Town of Westerly, RI
Washington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to place, deposit, or permit to be deposited in any unsanitary manner on public or private property within the Town, or in any area under the jurisdiction of the Town, any human or animal excrement, garbage, or other objectionable waste.
B. 
It shall be unlawful to discharge to any natural outlet within the Town, or in any area under the jurisdiction of the Town, any sewage or other polluted waters, except where suitable treatment has been provided in accordance with subsequent provisions of this chapter.
C. 
Except as hereinafter provided, it shall be unlawful to construct or maintain any privy, privy vault, septic tank, cesspool, or other facility intended or used for the disposal of sewage abutting on any street, alley, or right-of-way in which there is located a public sanitary sewer.
D. 
The owner of all houses, buildings, or properties used for human occupancy, employment, recreation, or other purposes, situated within the Town and abutting on any street, alley, or right-of-way in which there is now located or may in the future be located a public sanitary or combined sewer of the Town, is hereby required at his expense to install suitable toilet facilities therein, and to connect such facilities directly with the proper public sewer in accordance with the provisions of this chapter within 180 days after date of official notice to do so, and the private sewage disposal system shall be cleaned of sludge and filled with clean bank-run gravel or dirt.
No subsoil drain or rainwater conductor, cellar drain or catch basin, steam engine exhausts or blowoffs shall be connected with a public sewer. No person shall introduce or turn into or cause to be introduced into any public sewer of the Town any steam or gasoline or benzene or other highly volatile or flammable material.
No person shall lay any sewers without first having obtained a permit in writing from the Department of Public Works on such form as it shall prescribe, and on the completion of the work, such person shall, within 48 hours, return such permit to the Department with his endorsement thereon of what he has done under such permit.
The Department of Public Works, or its authorized agents, are to have at all times facilities for inspecting the work and materials while under the charge of the plumber or drain layer, and, if required, no pipes or other materials for the drains can be used until they have been examined and approved.
The least inclination that can be allowed for water closets, kitchens and all other drains, not over six inches in diameter, liable to receive solid substances, is one-quarter inch to one foot. The depth of the crown of a drain at the curbline shall be not less than five feet, unless otherwise specially granted by the Department of Public Works.
All drains shall be laid as nearly as possible in a straight line and grade, and any change in grade or direction must be made with 1/8 bends.
The question of change in direction, either vertical or horizontal, shall be determined by the engineer or inspector of the Department of Public Works.
No privy vaults or cesspools can be connected with the sewers.
A drain shall be connected only with the slant or branch nearest to the property to be connected.
The location, material and workmanship of all drains must be satisfactory to the Department of Public Works.
The inside of every drain, after it is laid, must be left smooth and perfectly clean throughout its entire length and to ensure the same, a scraper of suitable material of the shape of the pipe and slightly less in diameter shall be drawn through each length of pipe after the same has been laid.
All joints on sewer pipe shall be made tight with neat hydraulic cement or a joint compound approved by the Department of Public Works and on iron pipe with gaskets and lead.
Whenever it is necessary to disturb a drain in actual use, it must in no case be obstructed without the special direction of the Department of Public Works.
The Department of Public Works reserves the right to refuse to connect with any plumbing or drain which has not been examined and approved by it.
Sewer district capital improvement and debt service charges shall be assessed by the Town Assessor against the real and personal ratable property within the drainage district as of December 31 of each taxable year. The adopted rate will be established by the total real and personal ratable property within the drainage district.
A. 
An annual user charge will be imposed upon persons whose premises are served by the sanitary sewer system of the Town for the purpose of defraying costs of operation and maintenance of the publicly held facilities. The method used for charge will be based upon a unit charge. A unit will be based upon an average single-family user wastewater flow in the sewer district. The charge will be in accordance with methodology developed by the Director of Finance and the Director of Public Works in accordance with 40 CFR 35.929-2. The user cost system will be reviewed annually in accordance with 40 CFR 35.929-2(b), and the rate will be established by the Town Council.
