ORDINANCE No. 2.23
AN ORDINANCE REGULATING THE DISTRIBUTION AND SUPPLYING OF
WATER TO THE INHABITANTS OF THE CITY OF CRYSTAL FALLS.
THE CITY OF CRYSTAL FALLS HEREBY ORDAINS:
SECTION 1. TITLE
This Ordinance shall be known as and may be cited as the "Water System
Ordinance" of the CITY OF CRYSTAL FALLS.
SECTION 2. WATER SUPERINTENDENT
The City Manager may appoint a "Water Superintendent"
of the City, whose duties shall be to have charge of the water system and the
distribution and supplying of water to the inhabitants of the City. The Water
Superintendent shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the City
and may have other duties as well as being Water Department Superintendent.
SECTION 3. DEFINITIONS
For the purpose of this ordinance, the following definitions
shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different
- Consumer. Any individual, firm, partnership, trust, joint venture,
limited liability company, legal entity or corporation with a premises on
which water is available, used or consumed; or an individual, firm,
partnership, trust, joint venture, limited liability company, legal entity
or corporation leasing or permitting occupancy of a premises on which water
is available, used or consumed.
- Water Connection. That part of the water distribution system
connecting the water main with a point between the roadway (or easement)
line and the lot line of abutting property (also known as the curb stop).
- Water Main. That part of the water distribution system intended to
serve more than one water connection.
- Water Service. That part of the water distribution system extending
from the water connection into the premises served.
- Water Service Contract. The written agreement providing the City
shall provide water connection, water service and water for usage by the
consumer in consideration of the payment by the consumer for
applicable fees due in the providing any water connections or water service
SECTION 4. REQUIRED USE OF PUBLIC WATER
- All houses, buildings or properties using water for human consumption
situated within the City abutting on any streets, alley or right-of-way in
which there is now located, or may in the future be located, public water
service, are hereby required at the expense of the owner to connect to such
public water service in accordance with the provisions of this ordinance
within ninety (90) days, provided that said public water service to such
parcel of real estate is within 250 feet of the water main.
- On-site private water sources shall be allowed for all consumers who do not
have public water service within 250 feet of the shortest distance from
property line of the consumer to the water connection of the public water
system and who have all permits for such service from the applicable county,
state and/or federal authorities.
SECTION 5. INSTALLATIONS AND EXTENSIONS
- Water Connections by City. Water connections to the City water main
shall be installed only by the City. Water service installation shall be made
by a plumber/contractor who is licensed to do such work or by the consumer
after approval or designation by the Water Superintendent. The fees for
providing water connection shall be billed to the consumer hereof at the set
rates incurred by the City for time, materials, and equipment. A deposit of
not less than 75% of the estimated cost shall be provided by the consumer to
the City in advance of such activities occurring. A reconciliation of actual
charges, with a refund for overpayment or an invoice for underpayment shall be
provided by the City to the consumer.
- Paving of Streets. All necessary water connections shall be installed in
advance of the paving or resurfacing of any street or alley or any part thereof,
when such paving or resurfacing shall have been determined as a necessity by the
City of Crystal Falls. The fees for subsequent paving and resurfacing cost shall
be charged against the consumer served.
- Application by Owners. Property owners in the City who wish to have
water connections made to the property owned by them may have such connections
made if the water main shall extend to within 250 feet of the property to be
served, on making application thereof, and on agreeing to pay in advance a
deposit of 75% of the total of the making of such connection as fixed by the
- Large Connections. Consumers in the City who wish to have water
connections which are larger than one inch shall be entitled to have such
connections made if the property owned by them is within 250 feet of any water
main, on entering into a contract with the City of like kind and character as
the water service contract defined in Section 3(e) and which is of like kind and
character as provided in (c) above.
- Approval of materials. No water connections or water meters shall be
attached to a water extension unless, prior to any work, service line sizing and
materials to be used are approved by the Water Superintendent or
- Inspection by Superintendent. No water main, connection, or water
service shall be covered until inspected and approved by the Water
Superintendent or his/her employees who shall be notified when such construction
is ready for inspection.
