City of Pittsfield, MA
Berkshire County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building code — See Ch. 3.
Disturbing pipes when laying underground wires — See § 5-29.
Licenses, registrations and permits — See Ch. 11.
Public Utilities Advisory Committee — See Ch. 18 1/2.
Sewers and drains — See Ch. 19.
Public utilities fees — See § 24-1.
STATE LAW REFERENCES
Testing of water meters — See MGL c. 40, § 39I.
Collection of water rates — See MGL c. 40, § 42A et seq.
Article I IN GENERAL
Article II RATES
[Ord. No. 311, § 1, 4-27-1978; Ord. No. 457, § 1, 6-8-1983; Ord. No. 671, § 1, 1-9-1991]
There is hereby created in the department of public utilities a new division to be known as the water division, which shall be under the control and direction of the commissioner of public utilities, hereinafter referred to as the "commissioner". Wherever the words "commission" or "water commission" are used in this chapter, they shall be deemed as intended to mean "commissioner".
[1]
Editor's Note: Former §§ 22-2-22-4.1, which pertained to the water committee and derived from Ord. No. 483, § 1, adopted 7-2-1984, were repealed by § 3 of Ord. No. 601, adopted 3-2-1988.
[Ord. No. 308, § 1, 4-27-1978; Ord. No. 457, § 1, 6-8-1983; Ord. No. 1100, § I, 11-25-2014]
There shall be a Superintendent of Public Water. The superintendent shall have such subordinates, agents and assistants as may be found necessary. The superintendent shall perform such duties as the commissioner shall assign.
[1]
Editor's Note: Prior to amendment by Ord. No. 308, § 22-5 pertained to the engineer of the water department and his assistant, and derived from Ord. No. 636, § 1.
[Ord. No. 307, § 1, 4-27-1978]
The commissioner shall be responsible for the general supervision and operation of the water department. He shall have the general authority to construct, extend, improve, operate and maintain the water division subject to the powers and jurisdictions fixed by the general laws of the commonwealth, the rules established by the civil service commission and the ordinances of the city. He shall be responsible for the direction and the supervision of his subordinates and he shall also supervise the buildings, grounds, machinery, equipment, pipes, reservoirs, watersheds, wells and all pertinent matters and see that all utility laws, ordinances, rules and regulations of the commonwealth, the city and the water division are complied with, and he shall perform all such other services in connection with such water department as may be required of him.
The superintendent, under the direction of the commissioner, shall have charge of the pipes, mains, lands, reservoirs, wells, engines, pumps, equipment and all other property connected with the water division and shall perform such other services as may be required of him.
[1]
Editor's Note: Ord. No. 307, amended § 22-6 to read as herein set out; prior to amendment, § 22-6 derived from Ord. No. 636, § 1, and pertained to the powers and duties of the water engineer.
[Ord. No. 636, § 1]
The clerk of the water department shall have charge, under the direction of the engineer, of all matters connected with the delivery of water and shall see that all rules and regulations of the commission or the city council in relation to the use of water are observed and all penalties for their violation are enforced. For this purpose he shall every year and as much oftener as he may be directed by the engineer or may himself think proper personally or by assistants under his direction visit the premises of every person who takes water and in all suitable ways exercise a constant and careful supervision over its use. He shall maintain suitable records in which shall be recorded the names of all persons who take water, the number of the street and the number of the building, the nature of the use, the meter number where water is measured, the amount charged and basis upon which the charge is computed and such other records as may be considered necessary. He shall notify the Engineer forthwith of all failures on the part of the water takers to meet the demands upon them and shall execute all decisions of the engineer in relation to the letting on or shutting off of water.
[Ord. No. 636, § 1]
The Water Commission may establish such rules and regulations, not conflicting with any ordinance of the City, for the introduction and use of water, the measurement thereof and payment therefor, as it may deem expedient, and upon any failure or refusal to comply with such regulations, the Commission may shut off or refuse to supply water.
All ordinances of the City Council and all rules and regulations approved by the City Council pertaining to the distribution of water shall be considered a part of the contract with any person who takes water from the City water system, and every such person shall be considered as having expressed his consent to be bound thereby.
