed as shown in Exhibit B. 505 Remote Registers BELW is phasing out remote registers. However, a remote register shall be maintained for each water meter a ta premises until BELW furnishes a meter with an ERT for automatic water meter reading. The remote register shall be maintained adjacent to the electric meter. If an existing electric meter is relocated, BELW will install an ERT and remove the remote register. 506 Maintenance, Repairs and Replacements BELW maintains all water meters used to determine BELW water billings. Any repair expense caused by actions, neglect or carelessness of the owner or occupant of a premises will be charged to either the customer or the owner of the premises. 507 Meter Testing 507.1 BELW will test a meter at the request of a customer. If the meter is determined to accurately measure or under-register, BELW may charge the customer for the meter test. 507.2 Customers who request additional testing of a water meter within a twelve month period will be charged for the meter test in accordance with the BELW Miscellaneous Fee Schedule in effect at the time of the test. This schedule is available at the BELW Main Office. 508 Frozen Meters Customers shall be responsible for protecting water meters from freezing. If a meter freezes, the customer may be required to relocate the meter to a location approved by BELW. For manufactured homes, the meter shall be relocated to the interior of the home. If a meter is damaged by freezing and is replaced, the Frozen Meter Replacement Fee will be charged.
SECTION 600 FIRE HYDRANTS SECTION 600 FIRE HYDRANTS
601 Materials, Locations and Relocations 601.1 Public and private fire hydrant materials and locations shall be approved by BELW 601.2 Fire hydrants may be relocated at the owner's expense and only if approved by BELW. Payment shall be made in advance if BELW relocates the hydrant. The new hydrant location shall be on the property frontage of the owner requesting the relocation. 602 Permits for Private Use 602.1 A temporary hydrant use permit will be issued when, in the opinion of BELW, the private use of a fire hydrant will not unduly jeopardize the rights of the public and when water cannot be conveniently provided from another source. 602.2 A permit will be issued for each hydrant location. The permit shall be carried by the individual using the hydrant and shall be available for inspection by the Fire Department, the Building and Safety Department and BELW. Only BELW employees may install or remove temporary hydrant valves and meters, and the permit holder or his representatives shall not operate the main hydrant valve. . 603 Charges for Hydrant Meter Rental 603.1 A Hydrant Meter Installation Fee and Hydrant Meter Rental Fee will be charged for each permit issued and each subsequent renewal period. Expenses resulting from actions, neglect or carelessness will also be charged to the permit holder.
SECTION 700 PRIVATE FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS
701 Connection to City Water Mains 701.1 Connection of any private exterior or building interior fire protection or extinguishing system to a City water main requires BELW approval. 701.2 Complete plans and specifications for private fire protection systems to be connected to a City water main shall be submitted to the BELW and the Blue Earth Fire Department for review and approval. All such systems shall conform to the latest Minnesota and City plumbing and fire protection codes. 701.3 Private fire hydrants shall be of the same make, model and color as those installed by the Water Utility. Private fire hydrant use is governed by the conditions for fire protection systems set forth in these Rules. A release indemnity agreement will be required for any private fire hydrant not maintained by BELW. 702 Modifications Complete plans and specifications for any modifications or additions to an existing private fire protection or fire extinguishing system connected to a City water main shall be submitted to BELW and the Blue Earth Fire Department for review and approval. No modification or addition to or alteration of the systems shall be made without written permission from BELW. Any such changes shall conform to the latest State and City plumbing and fire protection codes. 703 Release and Indemnification A release indemnity agreement in the form prescribed by the BELW shall be provided at the time of construction for any building where an unmonitored private fire protection or extinguishing system is to be connected to a City water main, or at the time an unmonitored fire protection or extinguishing system is added to such a building. The indemnity agreement shall indemnify and hold the City of Blue Earth and BELW harmless from any and all actions, causes of action, costs, damages, claims and demands to which the City/BELW may be subjected by reason of the connection to or utilization of City water mains. The release indemnity agreement shall be filed with BELW and recorded before permission may be granted hereunder to connect the unmonitored fire protection or fire extinguishing system to a City water main. 704 Metering of Fire Service The owner of a premises protected by a private fire protection system connected to a public water main shall, if directed to do so by BELW, install a meter (furnished by BELW) on the fire service at the property owner's expense. 705 Unauthorized Fire Service Use If water from a fire service is being wasted or used for purposes other than fire protection, the owner or occupant will be notified and a charge may be made for the estimated amount of water so used. If such improper conditions are not corrected within ten (10) days, the water service may be terminated until proper corrections are made.