B. 
User charges will be as follows:
(1) 
Each single-family dwelling shall be charged at the rate of one unit.
(2) 
Each multidwelling building shall be charged at the rate of one unit for each dwelling unit or apartment unit.
(3) 
Rooming houses, tourist homes, hotels and motels shall be charged at the rate of one unit for each 400 square feet, or major fraction thereof, of the gross floor area available for rent as determined by outside premises foundation measurement and floor count.
(4) 
Restaurants, taverns, bars, grills, lodges, fraternal, charitable and religious organizations who maintain facilities for the preparation and serving of food or beverages shall be charged an equivalent number of units based on metered water consumption with a minimum charge of one unit.
(5) 
Gasoline service stations and automotive sales or repair premises shall be charged at the rate of two units plus one unit for each stall, space or floor area used for the washing of automotive vehicles whether such stall, space or floor area is to be used for washing by manual, semiautomatic or automatic means.
(6) 
So-called car washes or other real premises devoted exclusively to the washing of automotive vehicles by manual, semiautomatic or automatic means shall be charged an equivalent number of units based on metered water consumption with a minimum charge of one unit.
(7) 
Lodges, charitable organizations, corporations or associations organized and conducted principally to enable members to meet for divine worship shall be charged at the rate of one unit, unless otherwise chargeable under Subsection A(4) above.
(8) 
Laundromats containing manual, semiautomatic, automatic or coin-operated washers, dryers or extractors shall be charged an equivalent number of units based on metered water consumption with a minimum charge of one unit.
(9) 
Dry-cleaning establishments, whether a portion of facilities devoted to normal operation of a laundry or laundromat or a premises devoted exclusively to manual, semiautomatic or coin-operated cleaning agent, shall be charged an equivalent number of units based on metered water consumption with a minimum charge of one unit.
(10) 
Public or private schools and government installations shall be charged an equivalent number of units based on metered water consumption.
(11) 
Commercial establishments, including but not limited to retail stores, wholesale distributors, light manufacturers, industrial plants, business operations, barber- and beauty shops, banks, post offices, funeral homes, lunch bars and other types of business enterprises not heretofore or hereinafter described, shall be charged an equivalent number of units based on metered water consumption with a minimum charge of one unit. The annual charge to industrial users shall be in accordance with the Town’s user charge industrial cost recovery system in effect. The industry shall be required to install acceptable flow-measuring devices on the wastewater outflow if required by the Public Works Director.
(12) 
Professional and business office establishments shall be charged for metered water consumption with a minimum charge of one unit for each separate office or business operation whether the same is or is not rented or occupied by any person, firm or corporation.
(13) 
The Town reserves the right to assess charges for use of the sanitary sewer system by contract in the event a customer does not fall within any of the above classifications.
(14) 
Large industrial users. Large industrial users are industrial plants which generate annual effluent flows in excess of 10% of the total number of sewer units in the sewer budget during the fiscal year two years prior to the fiscal year for which the sewer use charge is to be assessed hereunder. The annual charge to these users shall be in accordance with the Town’s user charge industrial recovery system in effect, shall be based on metered flow and shall be computed as follows: 75% of the sewer unit charge for each sewer unit discharged based on metered wastewater flow.
[Added 10-20-2008 by Ch. No. 1657]
(15) 
The Town reserves the right to assess charges for use of the sanitary sewer system by contract in the event a customer does not fall within any of the above classifications.
[Added 10-20-2008 by Ch. No. 1657]
C. 