[Ord. No. 636, § 1]
The Engineer of the Water Department shall, during January each year, lay before the Commission a report of the general conditions of the waterworks, a detailed statement of all expenditures in his Department and of all such other matters and things in connection therewith as he may deem necessary, or in relation to which he may be specifically instructed by the Commission.
The Water Commission shall, during the month of February each year, present a report to the Mayor and the City Council, which report shall contain a full statement of the operations of the Commission and the Water Department. The Commission shall also, in its annual report, lay before the Mayor and the City Council all such information and make all suggestions as may be deemed needful in connection with the condition and operation of the waterworks.
[Ord. No. 636, § 1, 8-9-1966]
The funds of the Water Department shall be kept separate from other funds of the City, and disbursement of Water Department funds shall be made so that the City and the Water Commission are always aware of the Department's financial condition. Money received by the City for water rates and other charges shall be received by the Collector of Taxes and paid to the City Treasurer. The money paid into the City Treasury from water rates and charges shall be appropriated by the City Council for the necessary repairs, extension, and improvements of the waterworks system; for operating and managing expenses; for the payment of the employees and agents of the Water Department; and for the payment of interest on water indebtedness and all payments of principal of such indebtedness and the cost and expenses incurred by special appropriations of the City Council. The balance, if any, after the payments for the aforesaid purposes may be appropriated for such other Water Department purposes as the Mayor and the City Council may from time to time determine.
[Ord. No. 636, § 1]
All applications for the use of City water must be made at the office of the Water Commission in the form prescribed, stating truly and fully the various uses to which the water is to be applied, and signed by the owner or person desiring to make such use or by his properly authorized agent.
[Ord. No. 636, § 1; Ord. No. 674, § 17, 5-29-1991]
No alterations in any water pipe or water fixtures whereby the consumption of water is increased shall be made without giving notice to and obtaining a permit from the Commission. No plumber or other person shall make alterations in or addition to any water pipe or fixture as aforesaid, unless the owner or agent shows a permit therefor signed by the Commissioner or his duly authorized agent, and then only to the extent stated therein, and such permits shall be returned to the Commission within 10 days after the completion of the work.
Any plumber or other person violating the provision of this section, or making a false statements in his application for the use of water, shall be subject to a fine of $300.
[Ord. No. 636, § 1]
The commission or its authorized employees may at all reasonable times enter the premises of any water taker to examine the pipes and appendages thereon, the quantity of water used and the manner of use, or for the purpose of shutting off the flow of water to delinquent water takers or for any purpose whatever pertaining to the care and management of the waterworks.
[Ord. No. 636, § 1; Ord. No. 671, § 1, 1-9-1991]
The commissioner shall have the power to decide what is waste or improper use of water and to restrict its use as it may deem necessary. In case the water taker refuses or neglects to comply with any order of the commissioner under this section, within three days after notice has been given him, the water shall be shut off from such water taker's premises and not let on again except by consent of the commissioner and the payment of the sum of $50 and an additional sum of $50 for the shutting off and letting on of the water.
[Ord. No. 636, § 1]
Persons taking water shall keep their water pipes and all fixtures connected therewith in good repair and shall provide a stop or waste cock, located inside their premises so arranged that water can be drawn from their service pipes in case of danger of frost, and they shall be held liable for all damages which may result from their failure so to do. No person shall permit a continuous flow of water from a service pipe to guard against frost. The commission may give directions, special or general, not inconsistent with this chapter, as to the strength of all pipes used, their protection against, the kind of faucets and other fixtures, the general arrangement of the work in reference to security and safety and the keeping of all pipes and fixtures in proper repair. No reduction from water rates shall be made on account of the freezing of water pipes or fixtures.
[Ord. No. 636, § 1]
No water taker shall sell or habitually supply water from his fixtures to any other person or premises except by written permission of the commission.
[Ord. No. 636, § 1]
The water commission is authorized to attach a water meter to any service pipe whenever it deems it expedient to do so, and thereafter to charge, in accordance with the provisions of section 22-26, for the quantity of water thus metered through each service pipe instead of at the yearly schedule rates. Whoever tampers with or maliciously injures any meter, or interferes with or detaches the meter from the service pipe shall, upon conviction thereof before any court of competent jurisdiction, be punished by a fine of not less than $10 nor more than $25.
