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Town of Rock Hall, MD
Kent County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Town of Rock Hall 10-6-1977 by Ord. No. 26. (The provisions of this chapter are derived from Chapter 11 of the former Code of Ordinances of the Town of Rock Hall adopted 10-6-1977 by Ord. No. 26. Subsection D of Section 1105 of this former Chapter 11, concerning the Plumbing Board, was included in a separate chapter; see Chapter 40, Plumbing Board.) Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Plumbing Board — See Ch. 40.
Utilities Board — See Ch. 61.
Building construction — See Ch. 81.
Housing standards and property maintenance — See Ch. 133.
Sewers — See Ch. 184.
Water — See Ch. 220.
A. 
It is the objective of the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall, Maryland, to provide basic and uniform plumbing rules and regulations, establishing reasonable safeguards for sanitation in and adjacent to buildings to protect the public health against the hazards of inadequate or insanitary plumbing installations.
B. 
The provisions of this chapter shall be held to include and govern all work done and materials used:
(1) 
In introducing, extending or maintaining a supply of water or any appurtenances thereof in any building, lot, premises or establishment.
(2) 
In connecting or repairing any system of domestic sewage disposal where the sewage is discharged or proposed to be discharged from any building, lot, premises or establishment into any public sewer or into any pit, box or disposal field or other receptacle or into any natural or artificial watercourse.
(3) 
In ventilating any house sewer or any fixtures or appurtenances connected thereto.
(4) 
In excavating any public or private street, avenue, road, alley, thoroughfare, highway or space for the purpose of connecting any building, lot, premises or establishment with any service pipe, house sewer, public or private sewer or drain or other underground structure and in general.
(5) 
In performing all classes of work usually done by plumbers.
(6) 
Nothing in this chapter, however, shall be construed to mean the repairing of leaks in water pipes, provided that there is no interference thereby with the original design or construction.
Except as specifically set forth in this chapter, the meaning of terms used in this chapter shall be as provided in the Code of the Building Officials and Code Administrators International and the State Plumbing Code, specifically:
HOUSE SEWER
That part of a house connection not less than 10 feet from the inner wall of the building to the point of discharge into the public or private sewer or drain in any street, alley or right-of-way or into a residential sewage disposal plant or other similar receptacle.
HOUSE SOIL LINE
A continuation of the house sewer, extending from a point not less than 10 feet outside the inner wall of the building through or under the foundation walls and as far as the last soil stack, which receives the discharge from all soil stacks and waste pipes within the building and conveys this discharge to the house sewer.
MASTER PLUMBER
A person who holds a master plumber's certificate issued by the authority contained in Article 43 of the Code of Public Local Laws of Maryland, containing his business address, and who represents the industry of plumbing and now engages in or works at the plumbing business on his own account or directs other workmen in this line and who has an established place of business in the State of Maryland other than his residence or the building in which he may be employed. This chapter shall not, however, prevent a master plumber from having his store and dwelling combined, provided that the store fronts on a public thoroughfare and has proper signs displayed and a separate entrance provided.
PRIVATE SEWERS OR PRIVATE DRAINS
The name applied to sewers and drains located in streets, alleys, thoroughfares or rights-of-way but which are not owned by the municipality.
RAINWATER TEACHERS
The pipes that convey rainwater from the roofs of buildings to their points of discharge on the ground or into a storm drain.
SANITARY SEWERAGE SYSTEM
One which conveys only household sewage, industrial or other polluted wastes.
SOIL STACK
Any pipe that receives the discharge from one or more water closets, with or without the discharge from other fixtures, and conveys this discharge to the house soil line.
STORMWATER DRAINAGE SYSTEM OR STORM DRAIN
One which conveys only surface water, stormwater or wastes of a similar nonpolluted character.
VENT PIPE
Any pipe provided to ventilate a plumbing or drainage system and which is the continuation of any soil or waste pipe used to prevent siphonage or back pressure but does not receive the discharge from any fixture or fixtures.
