Town of Riverhead, NY
Suffolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Riverhead 5-21-1957 by Ord. No. 14 (Ch. 105 of the 1976 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Buildings, building construction and improvements and housing standards — See Ch. 217.
Sewers — See Ch. 265.
Stormwater management and erosion and sediment control — See Ch. 275.
The Town Board will appoint a Superintendent of the Riverhead Water District, who shall be the Board's authorized agent in matters falling under these rules and regulations and exercise the powers hereinafter mentioned in the name and subject to the approval and ratification of the Board.
[Amended 11-16-1976; 5-4-1993]
Permanent water service shall be regulated by meter only.
Each service connection to the water mains of the district shall have installed thereon a meter to measure the consumption of water. No person other than a district employee shall be permitted to break any seal or connecting device on any meter or remove any meter. The intentional breaking of or tampering with any Water District seal by unauthorized persons is prohibited and shall be punishable as set forth in § 291-33. Any meter may be removed by district employees for testing or repair. Meter repairs shall be made at the expense of the property owner.
No service shall be activated until the owner of the property to be served has paid in full the fee required as set forth in Table No. 11.[1]
[Added 2-6-2008 by L.L. No. 4-2008]
Editor's Note: Said table is included as an attachment to this chapter.
[Added 5-10-1982; amended 8-17-1999 by L.L. No. 12-1999]
All Water District laterals and appurtenances to be constructed within the Riverhead Water District shall be constructed at the sole expense of the property owners to be served by such laterals and appurtenances. The petitioners shall enter into contracts, as the Town Board may deem necessary, with any person, corporation or association acting as petitioners pursuant to § 199 of the Town Law, which contract shall ensure that the cost of laterals and appurtenances shall be borne by the petitioners and that an irrevocable letter of credit or the deposit of cash shall be made to ensure performance of such contracts. The petition filed pursuant to § 199 requesting the construction of lateral mains and appurtenances shall state that:
"The cost and expense of constructing said improvement proposed for said area is to be borne entirely by your petitioner; that the amount to be expended for said improvement, as aforesaid, shall be expended solely by your petitioner, who shall also bear the incidental costs thereof so that no cost or expense shall be borne by the owners of other property within the district.
To ensure that the cost of constructing the improvement herein proposed shall be the sole obligation of and be borne entirely by your petitioner, at no cost or expense to the owners of other property within the district, your petitioner has signed an agreement to be entered into with the district, pursuant to § 194-a of the Town Law of the State of New York, wherein and whereby your petitioner undertakes, among other things, that the entire cost and expense of the proposed improvement shall be borne by your petitioner and no part thereof by other owners of property within the district, which said agreement is not to be signed by the Town Board on behalf of the district until said Town Board shall have adopted a resolution authorizing the construction of the improvement herein proposed. A duplicate original of said agreement, signed and acknowledged by your petitioner, is separately submitted herewith and is to be considered, in all respects, a part of this petition and is marked as an exhibit hereto."
The engineering and design of laterals and appurtenances shall be made at the expense of the petitioner by an engineering firm to be designated by the Town Board.
[Added 9-16-1986]
Where a petition is made to the Town Board of the Town of Riverhead for an extension of the Riverhead Water District pursuant to the Town Law and in addition to any other fees imposed in this chapter, the applicant is to advance to the district 10% of the estimated cost of the on-site costs of constructing water mains and laterals, which costs shall include the actual cost of construction, engineering oversight, legal, administrative and contingencies as determined by the engineer designated by the Town; and prior to final approval of the petition, the applicant shall pay the balance of the estimated costs.
In the event that the actual costs exceed those estimated, the applicant shall be liable for the full payment of all excess costs incurred.
No petition for the construction of lateral water mains shall be granted after the effective date of this amendment unless the petitioner has paid a fee in the total amount as required by § 291-2C for each of the dwelling units proposed to be constructed at the premises to be served by such lateral. The petitioner may post an irrevocable letter of credit with the Town. Such fee must be paid within two years or upon application for a certificate of occupancy, whichever occurs first.
