[HISTORY: Adopted by the Water Pollution Control Authority of the Town of Ellington 3-9-1992, as amended 8-31-1993. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
It is determined and declared to be necessary and conducive to the protection of the public health, safety, welfare and convenience of the Town of Ellington WPCA to collect charges from all users which contribute wastewater to the WPCA's collection and treatment works. The proceeds of such charges, so derived, will be used for the purpose of operating and maintaining the public wastewater collection and treatment works. It is intended that user charges meet all costs of operation and maintenance of the sewer systems on an annual basis.
Unless the context specifically indicates otherwise, the meaning of the terms used in this chapter shall be as follows. "Shall" is mandatory; "may" is permissive.
- ACCESSORY APARTMENT
- The same definition in the Ellington Zoning Regulations,  which is a subordinate dwelling unit located within a
single-family residence. An accessory apartment shall not have more
than one bedroom. For the purposes of calculating the user charge,
it will be at .3 (1/3) EDU.[Added 5-15-2001]
- BOD (denoting BIOCHEMICAL OXYGEN DEMAND)
- The quantity of oxygen utilized in the biochemical oxidation of organic matter under standard laboratory procedure in days at 20° C., expressed in milligrams per liter (mg/l).
- COMMERCIAL USER
- All retail stores, restaurants, office buildings, laundries, and other private business and service establishments.
- CRYSTAL LAKE SEWER SERVICE AREA
- That area from which collected wastewater is discharged to the Town of Stafford and defined in the facility plan adopted by the WPCA, as amended from time to time.
- EQUIVALENT DWELLING UNIT (EDU)
- The average wastewater flow discharged from a single dwelling unit in the Town of Ellington. For the purposes of this chapter, an EDU is defined as 150 gallons per day (gpd) of wastewater flow.
- EXCESSIVE WASTEWATER FLOWS
- When water consumption records or other separate meter(s)
reveals that a property uses more then the average amount of water.
Excessive water use translates to excessive sewage use, transferring
sewage treatment cost to others and the potential lack of sewage availability
to other parcels.[Added 5-15-2001]
- FIXED CHARGES
- Those components of the WPCA's annual expenditures which are not directly related to wastewater flow. These charges may include, but are not limited to, the costs associated with staffing, equipping and supplying those employees of the Town of Ellington Department of Public Works dedicated to the WPCA; WPCA administrative expenses, including salaries of administrative personnel, administrative office expenses and administrative charges paid to the Town of Ellington; purchased services, including engineering, administrative consulting, legal advice and insurance expenses; and the cost associated with annual deposits to the equipment/capacity replacement fund.
- GOVERNMENTAL USER
- Includes legislative, judicial, administrative, and regulatory activities of federal, state and local governments.
- HOCKANUM SEWER SERVICE AREA
- That area from which collected wastewater is discharged to the Town of Vernon and defined in the facility plan adopted by the WPCA, as amended from time to time.
- INDUSTRIAL USER
- Includes any user of publicly owned treatment works which is identified in the Standard Industrial Classification Manual, 1972, Office of Management and Budget, as amended and supplemented, under the following divisions: Division A, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing; Division B, Mining; Division D, Manufacturing; Division E, Transportation, Communications, Electric, Gas and Sanitary; and Division I, Services, or any other user which is not a residential user, commercial user, institutional user or governmental user.
- INSTITUTIONAL USER
- Includes social, charitable, religious, and educational activities, such as schools, churches, hospitals, nursing homes, penal institutions and similar institutional users.
- MINIMUM BILL
- That portion of the total user charge assessed against all users of the system, regardless of the volume of wastewater discharged. The minimum bill shall be computed by dividing the total value of the fixed charges (see definition of "fixed charges" above) by the number of users. The minimum bill for commercial, industrial, institutional and governmental users whose flows exceed those defined for an EDU (see the definition of "equivalent dwelling unit" above) shall be computed by dividing the total flow from the facility by the EDU flow value and multiplying the resulting number of EDUs by the minimum bill amount.
