Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, MI
Calhoun County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Tribal Council of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi 12-11-2014 by Res. No. 12-11-14-04 (Title I, Ch. 3, of the Tribal Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 1.3-1 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish a Utility Department which shall be organized and operated for the following purposes:
A. 
To provide for sanitary potable community water and community sewerage systems.
B. 
To assume control of and responsibility for the operation, repair and maintenance of the water and sewer facilities and equipment in order to keep the systems in good operating condition, in accordance with accepted standards and practices.
C. 
To promulgate and enforce such regulations, policies, and procedures to carry out the duties and functions of the Utility Department as are authorized here and imposed by Tribal Council.

§ 1.3-2 Adoption; amendment; conflicts; repeal; severability.

A. 
Adoption. This chapter is adopted by Resolution No. 12-11-14-04.
B. 
Amendment. This chapter may be amended by the Tribal Council in accordance with the Constitution and any rules set forth governing amendment of laws of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi.
C. 
Conflict of code or regulations. In any case where a provision of this chapter is found to be in conflict with a provision of any zoning, building, fire safety, or health ordinance, code or resolution, existing on the effective date of this chapter, the provision which establishes the higher standard for the promotion and protection of the health and safety of the people shall prevail; in any case, a code, which establishes a lower standard for the promotion and protection of the health and safety of the people than the provisions of this chapter, shall be superseded by this chapter, and such other codes or resolutions are hereby declared to be repealed to the extent that they may be found in conflict with this chapter.
D. 
If any section, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter shall be declared invalid for any reason whatsoever, such decision shall not affect the remaining portions of this chapter, which shall remain in full force and effect; and, to this end, the provisions of this chapter are hereby declared to be severable.

§ 1.3-3 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, except where otherwise specifically provided or the context otherwise requires, the following terms and expressions shall have the following meanings:
COMMERCIAL
Any building or facility that is not residential, including buildings or facilities in which government, education, community or recreational functions or activities are conducted.
COMMUNITY SEWERAGE SYSTEM
The sewerage system owned and operated by the Tribe for the collection and disposal of liquid and water-carried domestic and industrial wastes.
COUNCIL
The NHBP Tribal Council, the governing body of the Tribe.
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS/FACILITIES DIRECTOR (DPW/FACILITIES DIRECTOR)
The Director of the NHBP Public Works Department.
DEPARTMENT or UTILITY
May be used interchangeably throughout this chapter to refer to the Utility Department created by this Code.
DOMESTIC WELL
A well which serves or is intended to serve as a source of water supply for domestic use or drinking water.
INDIVIDUAL SEWAGE DISPOSAL SYSTEM
A sewage disposal system other than the community sewerage system for the collection and disposal of human excreta, or liquid or water-carried wastes, or both from one or more premises and includes privies, septic tanks, soil-absorption systems, chemical-type toilets and similar facilities, together with all necessary connecting pipes, fittings, control valves and appurtenances.
OCCUPANT
The person of record who at that time is the head of the household occupying the home whether being rented, leased or authorized by the owner.
OWNER
The holder of the premises to which water or sewer service is to be provided.
PLUMBING FIXTURES
The receptacles, devices or appliances supplied with water or which receive or discharge liquids or liquid borne wastes, all necessary connecting pipes, fittings, control valves and appurtenances in or adjacent to the building.
POTABLE COMMUNITY WATER SYSTEM
The water supply system owned by the Tribe.
TOXIC WASTE
Those elements, materials, substances, wastes or by-products in any quantity or form, including but not limited to chemicals, combustible liquid, corrosives, etiologic (biologic) agents; flammable gas, explosives, flammables, poisons, organic peroxides, oxidizers, pyrophoric, radioactive materials, unstable reactive matter, water reactive matter, petroleum or petroleum products, antifreeze, polychlorinated biphenyls and asbestos, which are or are potentially harmful to the environment or human or animal life or which pose an unreasonable or imminent risk to life, health or safety of persons or property or to the ecological balance of the environment as determined by the Fire Chief or his or her designee. These elements, substances, wastes or their by-products include those which are contained in the list of hazardous substances adopted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or which are contained in the list of toxic pollutants designated by Congress or the EPA, or which are defined as hazardous, toxic, pollutant, infectious, flammable, combustible, explosive or radioactive by any federal, tribal, state, or local law, ordinance, code, rule, regulation, order or decree, regulating, relating to, or imposing liability or standards of conduct concerning any hazardous, toxic or dangerous waste substance or material as now or at any time hereafter in effect, including but not limited to the Federal Toxic Substances Control Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.; the Federal Hazardous Material Transportation Act, as amended; the Federal Clean Air Act; hazardous substances, as defined in Part 201 of Act No. 451 of the Public Acts of 1994 of the State of Michigan, as amended[1]; hazardous waste, as defined in Part 111 of Act No. 451 of the Public Acts of 1994 of the State of Michigan, as amended[2]; petroleum, as defined in Part 213 of Act No. 451 of the Public Acts of the State of Michigan, as amended.[3]
TRIBAL COURT
The Court of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi.
TRIBE
The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi or NHBP.
UTILITY DEPARTMENT (UTILITY)
The department that has been set up and is authorized to operate and maintain the potable community water and sewerage facilities and to provide utility services as directed by the Tribe.
[1]
Editor's Note: See MCLA § 324.20101.
[2]
Editor's Note: See MCLA § 324.11103.
[3]
Editor's Note: See MCLA § 324.21301 et seq.