If water meters are used to measure flow for industrial or large commercial customers and the amount of sewage flow does not warrant the installation of a wastewater meter in the opinion of the Director of Public Works and the industrial or commercial customer claims considerable consumption of water in product, process or cooling not returned to the wastewater flow, then the Director may adjust the flow to a lesser amount if the customer submits sufficient data and evidence to support his claim. In order to claim such reduced flow as a basis of sewer use charge, the customer shall notify the Director at least six months prior to any claim for such flow adjustments and follow the direction of the Director in maintaining records to justify his claim. There is to be a minimum charge of one unit to all whom the Director has adjusted their flow. Where measured water use is not available, then the use shall be based on “Minimum Design Requirements for Sewage Flow” tabulated in SD 3.01 of the “Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems, as amended, July, 1973,” of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Department of Health, with a minimum charge of one unit. Industrial plants discharging wastes to the public sewer will be required to pretreat their waste should it exceed limits set forth in the rules and regulations. Flows will be based upon metered discharge. Charges will be based upon an equivalent number of units. Should it be determined that the strength of sewage exceeds the limits, an additional charge would be made.
D. 
Any bill unpaid shall constitute a lien against the property.
A. 
The facilities of the wastewater treatment plant shall be available for disposal of septage waste as follows:
(1) 
All disposal must be at the Margin Street wastewater facility only unless authorized by, and under the supervision of, the Director of Public Works or his designee.
(2) 
Residential property owners located within the Town may use the facility for residential septic tank waste.
(3) 
Nonresidential property owners located within the Town may use the facility for disposal of nonresidential septic tank waste only upon a permit obtained from the Department of Public Works.
(4) 
Permits issued pursuant to Subsection A(3) above shall be issued upon such conditions as may be imposed by the Director of Public Works and only upon a finding of compliance with the provisions of the Town’s industrial Waste Pretreatment Ordinance as applicable.
(5) 
Residential septic tank waste originating from neighboring towns in Washington County, Rhode Island, with Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management approved on-site wastewater management plans may be accepted at the Town wastewater treatment facility from October through May when capacity exists, as determined by the facility superintendent, and only after the needs of Westerly residents has been satisfied on any particular day.
[Amended 2-14-2005 by Ch. No. 1524]
B. 
Trucked sewage/septage shall only be accepted at the Town’s wastewater treatment facility from sewage/septage waste haulers holding permits issued by the Town for such purpose, and such permitted hauler shall act as agent for the owner/generator of the waste in delivering the waste to the facility and in remitting the fees therefor.
[Amended 2-14-2005 by Ch. No. 1524]
C. 
No person shall dump or cause to be dumped trucked sewage or septage, either individually or as an agent for another, at the wastewater treatment plant at the Margin Street facility unless the person has been issued and holds:
(1) 
A septage disposal permit to remove, transport, and discharge sewage/septage at the Town wastewater treatment plant, issued by the Director of Public Works.
(2) 
A disposal vehicle permit issued by the Department of Environmental Management listing each vehicle to be utilized for sewage/septage hauling.
D. 
No person shall be issued a permit to dump trucked sewage or septage into the public sewer system of the Town until such person has stipulated in writing that he understands the terms of this section and will abide by them.
E. 
Before being used to discharge sewage/septage into the public sewer system under the terms of a Town septage disposal permit:
(1) 
All vehicles shall be equipped with pumps, valves, hoses and accessories so that the waste can be deposited at the designated point without spillage.
(2) 
All vehicles shall be airtight and free from leakage.
(3) 
All apparatus shall be kept clean and well painted and shall have the name of the waste hauling company upon it in plain letters.
(4) 
No vehicle at any time, used for hauling sewage/septage to the Town wastewater treatment facility, shall be used to transport hazardous waste or waste oils.
(5) 
All vehicles shall be equipped with apparatus that allows for the measurement of the volume of the septage contained within the septage holding tank.
F. 
All trucked sewage/septage discharged at the Town’s wastewater treatment plant shall be accompanied by a data sheet upon which the following shall be recorded:
(1) 
Date of origin.
(2) 
Time of origin.
(3) 
Date of dumping.
(4) 
Time of dumping.
(5) 
Property owner’s name in full.
(6) 
Street address of origin.
(7) 
Town of origin.
(8) 
Telephone number of originator.
(9) 
Number of gallons originated.
(10) 
Total capacity of truck.
(11) 
Truck registration number.