SECTION 6. TURNING ON OR OFF SERVICE
- No person other than an authorized employee of the City shall turn on or
off any water service.
- A licensed plumber may temporarily turn on a water service only for
testing his/her own work and after such testing, the water service shall be
immediately turned off.
- SECTION 7. WATER METERS
- Meters. Consumers to which water is supplied are required to be
metered. The City may require that the consumer purchase the meter, but the
meter shall remain the property and under the control of the City. Not more
than a single family residential premises shall be served by one meter
unless the Water Superintendent has approved in advance multiple single
family residential units to be served by one meter, in which case each
occupied unit will be charged at least the minimum monthly charges as set by
the City Council. Each premise so metered shall have its own separate water
supply line shutoff valve in the street or alley.
- Locations. Meters shall be located at the point where the water
service first enters the basement wall. Where there is no basement, the meter
shall be located where the water service first enters the building or in a
meter pit between the curb and the sidewalk, if the Water Superintendent deems
it necessary. Such pits shall be constructed by or at the expense of the
consumer, in conformity with standard plans on file at the City. The
construction shall be approved by the Water Superintendent.
- Inaccessible Locations. Meters shall not be set in inaccessible
locations nor enclosed unless written permission is obtained from the Water
Superintendent. If a meter is inaccessible or enclosed, making maintenance
and reading difficult or impossible, the Water Superintendent may order the
consumer to move the meter to an accessible location. Any cost of re-
location shall be at the expense of the water consumer, and such expense may
be added to the charge for water usage.
- Valves. The water service shall be provided with a valve on both
sides of each meter. No fittings, except a coupler or union, shall be placed
between a meter and a curb stop. These valves shall be a full port ball
valve or other as approved by the Water Superintendent.
- Damage to Meters and Meter Reading Equipment. Consumers or persons
in possession of premises housing a meter shall be responsible for damages
to a meter by heat, frost or other causes not controlled by the City. The
cost of damages to the meter and meter reading equipment shall be
immediately due to the City by the consumer or persons in possession of such
- Seals on Meters. Only authorized employees of the City shall break a
seal on a meter or meter bypass.
- Reading, Repairing and Removing. Authorized City employees shall
have the right to enter any premises on which City water is used to inspect,
adjust, read, repair or remove water meters or appurtenances in connection
with said water meters at any reasonable time. Any consumer, as defined
above, specifically authorizes such entry.
- Electrical Grounding. No person shall ground or electrically connect
any radio, telephone or other electrical system to the discharge side of any
water meter unless:
1. A shunt is placed around the water meter that it will bypass any
electrical current so connected, or
- At least ten feet or more of metal water pipe is connected to and
buried in moist earth on the discharge side, and
- Any shunt placed around the water meter shall be so placed that the
meter may be removed without disturbing the shunt. No electrical
connection shall be made to the water meter, the meter union or meter
i. Alterations or Changes. No person shall change the location
of a meter or meter pit, alter the ground so that it will cover up or create a
hazard around the meter pit or stop box or in any way obstruct the free access
to any water meter, meter pit, or stop box without the written permission of
the Water Superintendent.
- j. Meter Bypass. Meters two inches or larger shall have a meter
bypass installed with proper gate valves that can be sealed by the City.
- k. Meter Spacer Pipes. Only authorized City employees shall be
allowed to install meter spacer pipes.
SECTION 8. RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR WATER METERS
- Failure of Meter. In the event a water meter shall fail to register
properly, the Water Superintendent is empowered to estimate the quantity of
water used on the basis of former consumption and the City shall charge any
- Test by Consumer. If any consumer shall desire to have his/her water
meter tested, he/she shall deposit with the Water Superintendent a fee as
determined by the City. The Water Superintendent shall thereupon cause the meter
to be tested, with the consumer present at the test.
