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 10 of the former Code of Ordinances of the Town of Rock Hall, adopted 10-6-1977 by Ord. No. 26.) Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Utilities Board — See Ch. 61.
Building construction — See Ch. 81.
Fees — See Ch. 102.
Floodplain management — See Ch. 117.
Housing standards and property maintenance — See Ch. 133.
Plumbing — See Ch. 167.
Stormwater management — See Ch. 192.
Water — See Ch. 220.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BOD (BIOCHEMICAL OXYGEN DEMAND)
The quantity of oxygen, expressed in mg/l, utilized in the biochemical oxidation of organic matter under standard laboratory procedure for five days at 20° C. The standard laboratory procedure shall be that found in the latest edition of Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Sewage, published by the American Public Health Association.
CURBLINE
A location which, in the Town's judgment, is as near to the curb of the street as is feasible to terminate its service connection and/or install Town-owned facilities.
CUSTOMER
The applicant for service receiving sewer service at one household or business.
HOUSE CONNECTION
The sewer line running from a building to the curbline and connecting with the service connection.
IMPROVED PROPERTY
Any property upon which there is erected a structure intended for continuous or periodic habitation, occupancy or use by human beings or animals and from which structure sewage and/or industrial wastes shall be or may be discharged.
INDUSTRIAL ESTABLISHMENT
Any improved property used, in whole or in part, for manufacturing, processing, cleaning, laundering or assembling any product, commodity or article or from which any process waste, as distinct from sewage, shall be discharged.
INDUSTRIAL WASTES
Any and all wastes discharged from an industrial establishment.
LATERAL
The line from the main to the property line.
MAIN
The Town-owned piping and fixtures, in or along public highways and streets or along privately owned rights-of-way, used for supplying sewer service to customers.
MG/L
A concentration given in milligrams per liter.
PERSON
Any person, firm, association or corporation.
PH
The logarithm of the reciprocal of the concentration of hydrogen ions, expressed in grams per liter of solution, indicating the degree of acidity or alkalinity of a substance.
SERVICE CONNECTION
The sewer line extended from the curbline to the main or lateral in the street.
SEWAGE
Normal water-carried household and toilet wastes from any improved property.
SUSPENDED SOLIDS
Solids that either float on the surface of or are in suspension in water, sewage or other liquids and which are removable by laboratory filtration as determined by the procedure set forth in the latest edition of Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Sewage, published by the American Public Health Association.
TOWN
The Town of Rock Hall or its duly authorized officers or agents.
[Amended 8-10-1979 by Ord. No. 79-6]
The rates and charges for sewer connections as well as user charges for residents within the Town limits shall be as provided for in Chapter 102, Fees.
[Amended 2-4-1988 by Ord. No. 88-2; 12-6-1990 by Ord. No. 90-2]
The following rates shall apply to consumers living outside the corporate limits of the Town:
A. 
Residential: a sewer service fee to be two times the in-Town rate.
B. 
Commercial: a sewer service fee to be two times the in-Town rate.
[Amended 5-7-1992 by Ord. No. 92-6]
A. 
Each user of the Town's sewerage system shall be notified annually in conjunction with a quarterly user charge bill of the rate and the portion of the user charge that is attributable to operation and maintenance of the system.
B. 
All funds generated by the portion of the user charge system described under Subsection A shall be used solely for operation and maintenance of the Town's sewerage system.
C. 
The user charge rate will be adjusted annually, as required, based on a budget of projected operation and maintenance costs such that revenues generated by the system approximately equal operation and maintenance costs.
[Amended 8-11-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-02; 10-10-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-02]
A. 
Bills will be rendered quarterly and are payable 30 days after the date of the bill. All bills unpaid after 30 days shall be subject to a late fee of 5% of the total bill. All bills and late fees unpaid after 60 days from the date the bill was sent shall be collectible from the owner of the property served in the same manner and subject to the same interest as taxes are collectible in the Town and shall be a first lien on the property served.
B. 
The Utilities Board, in its sole discretion and upon such terms and conditions as the Council may adopt from time to time by resolution, may grant full or partial relief from any quarterly user charge bill.