§ 1.3-4 Organization.

A. 
Creation of Utility Department. There is hereby created a Utility Department which shall be managed by the DPW/Facilities Director (hereafter referred to as the "Director"). The Director reports as directed by the CEO.
B. 
Delegation of authority. The Director shall have the authority to exercise any and all powers delegated to the Utility by this chapter.
C. 
Sovereign immunity. The Utility is an agency of the Tribe, and thereby retains all rights of sovereign immunity of the Tribe. By providing services and entering into service agreements, the Utility shall not have the authority to waive the sovereign immunity of the Tribe or any of its officers, agents, attorneys or employees, or anyone else acting at the direction of and on behalf of the Tribe.

§ 1.3-5 Powers.

A. 
General. The Utility shall be given the powers set forth in this section to allow it to carry out its duties and functions.
B. 
Contracting; agreements. The Director shall have the authority to consult with and negotiate agreements, contracts, and understandings with any governmental agency, federal, state, or local, or with any person, partnership, or corporation concerning the Utility's operations, subject to the requirement that such contracts are reviewed by the Tribe's Legal Department and that the execution of such contracts or agreements are authorized by the Tribal Council in accordance with the laws and regulations of the Tribe regarding such approval.
C. 
Accounting. The Tribe, through its Accounting Department, shall, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, develop accounting processes that allow the Utility to:
(1) 
Identify the income, disbursements and expenses related to the operation of the systems.
D. 
Employ personnel. The Director, in accordance with the employment codes and policies of the Tribe and subject to budgetary constraints, may employ personnel to operate the potable community water and community sewerage systems and establish the duties and compensation of its employees. Compensation paid to Utility employees shall be an operating expense of the potable community water and sewerage systems.

§ 1.3-6 Plan of operation for the NHBP Utility Department.