[Amended 8-17-1999 by L.L. No. 12-1999; 2-6-2008 by L.L. No. 4-2008]
In addition, the applicant shall file a covenant with the Riverhead Water District in the form to be recorded in the office of the Clerk of the County of Suffolk stating that no additional units above those applied for in the petition for the lateral required herein shall be constructed until the fee required herein for each unit shall be paid to the Town of Riverhead Water District. Where nonresidential construction is proposed, the petitioner may likewise execute a covenant.
No person or corporation shall use the water of the district for any purpose without having first obtained permission from the Superintendent upon written application therefor and having first paid the charges pertaining to the introduction of the water to the premises. All applications for the introduction of water to any premises or for the extension of any pipe for the conveyance of such water shall be made upon a blank furnished by the district for the purpose, signed by the owner of the property or his or her agent.
Application to the district shall be made prior to completion of building construction by property owners of lots and parcels having no supply of water and which abut water mains for connection of a pipe or pipes to service such lots or parcels with water from said district mains at such quantity and pressure as may be provided by the district.
[Added 11-16-1976]
No property owner of lots and parcels of land abutting existing district water mains shall hereafter make any new or additional connection for any water supply purposes to any main or other source of water except existing district mains or such mains as may hereafter be installed by the district.
[Added 11-16-1976]
No application for any water connection shall be approved relating to property on which any violation of this chapter exists, and no water connection shall be made to any property which is the subject of a pending application by the owners or their agents for permission to utilize water from any other source except the mains of the Riverhead Water District.
[Added 11-16-1976]
[Amended 11-16-1976]
The district shall install the water service and water meter, at any location to be determined by the Superintendent of the district, adjacent to or at the premises to be served. The charges for this installation shall be as hereinafter provided. For certain installations, the meter may be installed in the building which is being served. Where a meter is installed in a building, a valve shall be placed in the sidewalk area by the Water District.
The owner of the premises shall install or cause to be installed and shall maintain at his own expense the water service pipe from the water meter pit or valve or curb stop of the inverted key type to the premises to be served. The pipe to be installed by the consumer from the valve or curb stop of the inverted key type to the meter within a building shall be of a type and kind as shall be approved by the Superintendent.
All water pipes and fixtures within property lines shall be protected from frost and be maintained in good repair by the property owner and shall be installed in a manner approved by the Superintendent of the district.
[Added 11-16-1976]
Where water service installed prior to 1929 is found to be improper or faulty, the Board may require the meter to be installed at the district's expense in the sidewalk area.
No cross-connection between a private water supply and the water system of the district will be allowed, except as may be authorized pursuant to Article II of this chapter.
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 101, General Provisions, Art. I).
No charge will be made for regular inspection and testing of meters. When a consumer requests a test of a meter in the interval of regular inspections, a charge, payable in advance, will be made if the meter is correct. The cost to repair any damages to a meter through the negligence of a consumer shall be paid by the consumer.
If premises to which water service is provided are to be closed or unoccupied, the owner or his agent must notify the Superintendent in order that the meter may be read and the curb cock closed. In the event of leakage of water and the owner or his agent has failed to notify the Superintendent of the closing of the premises, the owner shall pay for all water that may be lost.
[Amended 5-4-1993]
No person shall open, interfere with or draw water from any fire hydrant in the district without a permit from the district therefor, except that hydrants may be opened by an officer or a firefighter under the direction of an officer of the Riverhead, Jamesport or Wading River Fire Departments in the performance of their duties.
[Amended 5-7-1985; 5-4-1993]
If the supply of water to any premises is turned off by direction of the Town Board or Superintendent, it shall not be turned on thereafter without the permission of the Superintendent or Town Board. If it shall be turned on without permission, such act shall be an offense against the district, and the person committing such act shall pay a civil penalty of $250 for each offense which may be prosecuted in the civil portion of the Riverhead Justice Court.
The owner shall have a check valve and a relief valve installed on the waterlines to prevent hot water from traveling backwards to the water meter.
The Superintendent or person designated by him shall have full power to enter the premises of any consumer at all reasonable hours to examine fixtures, plumbing, manner of using the water and cross-connections. The Superintendent or person designated by him shall have power to enter the premises where meters are located therein for the purpose of reading, testing or repairing the meter.