WASTE PIPE
Any pipe which receives the discharge from any fixture except a water closet and conveys the same to the house soil line.
A. 
All plumbing or drainage work shall be under the supervision of the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall, Maryland, who shall issue permits therefor.
(1) 
The Mayor and Council of Rock Hall shall formulate such rules and regulations, not inconsistent with this chapter, as shall be necessary for the public safety.
(2) 
No building operation shall be undertaken unless and until satisfactory evidence shall be furnished to the Mayor and Council that adequate and approved sewerage and a water supply are available or can be provided for said building or structure.
B. 
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all public or private sewers or drains, wherever situated, and all municipal ordinances pertaining to the work herein governed must be complied with. When it is necessary to make connection to any private sewer or drain, permission of the owner of said sewer or drain must be obtained in writing.
(1) 
No person, firm or corporation shall open, tap, repair or close any sewer, public or private, without a proper permit so to do from the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall.
(2) 
No person, firm or corporation shall enter any manhole or any sewer or stormwater drain or appurtenance thereto without a permit so to do from the Mayor and Council.
C. 
All plumbing work done in the Town of Rock Hall, in and about or in connection with any building, must conform to the State of Maryland Plumbing Code, this chapter and the rules and regulations set by the Mayor and Council. In the absence of a regulation contained therein, the Building Code of the Building Officials Conference of America, Inc., shall govern.
It shall be the master plumber's duty to exhibit his certificate of competency as a master plumber to the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall, where he shall be registered in a book provided for that purpose, giving his full name, residence and place of business. It shall be the duty of every such person to display at his or their place of business, in a conspicuous place, a sign with the full registered name or names and the words "registered plumber" or "registered plumbers" in letters not less than two inches in height.
A. 
The use of a cesspool, privy or privy vault as part of a plumbing or drainage system shall be abandoned as soon as possible after a public sewer has been constructed in any street, alley, thoroughfare or right-of-way adjoining the premises in question, and such use shall in all cases be abandoned within the time so set to discontinue such use, stated in a notice so to do from the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall.
B. 
All such vaults and cesspools allowed to be used shall be so constructed that no offensive or injurious odor or gas can escape, either directly or through the fixtures connecting thereto. Every abandoned cesspool shall be emptied, cleaned, disinfected and permanently filled with clean fresh earth; provided, however, that clean ashes or other approved material may be used with permission of the Mayor and Council.
C. 
Every well or cesspool shall be covered with stone or reinforced concrete slab not less than four inches thick and shall be at least 20 feet deep and not less than five feet in diameter and walled up with brick or stone, properly and satisfactorily built. If such wall or cesspool is used as a drop privy, the full length and width of the floor thereof shall be covered with material of a kind and thickness prescribed above. All drop privies shall be watertight, with a minimum of 10 feet in depth.
A. 
No plumbing system, tub, washbowl, sink, water closet, urinal, hot water storage tank for domestic use or other plumbing or drainage fixture shall be installed, altered or removed; no sanitary drainage connection of any kind shall be made; no sewer, house drain, soil pipe, waste pipe, vent pipe or water supply pipe shall be placed, connected, altered or removed in or about any building or structure within the corporate limits of Rock Hall, unless a plumbing permit has been issued for the installation of the final waste pipe connection or connections made directly to the sanitary or stormwater sewers or to branches from the same; provided, however, that the above provisions of this section shall not apply to water piping in high or low pressure steam systems, water piping for steam, hot water and vapor heating systems and automatic sprinkler systems.
(1) 
The Mayor and Council of Rock Hall shall charge an amount as provided in Chapter 102, Fees, for every permit issued which shall authorize the installation of all plumbing work or the replacement of plumbing work in any one building.
[Amended 8-10-1979 by Ord. No. 79-6]
(2) 
The Mayor and Council of Rock Hall shall require a connection charge for every permit issued by it which shall authorize the installation of the house sewer line and the connection of the house sewer line with the sanitary sewerage system.
(3) 
Blank forms of applications shall be furnished by the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall to qualified master plumbers.