SECTION 800 IRRIGATION SYSTEMS
801 Metering and Backflow Prevention 801.1 Service and Meter Customers have the option of taking the water supply for an irrigation system from the water service before the customer's main water meter and separately metering irrigation water usage. The meter installation shall comply with Section 500. 801.2 Backflow Prevention A reduced pressure backflow preventer or vacuum breaker shall be installed on all new and existing irrigation systems as required by the Minnesota Plumbing Code. 802 Yard Hydrant Installations Yard hydrants shall be metered and provided with an appropriate backflow preventer. A yard hydrant installation shall be similar to Exhibit E in order to provide a means of removing water subject to freezing from the service line. Installation of freeze-proof hydrants with bottom drains is not permitted. Yard hydrants are expected to be seasonal in use, and the meter and backflow preventer shall be removed and the curb valve shut off at the end of each watering season.
SECTION 900 CROSS CONNECTIONS
901 Rules/Codes The most recent edition of the Cross Connection Control Manual published by the Foundation for Cross Connection Control and Hydraulics Research, and the Section of the Minnesota Plumbing Code Chapter 4715 dealing with “Protection of Potable Water Supply” are adopted for these Rules. The Minnesota Plumbing Code shall take precedence where any conflict occurs. 902 Backflow/Cross Connection Prevention 902.1 No private well shall be connected to any BELW residential or commercial customer house piping. Wells located within buildings to be connected to the City water system must be sealed and abandoned within 90 days of connection to the City water system hereafter. 902.2 Any industrial water customer also served by a private well shall install a reduced pressure backflow preventer at the owner's cost immediately downstream from the BELW water meter, and shall provide written proof to BELW of the installation and annual inspection of the backflow preventer by a licensed plumber possessing a Minnesota backflow preventer maintenance certificate. 902.3 Any customer whose operations are determined by BELW to constitute a potential for the occurrence of a cross connection or backflow shall install and maintain an appropriate backflow preventer, and shall provide written proof to BELW of the installation and annual inspection of the backflow preventer by a licensed plumber possessing a Minnesota backflow preventer maintenance certificate. 902.4 When private use of a fire hydrant is authorized by BELW, the Hydrant Use Permit holder shall install a suitable backflow preventer to protect the municipal water distribution system. 903 Access BELW and the Building and Safety Department shall have the right to access the served premises at all reasonable times for inspection of backflow preventer devices.
SECTION 1000 METER READING
1001 Meter Reading Frequency BELW will attempt to read all water meters on a monthly basis and will make a reasonable effort to verify meter readings a minimum of once each year. 1002 Final Readings For the purpose of issuing a final bill, BELW will make a final reading of the customer's meter or outside remote register. Where a remote register is in use, BELW will use the remote register reading if it has been verified within the past year. 1003 Billing Adjustments for Defective Meters If a water meter is determined to be stopped or not accurately measuring water use, the amount billed will be corrected based on BELW Board Policy Statement “Adjustment of Electric and Water Bills” which is available at the BELW Main Office. 1004 Defective Remote Registers In the event of failure or malfunctioning of a remote register, a customer's bill will be adjusted based on the inside meter reading.
The water service is the supply line that carries water across the customer's property from the supply of BELW. The service is installed, owned and paid for by the customer. The service includes the corp or tap at the water main, the curb stop and all line in between.
BELW maintains the water service from tap to curbstop after the initial intallation by the customer. The customer may be required to install and pay for a new service when BELW installs new watermain or significantly improves the water supply associated with the service.
The water supply is the water main. It is owned, operated, maintained and paid for by BELW.
Water Service Outside of City Limits - Policy Adopted 06/09/2003
The Board of Public Works will make a determination on a case by case basis if a connection to the water system will be allowed. In all cases, connections will be of size and distance to meet industry and good practice standards. No single connection may run more than 300 feet before requiring a system main extension.
Cost of Service
All cost of the connection, if approved, will be paid for the by customer including any studies or engineering cost.