[Amended 9-3-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-10]
[Amended 8-11-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-02]
The sewer and water service may be shut off from any premises for which the sewer and water bill remains unpaid for a period of 30 days after the bill is rendered. Before disconnecting sewer and water service under this section, the Town shall provide notice by mail sent to the last known address of the owner of the property or by posting notice on the premises of the property served. When shut off, service shall not be turned on except upon payment of a uniform fee to be set by the Town as set forth in § 184-7C. If any additional expenses are incurred by the Town by the discontinuance of service, service shall not be reinstated until the costs of discontinuance and reinstallation of services are paid.
A. 
At the request of the customer. Whenever the customer desires to have his sewer service terminated, he shall so notify the Town, in writing. Until such notice is received by the Town, the customer shall be responsible for the payment of all services rendered by the Town. A reasonable time after the receipt of such notice shall be allowed the Town to discontinue sewer services, and thereafter a flat rate will be charged.
B. 
By the Town. Water and sewer service may be discontinued by the Town for any one of the following reasons applicable to the sewer system.
(1) 
Misrepresentation in applications.
(2) 
Molesting Town property or seals on appliances.
(3) 
Vacancy, and then a flat rate charge will apply.
(4) 
Nonpayment of bills when due.
(5) 
Cross-connecting the Town's service pipe with any other supply source.
(6) 
Refusal of reasonable access to property to determine whether residential or commercial usage exists.
C. 
Charge. When water and sewer service has been discontinued from any premises for any of the above reasons or for any other violation of the Town's rules, a charge will be made for restoring service in the amount of the actual cost; except, however, the minimum charge will be as provided in Chapter 102, Fees.
[Amended 8-10-1979 by Ord. No. 79-6]
A. 
Connection. No sewer service shall be connected to the Town sewer system from any premises by any person except the duly authorized Town agent or some person authorized by him to perform this service.
B. 
Application. The application to have sewer service connected shall be made, in writing, to the Town and shall contain an agreement by the applicant to abide by and accept all of the provisions of this chapter as conditions governing the use of the Town sewer system by the applicant.
C. 
Deposit. A deposit of $10 shall be made with each such application, this sum to be retained by the Town to ensure payment of all bills. When service to the applicant is discontinued permanently, this deposit, less any amount still owed to the Town for water service, shall be refunded without interest. Deposits may be returned to the depositor when, in the discretion of the Town, it has been determined that he has established a record of prompt payment for bills rendered.
D. 
Plumbing. No sewer system shall be connected for service in any premises in which the plumbing does not comply with the County Health Department regulations, provided that the sewer service may be turned on for construction work in unfinished buildings, subject to the provisions of this chapter.
E. 
Restriction. No sewer system shall be connected with the Town sewer system or to any premises other than that for which an application has been made.
F. 
Tampering. It shall be unlawful for any person not authorized by the Town to tamper with, alter or injure any part of the Town sewer system.
G. 
Payment. No application for service will be accepted by the Town until the applicant has paid or made satisfactory arrangements to pay all arrears and charges due by the applicant to the Town at any premises now or heretofore occupied by him.
H. 
Flat rate minimum quarterly sewer charges, as established in Chapter 102, Fees, for a property shall accrue upon the Town's issuance of a plumbing permit for said property. Flat rate charges will continue in effect from this time forward regardless of the status of the property.
[Added 7-7-1994 by Ord. No. 94-6]
A. 
Every person desiring to connect into the sewer system shall apply, in writing, to the Town for permission to so connect, and no connection shall be made until such application shall have been approved by the Town. Every application shall contain an agreement by the applicant to abide by and accept all of the provisions of this chapter as conditions governing connections into the Town sewer system.
B. 
Applications for sewer service installations will be accepted subject to there being an existing main in a right-of-way abutting on the premises to be served.
C. 
Any extension of a sanitary sewer main shall be limited to 100 feet for each tap or connection, and any extension in excess of 100 feet shall be at the sole expense of the property owner requesting the service, provided that should the excess extension footage be subsequently utilized for additional taps or connections, then the costs of such excess footage, or applicable portion thereof, shall be refunded if utilized within five years from the date of installation, provided that the provisions of this section relating to extensions of sanitary sewer mains shall not apply to an extension constructed for a shopping center, housing development, apartment building or industrial plant or area and similar uses, but the request of each applicant for such extension shall be individually considered by the Town.