(4) 
Applicants for a permit shall be required to give the location and description of the property, including, if applicable, the name of the subdivision, lot number, size of lot and the nature and size of the building or extent of additions or alterations to existing buildings and the method of water supply and sewage disposal and the number and kind of plumbing fixtures and/or appliances connected with the water or sewage systems to be installed, on an application form obtainable at the office of the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall. Said application must be accompanied by a rough sketch showing the size, shape and general location of the owner's property and the location of the existing or proposed building thereon and the water supply and sewage disposal system in existence or proposed.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 184, Sewers, and Ch. 220, Water.
(5) 
All applications must be signed by the owner of the premises or his authorized representative or agent, and his address must be written under his signature.
(6) 
The conditions of such permits must be strictly complied with, and the work shall be done by the registered master plumber to whom the permit shall have been issued or under his supervision and by journeymen in his employ.
(7) 
All plumbers doing work in Rock Hall must be licensed in accordance with the laws of Maryland and must be licensed also by Kent County.
B. 
No person, firm or corporation carrying on the plumbing business shall allow his, their or its name to be used by any other person, firm or corporation, directly or indirectly, either to obtain a permit or permits, send in notices, make returns or do any work under his, their or its license. Violations of this provision shall be deemed sufficient cause for withholding all permits from the person or persons guilty thereof and may also be deemed sufficient cause for recommendation for the permanent revocation of the license held by the violator.
(1) 
No permit shall be issued to any registered master plumber during the time that he shall fail to remedy any defective work after the sending of a written notice to him at his address as shown in the Register of Licensed Master Plumbers by the Clerk-Treasurer of Rock Hall, such notice to state that he has been held responsible for such defective work under the stipulations of this chapter.
(2) 
Bad faith or unreasonable delay in the performance of plumbing work or failure promptly to respond to official communications shall be deemed a sufficient reason for withholding permits, and the master plumber shall be held responsible for the violations of this chapter or the rules and regulations of the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall.
(3) 
Before any plumbing or drainage work is undertaken, the master plumber in charge of the work shall notify the Mayor and Council when the work will commence. Such notices shall be given on blank forms to be furnished by the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall.
(4) 
Any person undertaking any plumbing or drainage work before the time stated in such notice shall be liable to a penalty of not less than $5 for each and every offense.
(5) 
Permits shall be obtained from the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall for tapping sewers in private streets, private alleys or private ways and shall be approved by the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall.[2] Such permits shall contain the condition that the recipients thereof shall take all risk arising therefrom and shall indemnify and save harmless the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall from all damage or costs arising out of or in connection with said work.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 184, Sewers.
(6) 
Under no circumstances whatsoever shall oral permission, whether given by a person employed by or connected with the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall or by any other person, be considered a justification for any deviation whatsoever from or violation of this chapter or the rules and regulations of the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall.
C. 
Persons applying for a homeowner's permit to do work on property or properties which they own or in which they reside must apply in the same manner as a plumber with one exception: a sketch of work to be done must have preliminary approval of the Plumbing Inspector before a permit will be issued. All inspections as provided in this chapter shall also prevail for the homeowner.
D. 
The Mayor and Council shall appoint an Inspector of Plumbing, whose duties shall consist of enforcing the provisions of this chapter and the related rules and regulations of the Mayor and Council.
Before any portion of the drainage system of any building, premises or establishment shall be laid or constructed, there shall be filed by the owner or his authorized agent with the Clerk-Treasurer of Rock Hall plans and specifications therefor, in triplicate, showing said system in its entirety from its connection with such public or private sewers as may be available or to such temporary system of sewage disposal as may be installed with the approval of the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall.
A. 
When, in the opinion of the Mayor and Council, the interests of the Town of Rock Hall are best served by so doing, they may consider the description of the work as stated by the owner or his authorized agent in his application for permit thereof as sufficient plans and specifications for such work. In general, no other or further plans or specifications will be required for repair jobs, the installation of single fixtures or new installations in small residential projects.
B. 
