City of Lewes, DE
Sussex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Lewes as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Plumbing — See Ch. 145.
Sewers — See Ch. 158.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 167.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 170.
[Adopted 12-11-1995]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CITY WATER SYSTEM
Includes the water meter, curb stop, pitsetter, valves, connections, water service pipes, house cutoff valves and distribution pipes which, once installed and certified, become part of the City water system within or without the City limits.
[Amended 12-11-2006]
PERSON
Includes corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies and joint-stock companies, as well as individuals.
PREMISES
Includes all houses, buildings or properties used for human occupancy, employment, recreation or other purposes situated in an area served by the City waterworks system.
[Amended 12-11-2006; 6-24-2019]
Where any land and/or buildings abut(s) a street, alley or way in the City of Lewes or any area in which there is a City water main, all plumbing facilities on such land or in such building(s) shall be connected to the City water system within 90 days of the date such City water main is available for connection to such land and/or buildings. After such connection, such property shall immediately cease using any method, other than the City water system, to obtain water; provided, however, that geothermal heating/cooling systems shall not be connected to the City's water system (see also § 145-35 of this Code). Where any land and/or buildings not in the City of Lewes wherein the owner thereof is seeking to connect to the City water system, the property owner shall first annex the property into the City. If the subject property is not contiguous to the City boundary at the time of connection, the property owner shall first execute a preannexation agreement with the City agreeing to annexation if, and when, the property becomes contiguous to the City boundary or otherwise becomes annexable into the City. Preannexation agreements pursuant to this section shall constitute a deed restriction, shall be in recordable form and be recorded in the Office of Recorder of Deeds in and for Sussex County. The City may waive the annexation requirements of this section upon a showing before the Mayor and City Council that special conditions exist making annexation infeasible or otherwise not in the best interests of the City.
No connection with a water main shall be made without a water tapping and connection permit. Application for a water tap and connection permit shall be made, in writing, to the Board of Public Works and shall contain an agreement by the applicant to abide by and accept all of the provisions of this article as conditions governing the use of the City water supply. A fee established by the Board of Public Works by resolution shall be paid at the time of submitting the application and prior to issuance of the tapping permit.
A. 
All premises using the City water supply shall be equipped with a water meter contained within a pitsetter. All standard water meters of a size, 3/4 inches by 5/8 inches materials necessary for connecting to a service line, meter pitsetters, pit covers, readouts and other necessary appurtenances shall be furnished to the customer by the City at a fee established by the Board of Public Works by resolution. Installation of the pitsetter shall be done by a licensed plumber at the expense of the owner, and installation of the water meter, together with the readout, shall be done by the Board of Public Works' personnel at no additional charge. All installations shall be in accordance with the Board of Public Works' specifications and approved by the Board of Public Works.
B. 
After the date of this article, all water meters shall be installed in an easily accessible location at a point at or near the front of the premises at a location approved by the Board of Public Works and at finished grade so as to enable the Board's personnel to easily and visibly locate the same whenever necessary.
C. 
Before any premises are occupied, a water meter shall be installed as herein required.
D. 
The Board of Public Works, or a person authorized by it, shall read or cause to be read every water meter used in the City or any area served by the City water system at such times as are necessary for the proper billing of property owners.
[Amended 12-11-2006]
E. 
Water meters shall be taken out and tested at the written request of the property owner upon payment of a fee as established by the Board of Public Works by resolution. If the inspection discloses that the water meter is not within 3% of being accurate, then it shall be repaired or replaced and the fee returned to the property owner.
Hereinafter the passage of this article, metallic curb stops, approved by the Board of Public Works, shall be placed on every new or replacement service pipe and shall be located as near to the property line of the premises served as is practicable. Such boxes shall be so located that they are easily accessible and shall be protected from frost by a metallic lid approved by the Board of Public Works. Curb stops shall be installed by the Board of Public Works at the expense of the property owner.
A. 
All water service pipes (laterals) from the City water main to the curb stop shall be installed and maintained by the Board of Public Works. All house connections and service pipes from and including the curb stop and water meter and related appurtenances shall be installed by a licensed plumber at the expense of the property owner.
B. 
All repairs to service pipes, house connection pipes, curb stops and plumbing systems of buildings shall be made by and at the expense of the property owner. At its own discretion, the Board of Public Works may, in the case of emergency, cut off service, and, in such event, the expense of such cutoff shall be paid to the Board of Public Works by the property owner at a fee as established by resolution.
C. 
No service or house connection pipes shall be installed unless they conform to Chapter 145, Plumbing, of the Code of the City of Lewes.
D. 
No water service pipe shall be placed in the same trench or excavation with a drain or sewer pipe. Water service lines shall be horizontally separated by 10 feet from a sewer pipe.
E. 
All repairs to service pipes located on private property shall be made by a licensed plumber at the expense of the property owner.
All premises upon which any building has been constructed, or may hereafter be constructed, including living units within such building, having a connection with any main or pipes which are now or may be hereafter constructed and used in connection with the City water system, shall pay such rates as established by the Board of Public Works by resolution. The effective date of the rate charges shall also be set by the Board of Public Works by resolution.
A. 
Water bills shall be dated and sent out monthly or at such other times as may be set by the Board of Public Works by resolution.
B. 
All water bills shall be sent to property owners who shall be legally responsible for all water charges and fees. Water bills shall be payable to the Board of Public Works at the office of the Board of Public Works. The Board of Public Works shall have the power to adjust water bills when, in its judgment, an error has been made in the fees or charges billed to the owner.
C. 