A. 
General. This section shall serve as the operating guideline for the Utility and may be excerpted and referred to as the "Plan of Operation."
B. 
General policies.
(1) 
Purpose. The purpose of the Utility will be to manage, operate, and maintain the potable community water and community sewerage systems.
(2) 
Place of business. The Utility will maintain an office on the Pine Creek Reservation in Athens, Michigan. Its mailing address will be:
1485 Mno-Bmadzewen Way
Fulton, Michigan 49052
C. 
Services offered.
(1) 
Water service. The Utility is responsible to provide safe, adequate water to those connected to the main lines of the potable community water system. Responsibility for maintenance will include water sources, storage tank, controls, mainlines, valves and hydrants, and service lines to the curb stops only.
(2) 
Sewerage service. The Utility is responsible to provide sanitary disposal of domestic waste to those connected to the main lines of the community sewerage system. Responsibility for maintenance will include treatment facilities, pumping stations, mainlines and manholes, and service lines to the property lines only.
(3) 
Maintenance; repair service. To ensure the provision of adequate water and sewerage service to its customers, the Utility will retain qualified personnel on duty or on call at all times. The Utility will respond as quickly as possible to breakdowns and other emergencies.
(4) 
Septic tank service. The Utility may elect to provide for pumping of individual septic tanks for a fee. Responsibility of the Utility will cover only such elective pumping. The Utility shall not guarantee the operation of septic tank systems whether properly or improperly designed, maintained or constructed.
(5) 
Other services. The Utility may agree to perform under contract with the Tribe or persons in regards to construction or operating and maintenance services.
(6) 
Future services. The Utility is authorized to identify business plans that may provide solid waste, electrical, gas, telephone, septic haulers, receiving or other utility services. Such business plans shall be approved by the Tribal Council prior to implementation, and shall include any necessary proposed amendments to this chapter and any existing regulations.
D. 
Services covered.
(1) 
Water (community systems). All tribal housing projects and commercial establishments.
(2) 
Sewerage (community systems). All tribal housing projects and commercial establishments.
(3) 
Septic tanks (individual systems). Services for individual septic tank systems may be available at the Utility's discretion in communities served by the community sewerage system and potable community water system. Maintenance of individual systems is the responsibility of the owner.
E. 
Maintenance schedule. The Utility will develop and follow a regular schedule of maintenance services for each potable community water and community sewerage system. These services will include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) 
Potable community water systems.
(a) 
Inspect and operate all valves and hydrants.
(b) 
Inspect and repair water mains for leaks or damage.
(c) 
Flush water lines.
(d) 
Inspect storage tank and level indicators.
(e) 
Adjust and service controls.
(f) 
Maintain all components as necessary.
(2) 
Community sewerage systems.
(a) 
Flush sewer mains.
(b) 
Remove debris from manholes.
(c) 
Inspect and service lift station and mechanical aerators.
(d) 
Operate and maintain wastewater treatment plant.

§ 1.3-7 Utilization of potable community water and sewerage systems.