The Mayor and Council shall promptly examine such plans and specifications and either approve or reject the same. If approved, one copy of such plans and specifications shall be retained in the files of the Mayor and Council and the remaining copies shall be returned to the owner or his authorized representative, upon demand. The approval of plans and specifications shall be made in writing by the Mayor and Council before any portion of the work shall be executed. No subsequent alterations shall be made in plans and specifications without the written approval of the Mayor and Council, and all work shall be done in strict accordance with such plans and specifications so approved as aforesaid.
C. 
One certified set of said plumbing plans and specifications shall be in the custody of the master plumber installing the work and shall be kept on the site of the work at all times. It shall be unlawful to do any work of plumbing or drainage on any building, except in accordance with the approved drawings and specifications therefor as required above.
A. 
Every plumbing and drainage system, immediately after its completion and before any of the pipes, fixtures, connections or any of the other features of its construction have been enclosed with other materials of construction or covered from view, shall be inspected by the Mayor and Council.
B. 
All work must receive a final inspection after the work is complete and covered. In addition to these two required inspections, the Mayor and Council may make such other inspections as deemed necessary.
C. 
The plumbing and drainage system of any building in the Town of Rock Hall may be inspected by the Mayor and Council or a duly authorized representative of the Mayor and Council at any time. If any defects are found in the sanitary conditions of said building due to the condition of the plumbing, the Mayor and Council shall have the power to order the reconstruction of such plumbing in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and the rules and regulations of the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall.
A. 
During the construction of every soil, waste, vent or water supply opening of any character, as a test for the same, it shall be closed by means of a test plug, screw cap or other appropriate fitting, and no paper, wood, brick, plaster or other substitute shall be allowed for such plug. The system shall then be filled with water for a test, and the approval of the Mayor and Council shall be obtained. Plugs shall not be removed from the pipe opening except during the time that the opening in the pipe is actually worked upon, and upon completion of the work all joints shall be permanently sealed.
B. 
If the tests fail or if defects or imperfections of any kind shall be found at any such inspections, the Mayor and Council shall determine and direct what changes or repairs are to be made, and the master plumber in charge of the work shall provide the materials and do the work required; and in case such changes are not made and the work so required is not done within 15 days from the date of written notice of such inspection, the master plumber shall be liable to the penalties stipulated for disregard of such notice, etc., and the Mayor and Council shall be empowered to replace or repair such defective work.
C. 
Whenever such test or tests as herein referred to shall have been completed in conformity with the provisions of this chapter and the rules and regulations of the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall, it shall be the duty of the Mayor and Council to issue to the master plumber completing such work a certificate to the effect that such work has been inspected and approved, such certificate being signed by the Mayor and Council.
A. 
Before any master plumber shall be allowed to receive permits to do the plumbing or drainage work in the Town of Rock Hall, he shall be required to give bond to the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall in an amount within the discretion of the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall, but in no event to be less than $1,000, provided that he shall comply, in all respects, with each and every rule and regulation of the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall in regard to said plumbing and drainage work and his obligations thereunder, including all laws and ordinances of the Town of Rock Hall, may be subjected by reason of any wrongdoing, misconduct, want of care or skill, negligence or default on the part of said master plumber, his agents or employees, in or about the execution or performance of such plumbing or drainage work. Whenever the sureties on the bond so furnished shall be deemed by the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall to be insufficient or unsatisfactory, the plumber, after 10 days' written notice to that effect, shall furnish and deliver a new bond to the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall, in the same penalty and on the same conditions, with surety satisfactory to the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall. If the master plumber shall fail to furnish such new bond within 10 days after written notice has been mailed to his address as registered with the Mayor and Council, the Mayor and Council may revoke all permits previously issued to such plumber, and no further permits shall be issued to him until a satisfactory bond has been furnished.
B. 
