(a)   Scope. The provisions of this section apply to all water rates and charges made by the City for water services provided hereunder.
   (b)   Meter Failures. If any meter becomes faulty or fails to register, the customer will be charged at the average consumption rate as shown by the meter reading for the last four billings to such customer when the meter was accurately registering, provided the customer has been using water for such period; otherwise, a full-year's experience of usage on that meter is used to compute the billing.
   (c)   Inaccessible Meters. In cases where the meter reader is unable to gain access to read a meter, a billing shall be made on the basis of consumption or the average of the last four billings to such customer and adjusted upon the billing made for the next time a reading is obtained. If more than two consecutive billings lapse without a reading, the City Clerk shall notify the customer by first class mail as to the date and time when a representative will be present to read the meter. Failure to make permanent arrangements, satisfactory to the Department, to read such meter within sixty days of said notification, shall result in the service being discontinued in the same manner as provided for nonpayment of bills, and the aforesaid notice to the customer shall recite such fact.
   (d)   Construction Water. Water used during construction shall be properly metered with approved backflow preventer and billed to the customer on a monthly basis. A permit and deposit will be required prior to the connection to the water supply system.
   (e)   Tap-Ins
      (1)   Water line inspection fee (new construction and replacements).  When a new building connecting water line is installed, the property owner shall obtain a water and sewer application and right of way permit from the Building Department or Department of Public Works. Replacement of existing water lines will only require a right of way permit. The fee for said right of way permit shall be twenty-five dollars ($25.00), and the fee shall be paid prior to the commencement of work.  If a building’s sewer and water line are installed and ready for inspection at the same time, no additional fee shall be charged.
      (2)   Charges. For any taps performed by the Department of Public Works, such tap, including curb box, making the connection and running the copper line from the main to the curb box, shall be based on the actual cost of all labor, equipment and materials, including a twenty percent charge for overhead, with an estimated amount determined by the Director, to be deposited by the permit holder and placed in an escrow account prior to construction, provided that:
         A.   The tap size shall be one inch only and shall be for residential customers.
         B.   With the approval of the Director, the customer may arrange to have a competent contractor make such excavation, installation of tap to the curb stop, backfilling and temporary street repairs as are necessary, provided such work is done in strict accordance with the City regulations and policy and the public is adequately protected; and
         C.   Where the cutting and replacing of concrete or blacktop street surfaces is required, an additional deposit shall be made equal to the cost of making such permanent pavement repairs as are required. The Director of the Department of Public Works will determine the deposit amount.
      (3)   Payment of charges and deposits.  All capital connection charges, meter costs,  and escrow deposits shall be paid before any permit is issued or work started.
      (4)   Responsibilities for damage.  Any damage to sidewalks or grass, shrubs, trees or similar improvements in the street right of way shall be solely the responsibility of the customer and/or the permit holder.
   (f)   Water Capital Connection Charge.
      (1)   All users connecting to City owned or private owned water mains furnished water by the City water supply system after the effective date of this section shall pay a capital connection charge at the rate of three thousand three hundred dollars ($3,300) per 1" Meter Equivalent unit. For water taps larger than 1", the following conversion factors from the American Water Works Association (AWWA) for meter sizes shall apply.
Tap Size
AWWA Conversion
Water Connection Fee
Tap Size
AWWA Conversion
Water Connection Fee
1" or Less
1 ½
      (2)   The capital charge shall be paid in advance of a building permit being issued or a connection being installed to an existing building.
      (3)   Capital charges collected pursuant to this section shall be segregated for accounting purposes into a water capital account. Funds in such capital improvement account shall be expended solely for labor, material and equipment for capital improvements to the system. Nothing in this section shall be construed so as to prohibit the City from commingling the capital improvement funds with other City funds for investment purposes. Any interest earned upon the investment thereof shall be placed in the Water Fund of the City.
      (4)   An additional capital connection charge will be levied for any new water connection made to increase the size of the service line to an existing building. The additional charge shall be an amount equal to the difference in Water Connection Fee charges shown in Subsection (1) above for the existing water connection size and the proposed water connection size.
      (5)   An additional Capital connection charge shall not be applied for connections made for private fire service only. Should a private fire service line be converted to a domestic water service, capital connection charges shall apply based on the size of the connection.
   (g)   Rates.  For all treated water consumed, charges shall be made according to the following schedule:
      (1)   Readiness-to-serve charge: Flat bi-monthly rate, based on meter size, as follows:
Meter/Size (in)
Meter/Size (in)
      (2)   Usage charge per 1,000 gallons(to be adjusted annually by Council pursuant to CPI as set forth herein):
   For users billed on a monthly basis, the debt service charge and the usage charge shall be the same as shown above. The readiness-to-serve charge shall be one-half of the amount shown above.
   For all raw or untreated water consumed, the charge shall be as follows per 1,000 gallons.
Raw water users shall be approved by City Council. Any increase in treated water rates shall increase the raw water rate by the same percentage.
   The usage rate for raw/untreated and treated water shall be adjusted after July 1 of each year based on the CPI for the past calendar year by Council resolution.  "CPI" means the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers, Detroit-Ann Arbor, all items, issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor (1982-1984 = 100).  The City Manager shall report to the City Council the actual amount of the inflationary rate adjustment which is scheduled to be implemented each year as part of the presentation of the annual budget pursuant to the City Charter.  The CPI adjustment shall not exceed five percent annually. Notwithstanding anything in this section to the contrary, City Council may set the usage rate in an amount over and above five percent if in the opinion of City Council such an increase is necessary for the optimum operation and maintenance of the City's water system.
   (h)   Private Fire Service.