[Ord. No. 636, § 1]
Owners of premises wherein water meters are located must maintain such premises in such condition that access to the water meters on the part of employees of the water department is not hindered or blocked or made unreasonably difficult by reason of the accumulation near such meter of rubbish or other articles or by reason of any other obstruction.
[Ord. No. 636, § 1]
If from any cause the meter of any water taker breaks or the indicator thereon fails to record or records incorrectly the amount of water used for any quarter, the quantity used shall be determined by the commission, and the commission in determining the quantity shall have reasonable reference to the quantity used in the corresponding quarter of the preceding year.
No claim shall be allowed for lack of water or damages caused by shutting off the water in the main pipes for any cause deemed necessary by the engineer.
[Ord. No. 636, § 1; Ord. No. 671, § 1, 1-9-1991]
No person other than an authorized employee of the water division shall make any tap or connection with any main or distributing pipe of the city or lay any service pipe in the streets or highways of the city without the approval of the commissioner.
[Ord. No. 636, § 1]
All the expense attending the introduction and maintenance of service pipes from the main into any premises must be paid by the applicant or owner. The work attending such introduction from the main to the street line shall be done by the water department or its agents. The owner shall have the option of having the remainder of the work done by such department if he so desires. A sum equal to the estimated cost of materials and labor shall be deposited before the pipe shall be laid. The account shall be adjusted and any balance paid before the water is let on, and the sums so deposited shall be disposed of in the manner prescribed by section 6-6. The owner shall keep the service pipes in good repair and protected from frost at his own risk and expense and prevent all unnecessary waste of water.
[Ord. No. 168, § 1, Ord. No. 168, § 1, 3-29-1972]
(a) 
Water main pipes shall be extended only when authorized by the water commission. Applications thereof must be made upon blanks furnished by the water commission with an estimate of the probate cost of desired extension endorsed thereon.
(b) 
Main pipes shall be extended in accordance with Sections 42G, 42H and 42I of Chapter 40 of the General Laws.
[Ord. No. 636, § 1; Ord. No. 369, § 1, 4-10-1980]
The cost of extending main pipes between existing mains and the street line of a proposed development or subdivision as prescribed by section 2-75 shall be assumed and paid by the developer/contractor; provided, however, that this section shall be limited to the following conditions:
(a) 
Application for permit for such extension shall be made to the water department by the applicant for the proposed development or subdivision at least 60 days previous to the commencement of such extension; provided, however, that the commission at their discretion may waive such sixty-day period.
(b) 
A plan of the proposed development or subdivision shall be on file with the planning board and such plan must have been approved by such board.
[Ord. No. 542, § 1, 7-1-1986]
(a) 
The costs of water pump stations to be constructed as parts of proposed developments or subdivisions as described in section 22-23 shall be assumed and paid by the developer/contractor of said development.
(b) 
The commissioner shall assess a one-time charge upon the developer/contractor to defray the estimated costs of operation, maintenance, repair and replacement of said pump stations for a period of 20 years; all costs in excess of the one-time charge shall be the responsibility of the city.
(c) 
Applications for permits shall be made in conjunction with and in accordance with the application described in section 19-33(a);
(d) 
Any developer/contractor who disagrees with the amount of the one-time charge determined by the commissioner shall have the right to appeal the decision. The matter shall be referred to the city's water system consulting engineer who shall independently calculate the amount needed to defray the costs outlined in subsection (a) of this section. The decision of the consulting engineer shall be final and binding on both the city and the developer/contractor. The developer/contractor shall be responsible for all costs resulting from the appeal including the consulting engineer's fees.
[Ord. No. 671, § 1, 1-9-1991]
(a) 
No person shall maintain, or suffer to be maintained, upon premises owned or occupied by that person, a physical cross-connection between the water system of the city and the distribution system of any water supply deemed by the commissioner to be of a sanitary quality not suitable for human consumption, by which the water of the city may be polluted or contaminated and rendered unfit for drinking, domestic or culinary purposes, unless the city water system has been protected by an approved backflow prevention device or devices installed as directed by the commissioner, and a permit for such interconnection and device or devices shall have been approved by the commissioner.