(12) 
Agent’s name.
(13) 
Agent’s address.
(14) 
Signature of agent’s representative.
(15) 
Signature of treatment plant attendant.
(16) 
Permit number of commercial originator.
G. 
If a single tank load of sewage/septage delivered to the Town’s wastewater treatment plant has more than one point of origin, a separate data sheet must be submitted for each such point. At the discretion of the Director of Public Works, or his authorized agent, any residential or commercial property owner may be required to permit the Public Works Department to determine the capacity of the septic tank or cesspool serving any premises originating trucked sewage or septage to be discharged at the treatment plant.
H. 
All dumping must be made by appointment and cleared with the dumping station attendant upon arrival at the authorized dumping station, between the hours of 7:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Saturday and Sunday (excluding celebrated holidays).
I. 
No dumping shall be permitted after 4:00 p.m. on any day except upon prior approval of the Director of Public Works or his designee.
J. 
Acceptance of trucked sewage/septage on other than the date of origin shall be at the discretion of the Director of Public Works or his duly authorized agent.
K. 
All dumping on days and times other than outlined in Subsection H of this section must be cleared by the attendant of the wastewater treatment plant and shall be subject to a surcharge of $150 for a minimum of a four-hour period regardless of truck capacity and in addition to the established fee. If more than one septic hauler uses the facility during this four-hour period, the fee of $150 shall be pro rated.
L. 
No permit shall be issued until evidence of liability insurance is provided to the Director of Public Works.
M. 
All charges shall be billed by the Department of Public Works to permitted sewage/septage waste haulers on a monthly basis and are payable within 30 days of the billing date. All accounts shall be paid before the next billing date. A delinquent account shall be the basis for the Director of Public Works to, after written notice, cancel any permit and declare any escrow or bond to be forfeited.
N. 
No permit shall be issued until a bond or cash escrow deposit in the sum of $1,000 is provided to the Director of Finance to be maintained for the duration of the permit.
O. 
The Director of Public Works shall provide record reporting forms and shall cause to be kept a record of all dumping of trucked sewage/septage into the public sewer system of the Town.
A. 
Any person authorized to use the public sewerage system for the dumping of trucked sewage/septage or other liquid sanitary wastes shall pay to the Westerly Sewer Department $0.06 for each gallon dumped into the system, the origin of which is within the limits of the Town of Westerly.
[Amended 2-14-2005 by Ch. No. 1524]
B. 
Any person authorized to use the public sewerage system for the dumping of trucked sewage/septage or other liquid sanitary wastes shall pay to the Westerly Sewer Department $0.07 for each gallon dumped into the system, the origin of which is outside the limits of the Town of Westerly.
[Amended 2-14-2005 by Ch. No. 1524]
C. 
Householders within the sewer district who are subject to a sewer user charge and who, under the current regulations of the Department of Public Works, cannot connect to the sewer system shall have their cesspools or septic tanks pumped out as required upon notification to the Director of Public Works, or his designee within the Public Works Department. No charge shall be levied upon tank trucks for any portion of a load which consists of such wastes, provided that evidence of load origin, certified by the property owner or occupant and the tank truck operator, shall be furnished to the Town’s wastewater plant operator or the dumping station attendant.
A. 
The Department of Public Works shall and it is hereby ordered to make an assessment upon all estates abutting upon that portion of any street or highway in which any sewer or main drain has been located, not previously assessed, and upon such estates as may be given a right of entrance to such sewer or main drain, at a rate of the actual cost of the particular job for each front foot of such estates upon such streets or highway, but only for its frontage upon such street or for the right of entrance to such sewer or main drain, provided that where any such assessment is levied on two sides of a corner lot, such assessment shall be abated or cancelled to 50% of the total front footage of both sides with a maximum abatement or cancellation of 200 feet.
B. 