Persons wishing to discontinue the use of water must give five days' written notice thereof to the Superintendent except in an emergency.
[Amended 11-16-1976]
Pursuant to § 198 of the Town Law of the State of New York, unpaid water charges shall constitute a lien against the real property upon which or in connection with which the water is used. Where title to real property is conveyed, the grantee or new owner shall be liable for payment of all unpaid water charges against the grantor or former owner, and owners of real property shall be deemed liable for unpaid water charges incurred by occupants or tenants of the premises.
Bills for water rents will be rendered to consumers quarterly. In the case of consumers of large quantities of water or in special cases, the district may, at its discretion, render bills on other dates and at more frequent intervals. All such bills shall be paid to the district at its office within 30 days after the date thereof.
The Town Board, by resolution, may fix the rates, fees or any other charges for services which are performed or furnished by the Water District. All of the rates and charges so established by the Town Board by authority of this section shall be filed and available for public inspection in the Town Clerk's office and in the office of the Water District.
[Amended 5-4-1993]
Any willful injury to any installation provided by the Water District constitutes a misdemeanor and shall be punishable by a penalty not exceeding $100.
The Riverhead Water District may sue and be sued in its own name in any civil action. Any damages to any of the installations provided by the Riverhead Water District caused by the negligence of the consumer may be recovered by a civil action.
[Amended 2-18-1958]
All persons or corporations performing work under these rules and regulations shall comply with all federal, state and county regulations as well as any and all regulations set forth by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.[1]
Editor's Note: Original § 105-21 of the 1976 Code, Penalties for offenses, as amended, which immediately followed this section, was repealed 5-4-1993.
The right is reserved to change or amend these rules and regulations, to make special rates, variations or contracts in all proper cases, or to turn off the water supply without notice, in case of extensions, repairs or other necessity, without liability for damages for lack of water or for any other damage that may result from the turning off of the water supply.
[Amended 12-20-1966]
The right is reserved to the Town Board to limit the use of water for human consumption or for sanitary purposes.
[Added 12-20-1966]
The Town Board, acting as the Board of Commissioners of the Riverhead Water District, shall have the power to adopt a resolution providing how water connections shall be made and shall make and establish from time to time water rates to be paid by consumers and may provide for the payment of such water charges in advance.
[Added 12-20-1966; amended 5-4-1993]
In addition to any other penalty hereunder, in the case where there are unpaid water charges which are in arrears for 30 days or longer, violators shall be subject to a penalty of 10% of the amount due and shall have their supply of water cut off if such water charges are not paid within 60 days from the due date. Water service which is terminated due to nonpayment shall not be restored until the account is brought current and the fee for turnoff and turn-on is paid.
[Added 11-16-1976]
The cost of all materials, including water meters and labor for the installation of service pipes, meters and appurtenances supplying any premises, from the tap on the district water main to the subject property shall be borne by the property owner.
[Added 11-16-1976]
All meters and appurtenances shall be approved by the district in order to maintain the uniformity and quality of equipment.
[Added 11-16-1976]
The tapping of water mains for service connections or for any other purpose shall be performed solely by employees of the district, or by qualified contractors only after written permission to perform such work is given by the Superintendent of the district.
[Added 11-16-1976]
All permits required by Town, county or state authorities for street or highway openings shall be obtained, at the property owner's expense, by the owner or his authorized agent. The owner shall be directly responsible to the issuing authority for compliance with and/or performance of the conditions imposed by each such permit.
[Added 11-16-1976]
Willful or negligent waste of water or the commission or existence of any violation of this chapter shall be deemed sufficient cause for the discontinuance of water service by the district to the premises of the owner concerned.
[Added 11-16-1976]
The district shall discontinue water service to any service connection improperly installed. Water service shall not be resumed to such premises until the service connection has been properly installed and all expenses and any damages have been paid by the owner of the affected premises.
[Added 5-4-1993]
Any person who knowingly, intentionally or willfully violates any provision of this Chapter 291 shall be guilty of a violation, punishable by a fine not to exceed $250 and/or imprisonment not to exceed 15 days. Conviction pursuant to this section shall be cumulative and additional to any fee or charge imposed by this Chapter 291, including restitution for any damage done to district facilities.