(b) 
No person shall willfully or negligently permit, allow or cause to be introduced into the water system of any premises owned or occupied by that person and connected to the water system of the city, any foreign substance or agent, solid liquid, gaseous or radiological in nature, by which the water of the city may be polluted or otherwise contaminated and rendered unfit for drinking, domestic or culinary purposes.
[1]
Editor's Note: Designated as § 22-24(a), (b), by Ord. No. 671, § 1, approved 1-9-1991, the above provisions have been redesignated as § 22-23.2 by the editor for purposes of classification. Subsections designated as § 22-24(c), (d) pertaining to penalties have been deleted as being superseded by Ord. No. 674, § 18, approved 5-29-1991, and such § 18 is set out as § 22-24 below.
[Ord. No. 636, § 1; Ord. No. 671, § 1, 1-9-1991; Ord. No. 674, § 18, 5-29-1991]
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter, or hinders or obstructs the engineer or his authorized employees in executing such provisions, or refuses or neglects to comply with any order of the engineer given in accordance with such provisions, or pollutes the water in any drinking fountain or in any reservoir or pipe from or through which water is supplied for domestic purposes shall pay the fines as stated below:
First and each subsequent offense: $300.
Each day in which any violation exists shall be deemed to constitute a separate offense. The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the public utilities department and the police department.
[Ord. No. 636, § 1; Ord. No. 490, § 1, 9-27-1984]
A water rate charge shall be levied against all users of the public water supply.
[Ord. No. 636, § 1; Ord. No. 366, § 1, 3-13-1980; Ord. No. 490, § 1, 9-27-1984]
Rates for water shall be established from time to time by the commissioner of public utilities, and adopted by the city council. Such rates shall be computed based upon the total amount budgeted for the water division and other such factors as shall be necessary to establish such rates.
[Ord. No. 636, § 1]
Bills for metered rates shall be rendered separately for each metered parcel, building or business unit as determined by the commission, regardless of whether or not owned by the same person.
[Ord. No. 723, § 1, 9-23-1992]
All vacant premises shall be billed on schedule rates for water in the same manner as property occupied and using water. If rates remain unpaid for 30 days after they become due, the water may be shut off from the premises for which the rates have not been paid. Whenever water has been shut off for nonpayment of rates or by the owner of the property, it shall not be turned on again until all arrearages have been paid.
[1]
Editor's Note: Ord. No. 723, § 1, approved 9-23-1992, amended §§ 22-28 and 22-29, pertaining to similar subject matter in their entirety. Formerly, § 22-28 derived from Ord. No. 636, § 1; Ord. No. 490, § 1, approved 9-27-1984; Ord. No. 671, § 1, approved 1-9-1991; Ord. No. 694, § 1, approved 4-14-1992; and § 22-29 was derived from Ord. No. 636, § 1.
[Ord. No. 723, § 1, 9-23-1992]
(a) 
At least 30 days before the water service charges become due, the commissioner shall mail a statement to each owner of premises charged with water services rates. The statement shall contain the following information (in addition to any information deemed necessary or appropriate by the commissioner):
(1) 
The address of the owner;
(2) 
The location of the property;
(3) 
The amount of the water service charge based upon either per-fixture charge or metered rate; and
(4) 
The date upon which payment of the water service charge is due.
(b) 
On or before the mailing of the aforementioned water service statements, the commissioner shall deliver to the collector of taxes, bills for all water service charges together with a correct list of such bills. The bills to the collector of taxes shall contain the same information as that hereinbefore mentioned as necessary to be given by the commissioner to the owner. The commissioner shall make true returns to the auditor of the amount of water service charges contained in such lists.
(c) 
On receipt of such bills the collector of taxes shall proceed to collect the same and shall have authority to bring suit therefor in the name of the city in any court of competent jurisdiction. He shall give the commissioner a list of all water service charges unpaid 30 days after they have been committed to him for collection and the commissioner shall thereupon proceed to enforce payment thereof. In the event the water service charges remain unpaid for 60 days, the commissioner shall cause to be filed in the proper registry of deeds a statement to that effect in full compliance with chapter 40, section 42B of the General Laws for the purpose of perfecting a lien for such charges.
[Ord. No. 636, § 1]
The water commission may make abatements in the water rates in all proper cases, but no abatement shall be allowed for periods of absence when previous notice of such absence is not given, or in any case for an absence of less than three months.