A. 
Prohibited acts.
(1) 
Use of water source other than potable community water system. It shall be unlawful for any person to construct, maintain or utilize a source of water supply other than the potable community water system for drinking and sanitation purposes upon any premises owned by the Tribe, which are located within 200 feet of lines of the potable community water system. Individually owned and maintained domestic wells for irrigation purposes shall be permitted only upon compliance with requirements of the Indian Health Service, and the codes and regulations of the Tribe.
(2) 
Disposal of sewage and liquid wastes. It shall be unlawful for any person to dispose of sewage, liquid wastes, or human excretion upon any premises owned by the Tribe, which are located within 200 feet from any line of the community sewerage system or to provide for the disposal of such wastes from such premises other than through the utilization of the community sewerage system.
(3) 
Occupancy of certain buildings. It shall be unlawful for any person to occupy or knowingly permit the occupancy by one or more persons, as a place of permanent or temporary residence, of any building on any lands held in trust for the Tribe or any lands owned by the Tribe, which are located within 200 feet of lines of the potable community water and sewerage systems or to conduct any business in any such buildings unless the building is connected to the potable community water system and the community sewerage system, provided that, in the case of temporary buildings to be occupied for periods of not more than thirty (30) days in any one year upon application by the owner of such buildings and a showing satisfactory to the Utility that the source of water supply and the provision for sewage and waste disposal from such building is safe and adequate to protect the public health.
(4) 
Commercial agricultural uses. It shall be unlawful for any person to utilize the water from the potable community water system for any commercial agricultural uses. Individual gardens shall be considered domestic uses. Garden size shall not exceed 10 feet by 10 feet in size. Gardens may be located in back/side yards only; to be approved by the Director.
(5) 
Unauthorized connections.
(a) 
It shall be unlawful for any person to connect any individual water service line to the potable community water system, or to repair, modify, or disconnect any such connection except as provided herein.
(b) 
It shall be unlawful for any person to connect any individual sewer service line into the community sewerage system or to repair, modify, or disconnect any such connection except as provided herein.
(6) 
Cross-connections.
(a) 
Prohibition. This chapter prohibits cross-connections with the potable community water system, i.e., a connection or arrangement of piping or appurtenances through which water of questionable quality, wastes or other contaminants can enter the potable community water system. A "cross-connection" is defined as any physical connection between the potable community water system and another system, either water or waste. Any individual source must be completely disconnected from the household plumbing prior to connection to the potable community water system. Disconnections made solely by a valve shall not be permitted.
(b) 
Responsibility to inspect. It shall be the duty of the Utility to cause inspections to be made of all properties served by the potable community water system where cross-connections with the potable community water system are deemed possible. The frequency of inspections and reinspections based on potential health hazards involved shall be as established by the Utility. The Utility shall have the right to enter, with advance notice to the property owner, and if applicable, the lessee, at any reasonable time if the property is served by a connection to the potable community water system for the purpose of inspecting the piping system or systems thereof for cross-connections. On request by the Utility, the owner or occupants of any property served by the potable community water system shall furnish to the Utility any pertinent information regarding the piping system or systems on such property. The refusal of such information or refusal of access, when requested, shall be deemed evidence of the presence of cross-connections.
(c) 
Disconnection. The Utility shall discontinue water service after reasonable notice to any property wherein any connection in violation of this chapter exists, and to take such other precautionary measures deemed necessary to eliminate any danger of contamination of the potable community water system. Water service to such property shall not be restored until the cross-connection(s) has been eliminated in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
(7) 
Unauthorized disposal. No person or entity shall dispose of any material into the sanitary sewer which may cause the collection lines to become blocked or excessively loaded with solids, including but not limited to garbage, disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, paper material other than toilet paper, cigarette waste, cat litter, etc. The waste from preparation, cooking and dispensing of food must be properly shredded to such a degree that all particles will be carried freely under the flow conditions normally prevailing in public sewers with no particle greater than 1/2 inch or 1.27 centimeters in any dimension.
(8) 
Toxic waste disposal. No person or entity shall dispose of any toxic, radioactive or otherwise hazardous waste into the Community Sewerage System.