[Added 11-16-1976]
Responsibility of the Superintendent. The Superintendent of the Riverhead Water District, or his designated agent, shall inspect the plumbing in every building or premises in this Town as frequently as in his judgment may be necessary to ensure that such plumbing has been installed in such a manner as to prevent the possibility of pollution of the water supply of the Town by the plumbing. The Superintendent shall notify or cause to be notified, in writing, the owner or authorized agent of the owner of any such building or premises to correct, within a reasonable time set by the Superintendent, any plumbing installed or existing contrary to or in violation of this chapter, and which, in his judgment, may therefore permit the pollution of the Town water supply or otherwise adversely affect the public health.
Inspection. The Superintendent or his designated agent shall have the right of entry into any building, during reasonable hours, for the purpose of making an inspection of the plumbing systems installed in such building or premises, provided that, with respect to the inspection of any single-family dwelling, consent to such inspection shall first be obtained from a person of suitable age and discretion therein or in control thereof.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
The Riverhead Water District, which is invested with the authority and responsibility for the enactment and enforcement of this chapter.
The unobstructed vertical distance through the free atmosphere between the lowest opening from any pipe or faucet supplying water to a tank, plumbing fixture or other device and the flood-level rim of the receptacle.
Accepted by the Riverhead Water District as meeting an application specification stated or cited in this chapter, or as suitable for the proposed use.
Any water source or system other than the potable water supply that may be available in the building or premises.
The flow of water or other liquids, mixtures or substances into the distributing pipes of a potable supply of water from any source or sources other than its intended source. Backsiphonage is one type of backflow.
A device or means to prevent backflow.
Backflow resulting from negative pressures in the distributing pipes of a potable water supply.
A loop of pipe rising at least 35 feet, at its topmost point, above the highest fixture it supplies.
A self-closing device which is designed to permit the flow of fluids in one direction and to close if there is a reversal of flow.
See "pollution."
Any physical connection between a potable water supply and any waste pipe, soil pipe, sewer, drain or any unapproved source or system. Furthermore, "cross-connection" is any potable water supply outlet which is submerged or can be submerged in wastewater and/or any other source of contamination. (See "backflow" and "backsiphonage.")
Any pipe that carries wastewater or liquid-borne wastes in a building drainage system.
Installed receptacles, devices or appliances supplied with water or that receive or discharge liquids or liquid-borne wastes.
The edge of the receptacle from which water overflows.
Any conditions, devices or practices in the water supply system and its operation which create, or, in the judgment of the Superintendent, may create, a danger to the health and well-being of the water consumer. An example of a health hazard is a structural defect in the water supply system, whether of location, design or construction, that regularly or occasionally may prevent satisfactory purification of the water supply or cause it to be polluted from extraneous sources.
Any arrangement of plumbing, including piping and fixtures, whereby a cross-connection is created.
A pressure vessel in which air pressure acts upon the surface of the water contained within the vessel, pressurizing the water distribution piping connected to the vessel.
The open end of the water supply pipe through which the water is discharged into the plumbing fixture.
Includes the water supply and distribution pipes, plumbing fixtures and traps; soil, waste and vent pipes; building drains and building sewers, including their respective connections, devices and appurtenances within the property lines of the premises; and water-treating or water-using equipment.
The presence of any foreign substance (organic, inorganic, radiological or biological) in water that tends to degrade its quality so as to constitute a hazard or impair the usefulness of the water.
An assembly of differential valves and check valves, including an automatically opened spillage port to the atmosphere, designed to prevent backflow.
The receiving, nonpressure vessel forming part of the air gap separation between a potable and an auxiliary supply.
Any pressure less than that exerted by the atmosphere.
A vacuum breaker designed so as not to be subjected to static line pressure.
A vacuum breaker designed to operate under conditions of static line pressure.
Water that is not safe for human consumption or that is of questionable potability.