- NORMAL DOMESTIC WASTEWATER
- Wastewater that has a BOD concentration of not more than 200 mg/l and a suspended solids concentration of not more than 200 mg/l.
- OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE
- Those functions that result in expenditures during the useful life of the treatment works for materials, labor, utilities and other items which are necessary for managing and using the facilities for which such works were designed and constructed. The term "operation and maintenance" includes replacement as defined below.
- Expenditures for obtaining and installing equipment, accessories or appurtenances that are necessary during the useful life of the treatment works to maintain the capacity and performance for which the works were designed and constructed. "Replacement" is not intended to mean the costs associated with depreciation of the collection or treatment system.
- RESIDENTIAL USER
- Any contributor to the WPCA's treatment works whose lot, parcel, real estate or building is used for domestic dwelling purposes only.
- SEASONAL OCCUPANCY
- The use of a property and sewer system for less than the full calendar year on a consistent basis. During the period of nonoccupancy, no discharge shall be made to the sewer system or any holding tank. For the purpose of this limited use, proof in the form of original copies of electric utility bills for the off season shall be required or other documentary evidence of seasonal use found acceptable to the WPCA. The WPCA shall review this documentation and may adjust billing for the unused period.
- SS (denoting SUSPENDED SOLIDS)
- Solids that either float on the surface of or are in suspension in water, sewage, or other liquids and which are removable by laboratory filtering.
- TREATMENT WORKS
- Any devices and systems for the storage, treatment, recycling and reclamation of municipal sewage, domestic sewage or liquid industrial wastes. These include intercepting sewers, outfall sewers, sewage collection systems, pumping, power, and other equipment and their appurtenances; extensions, improvements, remodeling, additions and alterations thereof; elements essential to provide a reliable recycled supply, such as standby treatment units and clear well facilities; and any works, including site acquisition of the land that will be an integral part of the treatment process or used for ultimate disposal of residues resulting from such treatment (including land for composting sludge, temporary storage of such compost and land used for the storage of treated wastewater in land treatment systems before land application); or any other method of system for preventing, abating, reducing, storing, treating, separating or disposing of municipal waste or industrial waste, including waste in combined stormwater and sanitary sewer systems.
- USEFUL LIFE
- The estimated period during which a treatment works will be operated.
- USER CHARGE
- That portion of the total wastewater service charge which is levied in a proportional and adequate manner for the cost of operation, maintenance, and replacement of the wastewater treatment works.
- VARIABLE CHARGES
- Those components of the WPCA's annual expenditures which are directly related to the volume of wastewater flow. These charges may include, but are not limited to, the cost associated with providing utility services, including electricity, potable water, alarm service, user fees paid to the Town of Stafford and user fees paid to the Town of Vernon.
- WATER METER
- A water volume measuring and recording device, furnished and installed by a user and approved by the Town of Ellington WPCA.
The revenues collected as a result of the user charges levied shall be deposited in a separate nonlapsing fund known as the "Operation, Maintenance and Replacement Fund."
Fiscal year-end balances in the Operation, Maintenance and Replacement Fund shall be used for no other purposes than those designated by the WPCA. Moneys which have been transferred from other sources to meet temporary shortages in the Operation, Maintenance and Replacement Fund shall be returned to their respective accounts upon appropriate adjustment of the user charge rates for operation, maintenance and replacement. The user charge rate(s) shall be adjusted such that the transferred moneys will be returned to their respective accounts within six months of the fiscal year in which the moneys were borrowed.
Users within both the Hockanum Sewer Service Area and the Crystal Lake Sewer Service Area shall pay their equitable share of the expense of operating the respective wastewater collection and disposal system on a semiannual basis. The user charge shall be the total of the variable charge and fixed charge (see § 330-2). The determination of the equitable share and subsequent individual user charge shall be based upon the application of the following general rules:
On or before May 1 of each year the WPCA shall determine the costs associated with the operation of each of the WPCA's systems, Hockanum and Crystal Lake, and adopt a schedule of these expenses as an operational budget for the coming fiscal year. Each user of either of the WPCA's systems will be assessed a minimum charge semiannually, based on the determination of the minimum bill and related fixed charges as defined in § 330-2.