A. 
When any sewer main is declared ready for operation by the Town and reasonable notice is given, all abutting property owners shall within six months connect all fixtures with the sewer main. Upon notification that the sewer system is operational, all property owners shall, within six months and at their own expense, abandon, clean out, disinfect and permanently fill up their respective privy vaults, wells, cesspools and other drainage or sewage receptacles with clean fresh earth, provided that clean ashes or other approved material may be used with the permission of the Town.
B. 
Should any owner of any such property refuse, neglect or fail to comply with any of the terms and requirements of said notice within the time therein stated, then upon the expiration of the time therein stated, the Mayor and Council and their servants, agents and employees are hereby empowered and directed to enter upon said premises and to perform all the work required of said owner of said property and to supply all the material needed therefor at the expense of said owner. Upon the completion of said work, the cost thereof, including the cost of said materials and all expenses incurred, may be recovered by the Mayor and Council from said owner by suit or otherwise, if necessary. In the discretion of said Mayor and Council, no owner or other person in default under the provisions of this chapter shall be permitted any use of said sewer or any part thereof until security adequate, in the judgment of said Mayor and Council, shall be given for the full payment and satisfaction of all costs and expenses incurred in any manner by the Town for the benefit of such owner or other person under the provisions of this chapter. In addition thereto, if said owner shall refuse, neglect or fail to comply with any of the terms and requirements of said notice, he may be subject to a fine as provided in § 184-17, for each day until the terms and requirements of said notice are fully complied with.
[Amended 8-10-1979 by Ord. No. 79-6]
A. 
The Town alone will install or cause to be installed the lateral sanitary sewer service lines leading from the sanitary sewer main to the property line. As to all applications for service received six months after the date of completion of the project referred to in this chapter, the cost of the installation of the sewer service lines from the main to the property line shall be at the expense of the property owner. The Town reserves the right to require a deposit sufficient to cover the estimated cost of installing said lines.
B. 
As to all persons residing outside the Town limits to whom service is furnished, they shall pay, in addition to the connection fee, the actual cost of the installation of the service connections. The Town reserves the right to require a deposit sufficient to cover the estimated cost of installing said lines.
[Amended 4-23-1981 by Ord. No. 81-2]
A. 
Title to all services from the main to the property line is vested in, and the same shall at all times remain the sole property of, the Town and shall not be trespassed upon or interfered with in any respect. This property shall be maintained by the Town.
B. 
The house connection between the property line and the building and all piping and fixtures on or in the building of the owner or applicant shall be maintained by him/her, and the work shall be performed by a competent person satisfactory to the Town. The owner/applicant shall be responsible for any and all damages to the sewer connection, piping and fixtures between the property line and the building and in the building, to include breakage due to any cause, natural causes or causes beyond his/her control, leakage, stoppage and any other causes which could stop the system from working. The owner/applicant is responsible for all charges resulting from any problem with the sewer system on his/her property or in his/her building, as well as the normal charges. Such charges shall become a lien against the property, collected in the same manner as delinquent taxes.
C. 
The sewer policy manual of the Town of Rock Hall shall be incorporated as a part of this chapter, and all regulations, restrictions and rules set forth in the manual shall be in effect until changed or repealed.
A. 
From the time that this chapter becomes effective, no new construction within the Town limits which will require sewer service shall be commenced or permitted unless satisfactory arrangements are made to connect to the municipal sewer system.
B. 
Sewage allocation reservation.
[Added 3-5-1992 by Ord. No. 92-1]
(1) 
Effective March 25, 1992, if a consumer seeks to construct a building or other structure on property for which sewer service is required or applies for approval for the subdivision of a parcel into two or more buildable lots or applies for site plan approval, the consumer shall apply to the Rock Hall Utilities Board for the reservation of the sewage necessary for the servicing of the approved project.