The Department of Public Works shall make a report in writing of all assessments made in accordance with the provisions of Subsection A hereof and shall, within 30 days after making such assessments, give notice to the owners of the estates so assessed of such assessment by mailing notice of such assessment to such persons at their place of residence. Within 30 days from and after making the report, the Department shall forthwith make a copy of the same and deliver it to the Town Treasurer, who shall proceed and collect the several sums of money, therein expressed, of the persons and estates liable therefor at the times directed by this section.
C. 
All assessments ordered to be made under the authority of this section shall be due and payable within 60 days from the day of the lodgment of the assessment with the Town Treasurer; provided, however, that if the owner of any estate liable to such assessment, within 60 days after notice of a sewer assessment thereon, shall notify the Town Council in writing to apportion the same, such Town Council shall apportion such assessment into 20 equal parts and shall certify such apportionment to the Assessor of Taxes of the Town, and the Assessor shall add one of such part, with interest, at a rate not to exceed the actual rate such Town must pay to hire money, from time to time, for such installation from the date of such apportionment to the annual tax of the estate for each of the 20 years next ensuing. All assessments remaining unpaid after the time for payment stated in the order making the same shall draw interest from such time until paid, and all liens for the collection of such assessment shall continue until the same are paid, with interest as aforesaid.
D. 
Upon failure to pay the assessment or any of the installments thereof at the time the same become due and payable as aforesaid, the whole assessment then remaining unpaid shall become due and payable and shall be collected as the ordinary taxes of the Town are collected. Persons availing themselves of the aforesaid option to make payments in 20 annual installments may, at any time thereafter that an installment becomes due, pay the portion of such assessment then remaining unpaid, with all interest due thereon, and on every portion thereof, up to the time of such payment, and thereupon their estates shall be free from such assessments.
E. 
The owner of any land not so assessed may be permitted by the Department to connect such land with a sewer upon his written application therefor addressed to the Department, under such terms and conditions as the Department shall impose and upon the payment to the Town treasurer of such sum of money as the Department shall require therefor; but no connection with a sewer shall be made until the owner of the land intending to connect the same therewith shall have executed to the Town a release of all damage which may at any time happen to such estate in any way resulting from such connection.
F. 
If the total front footage of any undeveloped and unplatted estate abutting upon that portion of any street or highway in which any such sewer or main drain has been constructed, not previously assessed, exceeds 200 feet, upon the application of the owner thereof submitted to the Town Council in writing within 60 days after notice of a sewer assessment thereon, for the postponement of the payment of such assessment, the Town Council shall postpone the payment of such portion of such assessment which exceeds 200 feet on undeveloped and unplatted estates until the time of development or platting of such estates with interest at a rate not to exceed the actual rate the Town must pay to hire money, from time to time, for such installation; all such postponed assessments, together with interest, shall constitute and remain a lien against the property against which it was assessed until the same is paid in full.
G. 
The Town Council may abate from any assessment made as aforesaid on irregular shaped lots, upon the application of the owner thereof submitted to the Town Council in writing within 60 days after notice of a sewer assessment thereon, such portion thereof as they shall deem proper; and in such exceptional cases as the Town Council deems to require exceptional treatment, may postpone the payment of such portion of the assessment as seems to the Town Council to equitably require such postponement upon such terms and conditions as the Town Council shall by ordinance fix and determine; all such postponed assessments shall constitute and remain a lien against the property which it was assessed until the same is paid in full with such charges for interest thereon as the Town Council shall prescribe in the terms of postponement.
H. 
Upon passage and the making of the assessments aforesaid, of this section, the Department of Public Works of the Town is directed to cause to be recorded in the land evidence records of the Town a lien upon all estates assessed under the provisions of this section.
I. 
The Department of Public Works is further hereby directed to record in the land evidence records of the Town a release of any recorded lien upon the aforementioned estates when the assessment made upon such estate is paid in full.
J. 
Passage of this section shall in no way affect already existing assessments.
K. 
All applications for the abatement, cancellation or postponement of the payment of any assessment made hereunder must be made at the office of the Department of Public Works on a form prescribed and furnished by it.