Those users within the Hockanum Sewer Service Area shall pay for the services provided by the WPCA defined as variable charges (defined in § 330-2) based on their actual use of the treatment works. The actual use of the treatment works shall be determined by water meter readings for those users in the Hockanum Sewer Service Area.
In situations where one water meter may serve more than one residential or commercial unit, the WPCA shall divide the total metered flow equally among the units served through the meter or make other reasonable adjustments that more accurately reflect the actual water use of the individual units.
Those residential users that derive potable water from on-site wells within the Hockanum System, without metered water service, shall have their bills computed based on the average water use associated with other residential users within the system as calculated by the WPCA based on information supplied by water meter readings.
The system-wide variable charges shall be determined through the application of the following formula: Total annual variable expenses ÷ total annual wastewater flow = cost per gallon of variable expenses.
The variable charge attributable to an individual property shall be calculated and billed semiannually through the application of the following formula: Cost per gallon of variable expenses X gallons of water used = property's variable charge.
Those users within the Crystal Lake Sewer Service Area shall pay equal shares of the Crystal Lake variable charges based on the number of equivalent dwelling units (EDUs), as defined in § 330-2, attributable to their property. The cost per EDU shall be determined through the application of the following formula: Total Crystal Lake variable charges ÷ total number of EDUs = variable charge per EDU.
If a residential, commercial, institutional, or industrial user has a consumptive use of water or in some other manner uses water which is not discharged into the wastewater collection system, the user charge for that contributor may be based on readings of a wastewater meter(s) or separate water meter(s) installed, maintained and read at the user's expense.
Any residential or commercial user whose property is occupied on a seasonal basis may apply to the WPCA to determine qualification as season occupancy. For the period of occupancy the charge will contain both fixed and variable charges as previously defined. For the period of nonuse, only the minimum charge will be made.
In all cases where the wastewater flow must be estimated for commercial, industrial, recreational, restaurant, church or governmental uses, the WPCA shall apply the flow information contained in the most recent version of the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health publication titled "Connecticut Public Health Code Regulations and Technical Standards for Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems" on file with the WPCA.
If a residential, commercial, institutional, or industrial user exceeds the wastewater flow gallons per day (gpd) approved in the 1998 Facilities Plan Update for the Hockanum River Watershed approved by DEP, the WPCA will levy a surcharge rate for excessive wastewater flows. The surcharge rate is to encourage conservation and secure individual compliance to stay within the total contracted flows of 819,200 gpd sent to Vernon's Treatment Plant and the total contracted flows of 98,000 gpd to Stafford's Treatment Plant.
If a residential, commercial, institutional, or industrial user has potable water for his or its property without a metered service, the WPCA plans to implement a requirement that all contributors install a separate water meter(s) to be maintained at the user's expense. Approved in the 1998 Facilities Plan Update.
Any residential, commercial, institutional, or industrial user who or which violates Ellington WPCA Sewer Ordinance § 143-6H by connecting roof downspouts, foundation drains, building drains, storm sewers, storm drains, subsoil drainage or other sources of surface runoff directly or indirectly into the public sanitary sewer shall be subject to a minimum semiannual sewer user penalty surcharge of $50. The sewer user penalty charge will be in addition to any penalties imposed by Ellington's Sewer Ordinance.
All users whose waste strength is greater than 200 mg/l BOD or 200 mg/l SS shall prepare and file with the WPCA a report that shall include pertinent data relating to the wastewater characteristics, including the methods of sampling and measurement to obtain these data, and these shall be used to calculate the user charge for that user. The WPCA shall have the right to gain access to the waste stream and take its own samples. Should the WPCA do so, and should the results be substantially different as determined by the WPCA from the data submitted by the user, the user charge for that user shall be revised for the next billing cycle/period.