A water bill shall be delinquent if it is not paid within 30 days of billing date indicated on the bill. Water service shall be turned off by the Board of Public Works when a bill is delinquent. Once water has been turned off, it shall not be turned on again until the owner pays the Board of Public Works a reconnection fee established by the Board of Public Works by resolution and, in addition, pays all of the sums which are due and owing to the Board of Public Works for water service and any other charges provided for in this article.
D. 
Charges for water shall be a lien upon the premises pursuant to 25 Del. C. Ch. 29 or any subsequent corresponding provision of law. Such lien shall have preference and priority over all other such liens on real estate or upon improvements located on land under lease.
No water shall be resold or distributed by the recipient thereof from the City supply to any premises other than that for which application has been made and the meter installed, except in cases of emergency and only as authorized by the Board of Public Works. Under no circumstances shall water be sold from the City water supply other than by the Board of Public Works.
Water service may be discontinued at the request of a property owner or owner's agent for a period as may be requested to the Board of Public Works. Upon receipt of the notice from the owner, the Board of Public Works shall read the owner's meter and discontinue the service. Minimum monthly charges will continue on a monthly basis. The fees for such discontinuance and resumption shall be set by the Board of Public Works by resolution.
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person other than the Board of Public Works or a person authorized by it to turn on or turn off water from the City water supply at the water meter, curb stop or valve in the pitsetter where the meter is located or at any valve located in the City water system; or to tamper with, alter or damage any part of the City water system, including making connection to the water system without permission of the Board of Public Works, installing, rearranging or tampering with any facility or equipment owned or used by the Board of Public Works to provide such services, including but not limited to the water meter, curb stop, water valve, pitsetter, remote readout or wires leading from the meter in the pitsetter to the remote readout without the permission of the Board of Public Works, except in case of an emergency, including but not limited to a broken water line. In this instance, it shall be the responsibility of the property owner to notify the Board of Public Works of the action taken as a result of the emergency.
B. 
In any prosecution for violation of this article where services have been obtained from the Board of Public Works by the installation of, rearrangement of or tampering with any facility or other equipment owned or used by the Board of Public Works to provide such services without the consent or permission of the Board of Public Works or by any other trick or contrivance, it shall be a rebuttable presumption that the person to whom the services are being furnished has created, caused or knows of the condition which is a violation of this section.
C. 
A person who has obtained services from a public utility by installing, rearranging or tampering with any facility or equipment owned or used by the City or the Board of Public Works to provide such services or by any other trick or contrivance is presumed to have done so with an intent to avoid, or to enable others to avoid, payment for the services involved.
D. 
The rebuttable presumption referred to in Subsections B and C of this section shall not apply to any person to whom such services have been furnished for fewer than 31 days or until there has been at least one meter reading.
E. 
Any person violating any provision of this section shall be fined not less than $50 nor more than $500 for each offense.
F. 
Any property owner violating § 191-2 of this article shall, upon conviction, forfeit and pay a civil penalty of $10 plus costs. Each day of a continuing violation shall constitute a separate violation.
The City and Board of Public Works may, from time to time, promulgate and enforce such rules and regulations and may execute such contracts, as may be necessary, governing the use of the entire or any part of such water system, either within or outside its corporate boundaries.
[Adopted 10-6-2014]
A. 
The installation, maintenance and repair of all residential, commercial and industrial connections and related appurtenances from the City of Lewes Board of Public Works' sewer main to an owner's property line shall be the responsibility of the Board of Public Works and paid for at its expense, except that for new construction the owner shall pay for the entire installation, including from the property line to the sewer main. No plumbing facilities on such land or in such buildings situated on property not in the City of Lewes shall be connected to the City of Lewes sewer system by the Board of Public Works unless the property owner thereof shall first annex the property into the City. If the subject property is not contiguous to the City of Lewes boundary at the time of installation and connection, the property owner shall first execute a preannexation agreement with the City agreeing to annexation if, and when, the property becomes contiguous to the City boundary or otherwise becomes annexable into the City. Preannexation agreements pursuant to this section shall constitute a deed restriction, shall be in recordable form and be recorded in the Office of Recorder of Deeds in and for Sussex County. The City may waive the annexation requirements of this section upon a showing before the Mayor and City Council that special conditions exist making annexation infeasible or otherwise not in the best interests of the City. The installation, maintenance and repair of all residential, commercial and industrial connections and service pipes, and including any cleanouts and related appurtenances from the property line to a home, business or industry, shall be installed, maintained, and repaired by a licensed plumber in accordance with Chapter 145, Plumbing, of the Code of the City of Lewes and the Board of Public Works' specifications and paid for at the property owner's expense.
[Amended 6-24-2019]
B. 
At its own discretion, the Board of Public Works may, in the case of emergency, cut off service. If the emergency is determined to be caused by the owner, or person or entity responsible to the owner, the expense of such cutoff shall be paid to the Board of Public Works by the property owner at a fee equal to the total of the Board of Public Works' total direct and indirect costs to perform the work.
C. 
No service or house connection pipes shall be installed unless they have been legally permitted and conform to Chapter 145, Plumbing, of the Code of the City of Lewes and the specifications identified therein and the Board of Public Works' specifications. All new services shall have a minimum of a cleanout located at the property line serving the service line from the property to the main.
D. 
No sewer service pipe shall be placed in the same trench or excavation with a water pipe. Sewer service lines shall be horizontally separated by a minimum of 10 feet from a water pipe, unless specifically authorized by the Board of Public Works.
E. 
Renewal of all non-polyvinyl chloride (PVC) piping with PVC piping from the main to the property line with the addition of a cleanout at the property line shall be required, at the owner's expense, for all renovations that require a City building permit and increased capacity.