Water free from impurities in amounts sufficient to cause disease or harmful physiological effects. Its bacteriological and chemical quality shall conform to the requirements of the Public Health Service Drinking Water Standards or to the regulations of the public health authority having jurisdiction.
General. A potable water supply system shall be designed, installed and maintained in such a manner as to prevent contamination from nonpotable liquids, solids or gases from being introduced into the potable water supply through cross-connections or any other piping connections to the system.
Cross-connections prohibited. Cross-connections between potable water systems and other systems or equipment containing water or other substances of unknown or questionable safety are prohibited, except when and where, as approved by the authority having jurisdiction, suitable protective devices, such as the reduced-pressure-zone backflow preventer or its equal, are installed, tested and maintained to ensure proper operation on a continuing basis.
Interconnections. Interconnection between two or more public water supplies shall be permitted only with the approval of the health authority having jurisdiction.
Individual water supplies. Cross-connections between an individual water supply and a potable public supply shall not be made unless specifically approved by the health authority having jurisdiction.
Connections to boilers. Potable water connections to boilers shall be made through an air gap or provided with an approved backflow preventer.
Prohibited connections to fixtures and equipment. Connection to the potable water supply system for the following is prohibited unless protected against backflow in accordance with Subsection G or as set out herein:
Operating, dissection, embalming and mortuary tables or similar equipment. In such installation, the hose used for the water supply shall terminate at least 12 inches away from every point of the table or attachments.
Pumps for nonpotable water, chemicals or other substances. Priming connections may be made only through an air gap.
Building drainage, sewer or vent systems.
Any other fixture of similar hazard.
Protection against backflow and backsiphonage.
Water outlets. A potable water system shall be protected against backflow and backsiphonage by providing and maintaining at each outlet:
Air gap: an air gap, as specified in Subsection G(2), between the potable water outlet and the flood-level rim of the fixture it supplies or between the outlet and any other source of contamination; or
Backflow preventer: a device or means to prevent backflow.
Minimum required air gap.
Measurement. The minimum required air gap shall be measured vertically from the lowest end of a potable water outlet to the flood rim or line of the fixture or receptacle into which it discharges.
Size. The minimum required air gap shall be twice the effective opening of a potable water outlet unless the outlet is a distance less than three times the effective opening away from a wall or similar vertical surface, in which case the minimum required air gap shall be three times the effective opening of the outlet. In no case shall the minimum required air gap be less than shown in the table below:
Minimum Air Gaps for Generally Used Plumbing Fixtures
Minimum Air Gap
When Not Affected by Near Wall1
When Affected by Near Wall2
Lavatories and other fixtures with effective openings not greater than 1/2 inch in diameter
Sink, laundry trays, gooseneck bath faucets and other fixtures with effective openings not greater than 3/4 inch in diameter
Over-rim bath fillers and other fixtures with effective openings not greater than 1 inch in diameter
Drinking water fountains: single orifice, 7/16 (0.437) inch in diameter, or multiple orifices, having a total area of 0.150 square inch (area of circle), 7/16 inch in diameter
Effective openings greater than 1 inch
Sidewalls, ribs or similar obstructions do not affect air gaps when spaced from the inside edge of the spout opening a distance greater than three times the diameter of the effective opening for a single wall or a distance greater than four times the diameter of the effective opening for two intersecting walls.
Vertical walls, ribs or similar obstructions extending from the water surface to or above the horizontal plane of the spout opening require a greater air gap when spaced closer to the nearest inside edge of the spout opening than specified in Note 1 above. When the effect of three or more such vertical walls or ribs has not been determined, in such cases, the air gap shall be measured from the top of the wall.
Two times diameter of effective opening.
Three times diameter of effective opening.
Approval of devices.
Before any device for the prevention of backflow or backsiphonage is installed, it shall have first been certified by a recognized testing laboratory acceptable to the Riverhead Water District Superintendent. Devices installed in a building potable water supply distribution system for protection against backflow shall be maintained in good working condition by the person or persons responsible for the maintenance of the system.
The Riverhead Water District Superintendent or his designee shall inspect routinely such devices and, if found to be defective or inoperative, shall require the replacement thereof.
Installation of devices.