Any user which discharges any toxic pollutants which cause an increase in the cost of managing the effluent of the sludge from the WPCA's treatment works or any user which discharges any substance which singly or by interaction with other substances causes identifiable increases in the cost of operation, maintenance or replacement of the treatment works shall pay for the increased costs. The charge to each such user shall be determined by the appropriate personnel and approved by the WPCA.
The sewer user charge levied against Connecticut Petroleum for the groundwater treatment system discharge located on West Road, within the Hockanum Sewer Service Area, shall be defined as a commercial discharge (see § 330-2). As voted at the May 18, 1993, regular meeting of the WPCA, Connecticut Petroleum's charge shall be determined consistent with the methods outlined in § 330-4, save for the referenced definition of an EDU (§ 330-2). An EDU shall be defined as 175 gallons per day for the purposes of computing the charges due from Connecticut Petroleum. This EDU value shall be used in the calculation of Connecticut Petroleum's charges through April 1, 1998. This adjustment in EDU flow in no way affects any special charges which may be levied and determined through the application of Subsections A and B of this section.
Findings. All sewage effluent collected in the Town of Ellington is discharged for treatment to a facility in another town; and the Town of Ellington has been granted a limited quantity of flow that it is permitted to discharge to the treatment facilities. Any excess flow discharged from Ellington results in a violation of its contract with the treating town and either jeopardizes Ellington's ability to discharge to that facility at all, or results in a surcharge to Ellington to cover the excess treatment costs incurred or excessive discharges that may violate the treatment plant's permitted rate of discharge under its permit. As a result, the Ellington WPCA finds it necessary to discourage excessive discharges from its users and, in the event that a user does discharge greater flow than it was permitted, may impose the cost of that excess upon the user rather than all of the users and the WPCA.
Purpose. To address the foregoing issues, the WPCA does hereby adopt the following regulations.
Definitions. As used in Subsection D, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ESTABLISHED FLOW
- That quantity of average daily flow and that quantity of peak daily flow allocated to the user by the WPCA at the time the user was permitted to connect to the sewerage system, or as the quantity of flow may have been modified from time to time.
- TWO-YEAR PERIOD
- A rolling period of two years beginning on the first day of the billing cycle during which there is a sewage discharge greater than the established flow and ending on the last day of the billing cycle two years later, subject to adjustment for any fluctuations in the beginning date of any billing cycle that may extend or shorten the period by a few days.
First offense. In the event a user is or has discharged effluent greater than his or its established flow during a single time or period within any two-year period, then the WPCA shall notify the user, who shall immediately conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the excess discharge and will take such action as necessary to correct the condition or problem to reduce the discharge to the established flow or less. If the discharge is reduced to or below the established flow for the billing period next after the notification, there will be no increase in the user rate.
Subsequent offense. In the event a user is or has discharged effluent greater than his or its established flow a second time or any additional times within any two-year period, then the WPCA may impose a charge on the excess discharge, for the full billing period of that second or additional excess discharge, equal to three times the standard rate for that user, and shall continue that rate until the user reduces its discharge to or below the established rate of discharge.
In the event that the WPCA determines that the continued excess discharge is or will jeopardize its contractual relationship with the treating town and/or cause it to be subject to any enforcement action by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, then it may issue an order to the user to cease any and all discharges to the Ellington sewer system and seek enforcement of this order through the Superior Court as a violation of the Ellington Sewer Ordinance.
Any user which feels its user charge is unjust and inequitable may make written application to the WPCA requesting a review of the user charge. Said written request shall, where necessary, show the actual or estimated average flow and/or strength of its wastewater in comparison with values upon which the charge is based, including how the measurements or estimates were made.
Review of the request shall be made by the WPCA, and, if substantiated, the user charges for that user shall be recomputed based on the revised flow and/or strength data and the new charges shall be applicable to the next billing cycle/period.