B. 
Order for connection and failure to comply. If any person or entity fails to comply for more than ten (10) days after notice in writing from the Utility to make a connection or otherwise comply with this chapter and any regulations issued pursuant thereto, the Utility may cause connection to be made or mandate compliance. Nothing in this section shall exempt such owner from being proceeded against for creating a public nuisance or from any of the penalties provided in this chapter.
C. 
Connections to potable community water and sewerage systems.
(1) 
Making of connections. All individual water and sewer service connections and repairs, modifications, or disconnections shall be made only by a licensed plumber or contractor, or an authorized NHBP DPW/Facilities employee, upon approval of an application and receipt of a permit.
(2) 
Application for water service connection. Each application for water service connection, repair, modification or disconnection shall be made in writing to the Utility and shall be signed by the owner of the premises and shall include the following:
(a) 
Legal name and address of the applicant.
(b) 
Description of the property and building for which the water service is requested.
(c) 
The name and address of the licensed plumber or contractor who will install the service lines from the building to be served to the potable community water system, including a copy of the person's insurance or bonding.
(d) 
A description of the fixtures to be used in the structure or building.
(e) 
Such additional information as the Utility may require the customer to demonstrate that the proposed connection complies with this chapter and any applicable regulations.
(3) 
Application for sewer service connection. Each application for sewer service connection, repair, or modification shall be made in writing to the Utility, shall be signed by the owner of the premises and shall include the following:
(a) 
Legal name and address of the applicant.
(b) 
Description of the property and building to be served.
(c) 
A plan of the proposed location of all fixtures to be served and of the service lines to be installed, including a description of the type and size of pipe showing the elevation of all fixtures and the service lines.
(d) 
The name and address of the licensed plumber or contractor who will install the service lines from the building to be served to the community sewerage system, including a copy of the person's insurance or bonding.
(e) 
Such additional information as the Utility may require to demonstrate that the proposed connection complies with this chapter and any regulations.
(4) 
Approval of application. If the Utility is satisfied that the application and the proposed connection complies with this chapter and applicable regulations hereunder related to the utilization of the potable community water and sewerage system, it shall approve the application and make or allow the connection applied for, provided that the Utility may impose such conditions on its approval as it considers necessary to assure the safe and proper utilization and operation of the community water and sewerage systems, including insurance and bonding requirements.
(5) 
Hearing on denial of application. Any person whose application for a connection has been denied or approved with conditions may, within ten (10) days of official notification of the Utility's action, file a written request for a hearing before the Tribal Court. The request for a hearing must be served on the Utility. Such hearing shall be held as soon as practicable by the Tribal Court after the filing of the request and upon reasonable notification of the applicant and shall be limited to appellate review of the decision of the Utility.
(6) 
Installation of new materials. The DPW/Facilities Director shall approve all new materials for future connections, repair or modifications. All installation of new materials must be requested through the application process provided in Subsections C(2) and (3) of this section.
(7) 
Meters. All new structures that are connected to the potable community water system are required to install a water meter. All meters for measurement of utility services shall be installed at the time of construction in accordance with the requirements of the Utility. All water meters shall be the property of the Utility and shall be maintained by it. All meters shall remain accessible to the Utility, and no person shall obstruct or tamper with any meter. Such obstruction or tampering shall be a violation of this chapter and subject the violator to actual damages and civil penalties under this chapter.
D. 
Interceptors.
(1) 
Grease, oil, sand interceptors and conventional grease traps shall be provided when, in the opinion of the Utility, they are necessary for the proper handling of liquid wastes containing grease in excessive amounts, or any flammable wastes, sand and other harmful ingredients; except that such interceptors shall not be required for private living quarters or dwelling units. All interceptors shall be of a type and capacity approved by the Utility and shall be located as to be readily and easily accessible for cleaning and inspection.
(2) 
Grease and oil interceptors shall be constructed of impervious materials capable of withstanding abrupt and extreme changes in temperature. They shall be of substantial construction, watertight, and equipped with easily removable covers which, when bolted in place, shall be gastight and watertight.