      (1)   Annual standby charge.  Whenever private fire service is provided on public or private property, there shall be an annual standby charge, in addition to the regular tap and usage charge, as follows:
         For a one-inch connection            $ 25.00
         For a one and one-half inch connection      25.00
         For a two-inch connection            25.00
         For a three-inch connection         50.00
         For a four-inch connection            80.00
         For a six-inch connection            160.00
         For an eight-inch connection         255.00
         For a ten-inch connection            410.00
         For a twelve-inch connection         655.00
         All charges shall be billed annually (January 1 to December 31).     
      Services installed after January 1 will be charged on a pro-rated basis. This charge shall be the responsibility of the property owner.
      (2)   Periodic testing and inspection. All water-sprinkler and extinguishing systems shall be maintained, periodically inspected and tested on an annual basis in accordance with NFIPA 13 (National Fire Protection Code). An annual report shall be filed with the Howell Fire Chief verifying the annual testing of the system.
            If the property owner does not provide the annual report on the testing of the system, the Fire Chief, after reasonable notice to the property owner, may schedule a test of the system. All cost of performing such test, including a twenty percent overhead charge, shall be billed to the property owner. The charge for said testing shall be a lien on the property and any such charges delinquent for six months or more shall be entered upon the next tax roll against the premises to which such services have been rendered, and such charges shall be collected and the lien shall be enforced in the same manner as provided for the collection of taxes assessed upon such roll and the enforcement of the lien therefor.
      (3)   Standards. All private fire protection service shall be made in accordance with specifications, rules and regulations prescribed by the applicable plumbing codes and/or the Fire Department.
      (4)   Purpose of service. No private fire protection service shall be used for any purpose other than the extinguishment of fires or be connected in any manner with any tap that may be used for other than fire purposes.
      (5)   Cross connections prohibited. Because of the danger of pollution, no fire protection service shall have any connection with any other source of supply unless check valves are installed and approved by the City and the State Health Department as being adequate to prevent unsafe water from running back into City mains.
      (6)   Tests. If a customer desires to test any private service facility, he or she shall contact the Department of Public Works. The Department shall furnish a representative to witness such test and no such test shall be made without such representative being present.
      (7)   Meters. The Department may at any time instruct the customer to install a weighted check valve in a private fire protection service line, which valve and the installation thereof shall be approved by the Department and shall be fitted with a bypass on which shall be set a meter, the purpose of which shall be to indicate whether or not water is being used through this connection and also to show any leakage in the private lines.
      (8)   Seals. All valves or connections on private fire protection lines shall be sealed by the Department. Whenever such a seal is broken, the customer shall immediately notify the Department, and a representative of the Department shall forthwith reseal any of such valves or connections. The cost thereof shall be charged to the customer and added to his or her next water bill.
   (i)   Outside Services and Miscellaneous Water Sales. For all services provided in this section outside the City limits and for bulk water sales, except as provided by contract, all charges shall be double the amounts specified in this section.  However, fees for tap charges and capital charges shall not be doubled.
   (j)   Temporary Shut-Off. In the event of temporary vacancy of any premises, the water will be turned off at the curb box by the City and, if so requested by the owner, the meter will be removed to prevent damage due to freezing or other causes. The water will then be turned on  again upon proper notice. The minimum charge for all billing periods in which such vacancy occurs will be reduced in proportion to such vacancy, but no rebate will be allowed for a period of less than thirty consecutive days in any quarterly period. Where the premises are left unoccupied with the water not turned off by the City, no credit will be allowed on the minimum charge nor will any allowance be made for water registered by the meter which may leak or waste through the plumbing fixtures. It shall be the owner's responsibility to notify the City of each change of tenancy in property which he or she rents or leases so that a temporary shut-off can be made and a deposit collected before the water is turned on. For a request of a temporary shut-off or turn on during normal work hours there will be no charge to the customer. For a request of a temporary shut-off or turn on during non-scheduled work hours, a cost to the customer to cover the overtime incurred to perform the necessary work plus twenty percent overhead will be charged. This charge shall be collected prior to the water being turned on and shall be the responsibility of the person requesting that the water be turned on.
   (k)   Service to City Facilities and Fire Hydrants. For the use of water through fire hydrants and for the availability of such water and for water service to the City and its several departments, the City shall pay an amount from funds legally available for such purpose or from the proceeds of taxes which the City shall levy within Charter limitations, such amount to be determined by resolution of Council.
(Ord. 623.  Passed 10-30-95; Ord. 632.  Passed 5-13-96; Ord. 651.  Passed 6-9-97; Ord. 672.  Passed 5-26-98; Ord. 698.  Passed 11-22-99; Ord. 703.  Passed 2-14-00; Res. 00-28.  Passed 6-19-00; Res. 01-11. Passed 6-4-01; Res. 02-14.  Passed 6-17-02; Res. 03-14.  Passed 6-16-03; Res. 04-10.  Passed 6-14-04; Res. 05-11.  Passed 6-13-05; Res. 06-27.  Passed 10-9-06; Res. 06-33.  Passed 11-20-06; Res. 07-14.  Passed 6-25-07; Res. 07-18.  Passed 7-23-07; Res. 08-09. Passed 5-19-08; Res. 10-05.  Passed 2-22-10; Res. 11-13.  Passed 6-27-11; Res. 13-07.  Passed 6-24-13; Res. 14-15.  Passed 6-23-14; Res. 15-13.  Passed 7-27-15; Res. 16-17.  Passed 7-25-16; Res. 17-14.  Passed 6-12-17; Ord. 916.  Passed 8-13-18; Res. 19-18.  Passed 7-8-19; Res. 20-24.  Passed 12-21-20.)