- Test by Superintendent. If the Water Superintendent wishes to
independently test the water meter the Water Superintendent, his/her
representative is empowered to test the meter in the absence of the consumer.
- Accuracy of meter. A water meter shall be considered accurate if, when
subjected to a standard test by the Water Superintendent, its register indicates
not more that 2 percent less than the actual quantity of water
passing through it. If it indicates less than the actual quantity passing
through it, it shall be considered "slow". If the water meter register
indicates more than the actual quantity of water passing through it, it shall be
- Correction of Account. If a water meter has been tested at the request
of a consumer and shall have been determined to register "fast", the
City shall credit the consumer with a sum equal to the percent
"fast" multiplied by the amount of all bills incurred by said consumer
within three months prior to the test together with a refund of the consumer
meter testing charge. If a water meter is so tested and it is determined to
register "slow", the City is empowered to charge the consumer a sum
equal to the percent "slow" multiplied by the amount of all the bills
incurred by the consumer over the prior three months. When the Water
Superintendent makes a test of a water meter at the instigation of the Water
Superintendent, it shall be done without cost to the consumer, other than for
the amount due the City for water used by the Water Superintendent as above
provided if the meter is found to be "slow".
- Records Regarding Meters. A record of the date when each water meter was
furnished to the consumer, its number and location shall be kept in the office
of the Water Superintendent.
SECTION 9. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
- Responsibilities of Consumer. Each consumer shall keep his/her own
service pipe, stop cocks, and other apparatus in good repair and protected
from frost at his/her own expense, and shall prevent all unnecessary waste of
water. No claim shall be made against the City by reason of a freezing or
breaking of any service pipes, stop cocks, or their apparatus, and the
consumer shall provide a safe place for all water meters, which place shall
reasonably protect said meters from damage, jarring, freezing, excessive heat,
or other outside interference of every kind.
b. Leaking water service line repair. Upon the discovery
of a leaking water service line to a property the consumer will be given a
maximum of three (3) days, unless otherwise approved by the Water
Superintendent, to repair said service line. Failure to repair the leak will
result in discontinued service to that property pending the repair of the line.
- Water Service Line. The consumer shall only use suitable copper or
approved plastic material as set by the Water Superintendent for a water service
- Lawn Sprinkling Systems. All under-ground lawn sprinkling systems must
have an anti-siphon breaker installed at least three feet (3) above the highest
- Physical Connections. No physical connections shall be installed or
maintained between lines carrying potable public water supplies and pipes, pumps
or tanks supplied or capable of being supplied from any non-
potable source, except as hereinafter provided. Where dual supplies are
necessary or desirous, lines carrying water from the public must be protected
against back flow of polluted water by such method or methods as are approved by
the Public Health Department for the State of Michigan.
- Fast-closing Valves. All fast-closing valves must be compensated by
- Hydrant Usage. Hydrant usage other than that of the City of Crystal
Falls or for fire protection is prohibited.
SECTION 10. RATES AND COLLECTION PROCEDURES
The City Council shall establish rates for the consumers of the
public water service. The rates established shall provide that the consumers of
the public water service shall pay all costs to operate the public water service
and generate adequate retained earnings for the Water fund.
The rates established shall include at a minimum for the
consideration of the following expenses in establishing rates for the consumers
of public water service:
- Debt Service;
- Operation, maintenance and Repair;
- Minimum monthly charge for users;
- Turn on charge;
- Temporary water service;
- Base rates for installation services;
- Late payment and Interest charges;
- Security Deposit requirements; and
- Consumer meter testing charge.
Any consumer with public water service charges that are not paid
within sixty (60) days of original due date, shall have such water service to
the premises discontinued until all outstanding water service charges are paid
in full to the City Clerk/Treasurer.
All public water service charges for the use of service and all
associated costs thereto shall be lien on all parcels served by the public water
in the City and are recognized to constitute such lien as permitted by MCL
141.101 et seq and all other applicable Michigan laws.