Reduced-pressure-principle backflow preventer. A reduced-pressure-principle-type backflow preventer may be installed subject to full static pressure.
Devices of all types. Backflow and backsiphonage preventing devices shall be accessibly located, preferably in the same room with the fixture they serve. Installation in utility or service spaces, provided that they are readily accessible, is also permitted.
Tanks and vats below rim supply.
Where a potable water outlet terminates below the rim of a tank or vat and the tank or vat has an overflow of a diameter not less than given in the table below, the overflow pipe shall be provided with an air gap as close to the tank as possible.
Sizes of Overflow Pipes for Water Supply Tanks
Maximum Capacity of Water Supply Line to Tank
(gallons per minute)
Diameter of Overflow Pipe
0 to 50
50 to 100
2 1/2
100 to 200
200 to 400
400 to 700
700 to 1,000
Over 1,000
The potable water outlet to the tank or vat shall terminate a distance not less than 1 1/2 times the height to which water can rise in the tank above the top of the overflow. This level shall be established at the maximum flow rate of the supply to the tank or vat and with all outlets except the air gap overflow outlet closed.
The distance from the outlet to the high-water level shall be measured from the critical point of the potable water supply outlet.
Protective devices required. Approved devices to protect against backflow and backsiphonage shall be installed.
Connections subject to backpressure. Where a potable water connection is made to a line, fixture, tank, vat, pump or other equipment with a hazard of backflow or backsiphonage and an air gap cannot be installed, the Superintendent may require the use of an approved reduced-pressure-principal backflow preventer. A partial list of such connections is shown in Subsection G(6)(b) below.
A partial list of cross-connections which may be subject to backpressure shall be:
Chemical lines
Dock water outlets
Individual water supplies
Industrial process waterlines
Pressure tanks
Steam lines
Swimming pools
Tank and vats: bottom inlets
Hose bibs
Barometer loop. Water connections where an actual or potential backsiphonage hazard exists may, in lieu of devices specified in Subsection G(6), be provided with a barometer loop. Barometer loops shall precede the point of connection.
Double-check/double-gate valves. The Superintendent may authorize installation of approved, double-check/double-gate valve assemblies with test cocks as protective devices against backflow in connections between a potable water system and other fluid systems which present no significant health hazard in the judgment of the Superintendent.
Low-pressure cutoff required on booster pumps. When a booster pump is used on a water pressure booster system and the possibility exists that a positive pressure of 20 pounds per square inch or less may occur on the suction side of the pump, there shall be installed a low-pressure cutoff on the booster pump to prevent the creation of a vacuum or negative pressure on the suction side of the pump, thus cutting off water to other outlets.
General requirements. It shall be the responsibility of building and premises owners to maintain all backflow preventers within the building or on the premises in good working order and to make no piping or other arrangements for the purpose of bypassing backflow devices.
Backflow preventers. Periodic testing and inspection schedules shall be established by the Superintendent for all backflow preventers, and the interval between such testing and inspection and overhaul of each device shall be established in accordance with the age and condition of the device. Inspection intervals should not exceed one year, and overhaul intervals should not exceed five years. These devices should be inspected frequently after the initial installation to assure that they have been installed properly and that debris resulting from the installation has not interfered with the functioning of the device. The testing procedures shall be in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions when approved by the Superintendent.
Notification of violation. The Superintendent shall notify the owner or authorized agent of the owner of the building or premises in which there is found a violation of this chapter of such violation. The Superintendent shall set a reasonable time for the owner to have the violation removed or corrected. Upon failure of the owner to have the defect corrected by the end of the specified time interval, the Superintendent may, if in his judgment a health hazard exists, cause the water service to the building or premises to be terminated and/or recommend such additional fines or penalties to be involved as herein may be provided.
Fines. The owner or authorized agent of the owner responsible for the maintenance of the plumbing systems in the building who knowingly permits a violation to remain uncorrected after the expiration of time set by the Superintendent shall, upon conviction thereof by the court, be required to pay a fine of not more than $100 for each violation. Each day of failure to comply with the requirements of this chapter, after the specified time provided under Subsection A, shall constitute a separate violation.