Should the master plumber fail or refuse to remove and renew any materials or work which shall have been found not to be in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and the rules and regulations or requirements of the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall or to make any necessary repairs in an acceptable manner and in accordance with the requirements of this chapter and the rules and regulations of the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall within the time indicated for such removal and renewal in the notice from the Mayor and Council that such work or materials, or both, are in violation of this chapter or the rules and regulations or requirements of the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall, then the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall shall have the authority to cause such defective materials or work to be removed and renewed or such repairs to be made as the Mayor and Council may deem necessary or in keeping with this chapter and the rules and regulations of the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall, at the expense of the plumber. All costs and expenses incurred thereby shall be chargeable and collectible from the surety on the bond furnished by the plumber, as hereinbefore prescribed. Any work performed by the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall, as set forth in the provisions of this section, shall not relieve the plumber in any way from responsibility for any work performed by him; and any remedies or penalties herein mentioned are specifically intended to be and are, in addition to any other remedies or penalties provided by the laws of Maryland and ordinances of the Town of Rock Hall.
C. 
The liability of the surety or sureties on any bond given under this section shall not extend to defects in materials and workmanship discovered more than 12 months after the completion of the work.
A. 
In the clearing of soil from waste pipes, all holes cut in such pipes shall be tapped, threaded and closed with a metal plug made gas- and watertight or repaired with a special repair plate of approved design.
B. 
When a registered master plumber is unable to relieve a chokage nuisance in any plumbing or drainage system on account of such chokage nuisance being located in some street, alley, lane or thoroughfare outside of the property, he shall immediately notify the Mayor and Council of his inability so to do. The Mayor and Council shall thereupon, through their agent or agents, make relief of such chokage nuisance, and the proper costs thereof shall be paid by the town.
Any available information in regard to size, location and/or depth of public and private sewers and drains shall be furnished to licensed master plumbers upon application in person or in writing. All reasonable care shall be taken to ensure the correctness of such information, but the municipality shall make no guarantee of the correctness of information so given.
A. 
If a drainage or plumbing system becomes inadequate and a nuisance is created, the Mayor and Council shall order such fixtures as are connected to the same to be removed and the pipes capped until such inadequate sewer or drainage system is remedied. If, after failure to comply with such orders and after five days' written notice has been given, the work has not begun, the Mayor and Council shall have the right to enter such premises and remove such fixtures, and the expenses incurred incident to such order and removal or other work necessary to the abatement of such nuisance shall become a lien against said property, collectible as other public liens are collectible.
B. 
When any property, land or premises or group of any of the foregoing which, individually or collectively, has more than one connection to the sanitary sewer system is altered, repaired or razed in such a manner as to make connection to the sanitary sewer system unnecessary, then, upon notice from the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall, the owner thereof shall remove or cut off the pipe from the unused connections and properly plug such connections. Refusal or failure to comply with such notice is punishable by a fine as provided in § 167-15, and the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall are empowered, in case of such refusal or failure, to do the above-mentioned work and collect the cost thereof from the owners of the property in question.
[Amended 8-10-1979 by Ord. No. 79-6]
C. 
It shall be the duty of any master plumber, in connection with his work in or about any building, land or premises as hereinbefore mentioned, to see that all abandoned or unused connections are properly plugged in keeping with the above provision.
Permits may be issued by the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall at its discretion and when proper application is made for the installation of plumbing fixtures or floor drains in the cellars or basements of buildings, the floor levels of which are below the grade of the street, lane, alley or thoroughfare on which the property abuts, provided that all such permits shall be subject to the condition that the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall, in consideration of issuance of such permits, shall not be responsible for any damages whatsoever resulting from flooding of property due to such installations below the grade, but shall be saved harmless therefrom and that a bond so conditioned shall be given by the person or persons obtaining such permit to the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall, provided further that if a bond shall be given in accordance with the requirements of this chapter, such condition may be included in said bond in lieu of the requirement of an additional bond.
[Amended 8-10-1979 by Ord. No. 79-6; 5-5-1994 by Ord. No. 94-4]
Violations of this chapter shall be punishable as a municipal infraction. Violators shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $100. Repeat offenders may be assessed a fine not to exceed $200 for each offense.