Whenever such charge against any piece of property shall be
delinquent for six (6) months, the official or officials in charge of the
collection thereof shall certify to the tax assessing officials of the City the
fact of such delinquency. Such charge shall be entered upon the next tax roll as
a charge against such premises and shall be collected as a lien thereof and
enforced in the same manner as all taxes against such premises are collected and
the lien thereof enforced. Provided, however, in all cases where a tenant is
responsible for payment of any such charges, the owner of the premises served
shall serve notice to the city Manager that a tenant is responsible for such
charge. The owner of the premises served shall be liable for all charges against
the premises in the same manner and to the same extent as if the owner of such
premises was personally occupying the premises served. Upon the filing of such
notice, the city shall render no further services to such premises until a cash
deposit in the amount of the projected billing for not less than a one (1) month
period, nor more than a three (3) month period is received, said determination
of deposit to be solely in the discretion of the City.
SECTION 11. DAMAGE OR TAMPERING WITH WATER FACILITIES
No person shall maliciously, willfully or negligently break,
damage, destroy, uncover, deface or tamper with any structure, public water
services or public water facilities.
SECTION 12. VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES
a. Written Notice of Violation. Any person found to be
violating any provisions of this Ordinance, except for a Section 11 violation,
shall be served by the Water Superintendent with a written notice stating the
nature of the violation and providing a reasonable time for the satisfactory
correction thereof. The offender shall, within the period of time stated in such
notice, permanently cease all violations. The ceasing of violation will not
absolve the violator of liability for any violation occurring prior to such
b. Accidental Discharge. Any person found to be
responsible for accidentally allowing a deleterious discharge into the public
water service system which causes damage to the facility and/or supply of body
of water shall, in addition to a fine, pay the amount to cover damages as
reasonable established by the City.
c. Penalty for Violations. Any person that shall violate
this Ordinance, shall upon conviction thereof, be guilty of a civil infraction
and punished by a civil fine of not to exceed $500.00, together with restitution
for damages and necessary costs of prosecution incurred in bringing and
maintaining the proceedings. In the event the person found violating ions of
this ordinance, has been convicted of one or
more violations of this ordinance within the immediately preceding 120 month
period, then the subsequent violation of the provisions of this ordinance shall
upon conviction be punished by a fine not to exceed $500.00 or by imprisonment
not to exceed 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment, together with the
necessary costs of prosecution incurred in bringing and maintaining the
proceedings. Each day in which any continuing violation is continued beyond the
aforementioned notice time limit shall be deemed a separate offense.
- Liability for Losses. Any person violating any provision of this
Ordinance shall be liable to the City for any expenses, loss or damage
occasioned by reason of such violation which the City may suffer as a result
- Enforcement Official. The Water Superintendent or the designee
thereof is designated and authorized to undertake all actions necessary for
the enforcement of this Ordinance.
SECTION 13. ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS - BOARD OF APPEALS
a. So provisions of this Ordinance may be reasonably applied
and substantial justice done in instances where unnecessary hardship would
result from carrying out the strict letter of these sections, the City
Council shall serve as a Water Board of Appeals. The duty of such Council
shall be to consider appeals from the decision of the Water Superintendent
determine, in particular cases, whether any deviation from strict
enforcement will violate the intent of the order or jeopardize the public
health or safety.
b. An informal hearing before the Water Superintendent may be requested in
writing by any user aggrieved by any citation, order, charge, fee, surcharge,
penalty, penalty or action within ten days after the date thereof, stating the
reasons therefore with supporting documents and data. The informal hearing shall
be scheduled at the earliest practicable date, but not later than five (5) days
after receipt of the request, unless extended by mutual written agreement. The
hearing shall be conducted at a place designated by the Water Superintendent.