§ 1.3-8 Inspections; penalty for obstructions.

A. 
Authorized inspections. The Utility is hereby authorized to make such inspections at reasonable times during daylight hours as are necessary to determine satisfactory compliance with this chapter and the regulations promulgated hereunder.
B. 
Duty to permit entry. The owner and occupant of a property shall provide such agents of the Utility access to the property for the purpose of making such inspections as necessary. Any person who willfully obstructs or prevents an employee or representative of the Utility from entering or remaining on the property for a lawful purpose under this chapter shall be subject to a penalty of $100 for each such incident, and in addition to such penalty, shall be liable to the Utility in a civil action for all damages, costs, and attorney's fees whether at trial or on appeal, suffered by the Utility as a result of the obstruction. Such obstruction will result in the disconnection of service until the property can be inspected.

§ 1.3-9 Operation and maintenance.

A. 
Administration.
(1) 
Responsibility for operation and maintenance of the potable community water and community sewerage systems shall be vested solely in the Utility, including the responsibility of making the necessary inspections.
(2) 
Responsibility for enforcement of this chapter shall be vested in the Utility. Responsibility for legal actions to enjoin violations, to enjoin public nuisances, to collect penalties, and to prosecute violators shall be vested in the Utility, which shall be obligated to take any appropriate legal action based upon a complaint filed by a resident of the community, person or entity.
(3) 
Regulations.
(a) 
Regulations of the Utility shall be adopted or amended only after a public hearing. Notice of the proposed action shall be posted in the NHBP Community Center, NHBP Health Department, NHBP Government Center, NHBP Northern Health Department and Administration Building, the Turtle Press, and the NHBP website, and contain the entire text of the proposed rules or regulations or shall state generally the substance thereof; advise where the text is available; the time and place of the hearing; and shall be posted for public inspection at the office of the Utility for a period of not less than ten (10) days prior to the date of the hearing.
(b) 
A current file of all regulations adopted by the Utility under this chapter shall be available for public inspection during regular business hours at the office of the Utility.
(c) 
The Utility is authorized to adopt and amend, from time to time, regulations to carry out the provisions of this chapter; but no person shall be bound for any such regulation unless it shall have been posted for public inspection for ten (10) consecutive days before its adoption. All regulations shall be effective upon receipt by the Tribal Council Secretary.
B. 
Operation and maintenance of potable community water and sewerage systems.
(1) 
Standards for installation. The Utility may promulgate, alter and amend regulations establishing standards for the installation of domestic fixtures to be served by connections to the potable community water and community sewerage systems, and for the installation of water and sewer service lines for the purpose of assuring the safe and efficient utilization of the community systems. All service lines shall be installed in accordance with such applicable standards.
(2) 
Standards of operation and maintenance. The Utility shall operate and maintain the potable community water and community sewerage systems in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, as amended, and in compliance with the standards and requirements for operation and maintenance from time to time promulgated, ordered or defined by the federal government or agencies thereof.
(3) 
General rules with respect to large users of water.
(a) 
Before proceeding with the purchase of any equipment which will necessitate the use of large quantities of water within short periods of time, the Utility shall be consulted for advice, as well as the Planning Department of the Tribe, as to the best method of installation and for information concerning the conditions under which the water will be supplied to the premises.
(b) 
In general, the Utility reserves the right to limit the size of service connections or opening through which its service is furnished for filling storage tanks, hydraulic equipment, private fire service, or other classes of service capable of drawing relatively large quantities of water and thereby causing undue fluctuations of pressure in portions of the system.
(4) 
Termination of service; abandonment. A customer planning to vacate the grounds, building or residence served by the Utility shall notify the Utility in writing one (1) week prior to the date the customer plans to either vacate or terminate service, whichever is later.
(5) 
Vacation of premises. When premises are vacated, the customer shall notify the Utility, in writing, in advance of the intended vacation, so that the Utility may, if so desired, shut off the supply at the curb stop. The consumer shall be liable to the Utility for any damage to the system or utility resulting from failure to notify of such vacancy.
(6) 
Occasional service. Water taken from a tap and used for construction work must be covered by a written permit which can be obtained only from the Utility. In no case shall any contractor or construction worker draw water from the potable community water system without obtaining a permit. No person or entity shall allow any contractor, mason, laborer or other person to take water from the premises without presentation of a permit from the Utility. A person failing to comply with this rule shall have his/her service shut off, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished as provided in § 1-3.10.
(7) 
DPW/facilities employees. DPW/facilities employees may obtain water from any point of access. For example, from houses, government buildings, grounds, fire hydrants, etc.
(8) 
Waste of water prohibited. Excessive use of or waste of water whether caused by carelessness or defective or leaking plumbing is strictly prohibited and is cause for termination of service. The Utility shall reserve the right to determine excessive use.
(9) 
Limitations of sprinkling. In the event there shall be a shortage of supply of water for any reason, and particularly in the summer due to drought or heavy use, the Utility may declare an emergency to exist in which event the water users shall be restricted in the use of water for sprinkling, as determined by the Utility. The emergency shall be deemed to exist until the Utility shall proclaim by another notice that the emergency status has been terminated.

§ 1.3-10 Violations and penalties; claims for damages.

A. 
Penalties. Any person who violates, refuses to comply with, or resists the enforcement of, any of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $500 as provided by the Tribal Court. Each day a person is in violation shall constitute a separate offense.
B. 
Other proceedings. Nothing in this section shall exempt such violator from being proceeded against by the Utility for creating a public nuisance or from having water or sewerage services terminated by the Utility.
C. 
Damages, no claims for. No persons using water or sewer services provided by the Utility shall enter a claim against the Utility, the Tribe or any of the officers thereof, for damages to any fixture or appurtenance by reason of backup of sewage or sewer gas or interrupted water supply or variation in pressure, or for damages of any nature caused by turning off or on, either partially or entirely, of the water supply for any premises, either for repairs or alterations of any water main, or for the discontinuance of the service to the premises for violation of any rule or regulation of the Utility. No claims will be permitted against the Utility because of interruption of supply caused by breaking of pipes or by stoppage for repairs for fire or other emergencies. In case of a probable stoppage of water supply when time of interruption can be forecast, every reasonable attempt will be made by the Utility to inform the customer of the action.