(2) 
Application for sewage allocation reservation shall be made at a time prior to the application for a building permit for a single-family dwelling or in conjunction with any site plan or subdivision application pursuant to Chapter 200, Subdivision of Land, and Chapter 225, Zoning.
(3) 
Allocations awarded by the Town for the consumer's proposed use shall be assessed a nonrefundable fee in accordance with Chapter 102. Said fees shall be paid to the Town upon approval of the allocation by the Town.
(4) 
An allocation shall be effective for a period of one year from the date of approval. If actual construction on the proposed project has not been commenced by the end of this period, as evidenced by the possession of a valid building permit, the allocation shall expire. This expiration may be waived by the Utilities Board upon the showing of good cause with the condition that the consumer pay a fee of $0.50 per gallon of allocation extended per year.
(5) 
Allocations granted prior to the date of this Subsection B shall expire one year from the date of notification to the current owner of the property for which the allocation was granted, as evidenced by receipt of certified mail. This expiration may be waived by the Utilities Board upon the showing of good cause with the condition that the consumer pay a fee of $0.50 per gallon of allocation extended per year.
[Amended 8-11-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-02]
Unless otherwise provided for herein, all rates and/or charges referred to in this chapter hereinbefore or hereinafter mentioned shall constitute a lien on the real estate served, collectible in the same manner as Town taxes or by a suit at law.
[Amended 8-10-1979 by Ord. No. 79-6]
It shall be unlawful to discharge rainwater or other wastewater usually conveyed by storm sewers into the sanitary sewer system of the Town of Rock Hall and violators shall be subject to a fine as provided in § 184-17 of this chapter.
A. 
Prohibited substances. It shall be unlawful to permit or cause the flow of any of the following substances into the sanitary sewer system of the Town:
(1) 
Any grease, fatty material, offal or garbage on a commercial basis that is not first approved by the Town.
(2) 
Any stone dust, sand, dirt, gravel, sawdust, metal filings, broken glass or any material which may cause or create an obstruction in the sewer.
(3) 
Gasoline, benzene, fuel oil or any petroleum products or volatile liquids.
(4) 
Milk or any liquid waste products in quantities in excess of 10 gallons during each twenty-four-hour period.
(5) 
Any sewage or industrial waste having a temperature higher than 150° F.
(6) 
Any sewage or industrial waste having a pH lower than 5.5 or higher than 9.5 or having any other corrosive or scale-forming property capable of causing damage or hazard to structures, equipment or personnel operating the sewage treatment plant.
B. 
Chemicals. It shall be unlawful to cause or permit to flow into the sanitary sewer system any cyanide, phenols or any other chemical or substance which interferes with or prevents the functioning of the sewage treatment plant.
C. 
Interception. Every building or premises used or occupied by any sewer user where any commercial or industrial operations are conducted or permitted which result in the discharge into the sanitary sewer system of the Town of any of the products, waste products or other substances in the manner and to the extent prohibited in this chapter shall be equipped with an adequate and suitable catch basin, grease trap, filter or other interceptor, installed in such a manner that the products, waste products or other substances herein set forth will not flow into or be discharged into the sanitary sewer system. It shall be unlawful to permit the flow of waste from such building or premises into the sanitary sewer system unless such interceptor is installed and in good working order and approved by the Town or local Health Department.
D. 
Limitations. The admission into the public sewers of any waters or wastes having a BOD greater than 3,000 mg/l, or containing more than 350 mg/l of suspended solids or having an average daily flow greater than 2% of the average daily sewage flow of the Town shall be subject to the review and approval of the Town. Where necessary, the owner shall provide, at his expense, such preliminary treatment as may be necessary to reduce the BOD to 300 mg/l and the suspended solids to 350 mg/l, reduce objectionable characteristics or constituents to within the maximum limits provided for in this chapter or control the quantities and rates of discharge of such waters or wastes, and the plans, specifications and any other pertinent information relating to proposed preliminary treatment facilities shall be submitted for the approval of the engineer and no construction of such obtained in writing.
[Amended 8-10-1979 by Ord. No. 79-6]
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be considered guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, may be fined $100 or imprisoned in the county jail for 30 days, or both.