- c. Appeals from orders of the Water Superintendent may be made to the
City Council, acting as a Water Board of Appeals, within thirty (30) days
from the date of any citation, order, charge, fee surcharge, penalty or
other action. Such appeal may be taken by any person aggrieved. The
appellant shall file a Notice of Appeal with the Water Superintendent and
with the Board of Appeals specifying the ground therefore. Prior to a
hearing, the Water Superintendent shall transmit to the Board a summary
report of all previous actions taken. The final disposition of the appeal
shall be in the form of a resolution, either by reversing, modifying, or
affirming, in whole or in part, the appealed decision or determination. In
order to find for the appellant, a majority of the Board must concur.
The Water Board of Appeals shall fix a reasonable time for the
hearing of the appeal, give due notice thereof to interested parties, and decide
the same within a reasonable time. Within the limits or its jurisdiction, the
Board may reverse or affirm, in whole or in part, or any make such order,
requirements, decision or determination as, in its opinion, ought to be made in
the case under consideration, and to that end have all the powers of the
official from who said appeal is taken. The decision of said Board shall be
The Water Board of Appeals shall meet at such times as the Board
may determine. Meetings shall be open to the public accordance with applicable
laws. The Board shall adopt its own rules or procedure and keep a record of its
proceedings, showing findings of fact, the action of the Board, and the vote of
each member upon each questions considered. The presence of three (3) members
shall be necessary to constitute a quorum.
The Board of Appeals may prescribe the sending of notice of such
persons as it deems to be interested in any hearing by the Board.
d. All charges for service, penalties, fees or surcharges
outstanding during any appeal process shall be due and payable to the City. Upon
resolution of any appeal, the City shall adjust such amounts accordingly;
however, such adjustments shall be limited to the previous one year’s billing
unless otherwise directed by court order.
e. If an informal or formal hearing is not demanded within the
periods specified herein, such administrative action shall be deemed final.
In the event either or both such hearings are demanded, the action shall be
suspended until a final determination has been made, except to Immediate Cease
and Desist Orders issued pursuant to this Section.
f. Appeals from the determination of the Water Board of Appeals
may be made to the Circuit Court for the County of Iron within twenty (20) days
as provided by law. Such appeals shall be governed procedurally by the
Administrative Procedures Act Being MCL 24.201 et seq. All findings of fact, if
supported by the evidence, made by the Board shall be conclusive upon the Court.
SECTION 14. CITY WATER EXPENSE
a. Hydrant Fee. For fire protection and other use of water through
fire hydrants, the City shall pay out of its appropriate funds a fee per year
for each hydrant, payable in annual installments.
b. Payment by Department. The City shall not permit free
water service to be supplied by the system to the City or any department or
agency thereof, or to any person, firm, partnership, co-partnership, or
corporation whether public, or private or to any public agency or
instrumentality. The reasonable cost and value of all water services rendered to
the City and its various department revenues of the system, and shall be applied
in the manner herein provided for the application of the revenues of the system.
SECTION 15. LIABILITY OF CITY
The City shall not be liable to any person for failure or
deficiency in the supply of water to consumers, whether occasioned by shutting
off water for any purpose, including the making of repairs or connections, or
for any other cause.
SECTION 16. WATER SYSTEM
a. Control of System. The extension, improvement,
alteration, repair, and maintenance of the system shall be under the supervision
and control of the City Council and its designated officers and employees. The
City Council may make such rules, orders and regulations as it deems advisable
and necessary to assure the efficient management and operation of the system.
SECTION 17. VALIDITY
a. Repeal of Conflicting Ordinance. All ordinances or
parts of ordinances or regulations or parts of regulations in conflict with this
ordinance are hereby repealed.
b. Invalidation Clause. Invalidity of any section,
clause, sentence or provision in the Ordinance shall not affect the validity of
any other section, clause, sentence, or provision of this Ordinance which can be
given effect without such invalid part of parts.
SECTION 18. EFFECTIVE DATE
This ordinance shall become effective thirty (30) days after
adoption by the City Council as set forth in the City Charter.
Adopted: March 12, 2007
Published: March 21, 2007
Effective: April 11, 2007