Skip to code content (skip section selection)
(A) Applicability and purpose.
(1) This section shall apply to all water entering the sanitary sewer system unless explicitly exempted by the city. The city and its representatives are authorized to administer, implement, and enforce the provisions of this section.
(2) The Council finds that the discharge from roofs, rainspouts, yard drains, surfaces, groundwater, sump pumps, footing tiles or swimming pools, foundation drains, yard fountains, ponds, cistern overflows, water discharged from any nonresidential air conditioning unit or system, or other means of transmitting natural precipitation and surface waters, collectively referred to as excess infiltration and inflow, into the sanitary sewer system, will and has in the past overloaded the sanitary sewer system. The Council, therefore, finds it essential for compliance with mandated City Code requirements that the provisions of this section be strictly enforced.
(3) This section is not intended to modify or repeal any other ordinance, rule, regulation, or other provision of law. The requirements of this section are in addition to the requirements of any other ordinance, rule, regulation, or other provision of law, and where any provision of this section imposes restrictions different from those imposed by any other ordinance, rule, regulation or other provision of law, whichever provision is more restrictive or imposes higher protective standards for human health or the environment shall apply.
(B) Clear water drainage.CLEAR WATER DRAINAGE, for the purpose of this section, is defined as stormwater, natural precipitation, melting snow, ground water or flow from roof runoff, ground surface runoff, subsurface drainage, down spouts, eave troughs, rainspouts, yard drains, sump pumps, footing tiles or swimming pools, foundation drains, yard fountains, ponds, cistern overflows, water discharged from any nonresidential air conditioning unit or system, or any other water that is not required to be treated by state of federal law, that enters the sanitary sewer system through any separation, gap, crack, fracture, collapse or other structural defect in the sewer lateral. Swimming pool water that is required to be treated in accordance with city, county or state regulations shall not be considered clear water.
(C) Private sewer lateral. PRIVATE SEWER LATERAL, for the purpose of this section, is defined as all sewer service pipes extending from the city sanitary sewer main to the dwelling, building or structure it serves.
(D) Ownership responsibility. The property owner shall own and be responsible for the routine maintenance and repair of the sanitary private sewer lateral, including the connection to the city sanitary sewer main.
(E) Prohibited discharges into the sanitary sewer system. It shall be unlawful for any person whose property is provided with sanitary sewer service to directly or indirectly cause or permit to be discharged, pumped or drained any clear water drainage into the city’s sanitary sewer system.
(F) Prohibited connections. No person shall make or maintain a connection between any conductor, device or system designed to move clear water drainage from its source to any pipe, cleanout, floor drain, foundation drain, sink or any other apparatus with a direct connection to the city’s sanitary sewer system.
(G) Sump pumps. A sump pump is a mechanical device used to remove liquid collected in a sump usually constructed below the normal grade of the gravity system, usually below basement floor level. Dwellings and other buildings and structures that require a sump pump system to collect and discharge excess clear water drainage because of the infiltration of water into basements, crawl spaces and the like shall obtain a permit and have a permanently installed discharge line that complies with the following:
(1) It shall not any time discharge water into the city’s sanitary sewer system or be capable of connection or reconnection to the city's sanitary sewer system;
(2) It shall provide for year-round discharge capability to the outside of the dwelling, building or structure, to the city's storm sewer system;
(3) It shall consist of a rigid discharge line constructed of rigid piping material inside the dwelling or building, without any connections for altering the path of discharge, and if connected to the city’s storm sewer line, must include a check valve of an approved type and diameter; and
(4) It must be directed toward the front or rear yard so as not to trespass or discharge onto adjoining properties.
(H) Inspections. For purposes of complying with the mandates of this section to eliminate clear water drainage into the sanitary sewer system, the Public Works Director, or his or her designee ("Inspector") is authorized to conduct inspections of private sewer laterals and sump pumps for all single-family, owner-occupied properties that discharge into the city's sanitary sewer system for the limited purpose of confirming that there is no sump pump or other prohibited discharge of clear water drainage. Such inspection shall be at no expense to the owner, so long at the owner complies with the requirements set forth in division (H)(2) below. Failure to have an inspection as required in this section is a violation of the City Code.
(1) Except as set forth in division (H)(3) below, inspections are required when one of the following occurs:
(a) The property is offered for sale or conveyance by deed or contract for deed, unless the certificate of compliance is still valid pursuant to division (I) below;
(b) The city orders a street improvement project and the property is located on or adjacent to a street in the improvement project area; or
(c) For the purpose of safeguarding the health and safety of the general public or occupants of a building to determine compliance with the City Code and the city has identified specific areas that have exceeded peak flow rates as established by the local authority having jurisdiction.
(a) Provide sufficient space and access to the private sewer lateral within the dwelling, building or other structure, including removal of any obstacles so that the private sewer lateral and waste stack cleanout or final cleanout, as necessary, is completely accessible to the Inspector; and
(b) Clear, or contract with for services to clear, the private sewer lateral of any root intrusions, structural blockages or any other intrusions that prevent the completion of an inspection and to allow clear televising of the private sewer lateral from the dwelling, building or other structure to its connection with the city’s sanitary sewer main; and
(c) Remove, or contract with services to remove, any toilet on the lowest level of the building for access purposes as described in division (H)(2)(a) above; and
(d) The owner shall pay a penalty as provided in division (M) below for any missed inspections. If the owner or the owner's representative arrives later than 20 minutes past the scheduled inspection time without notification prior to the appointment, it shall be considered a missed inspection.
(3) Inspections shall not be required under the following circumstances:
(a) It is a newly constructed dwelling and title to the property is transferred to the first owner;
(b) It is the sale or other transfer of title of any property with a dwelling that is being conveyed to a public body;
(c) It is the sale or transfer of title of any property that contains a dwelling that will be demolished;
(d) It is the sale or conveyance of any property that contains a dwelling by a sheriff or other public or court officer in the performance of their official duties. This exception does not apply to the sale by a person appointed by a probate court; or
(e) The property is connected to a septic system and has no public sewer access or has been granted a connection waiver by the city.
(4) The city shall complete its inspection reports within ten business days from the date of the inspection and immediately send the report to the property owner. The reports shall indicate all sewer lateral defects, deficiencies and violations discovered in sufficient detail to identify the violations and to contract for repairs as necessary.
(5) At the discretion of the Inspector, the Inspector may refuse to conduct a scheduled inspection if doing so would pose a risk to the Inspector's health, safety or welfare. In such cases, the property owner will be required to have the inspection perfonned by an independent contractor at the property owner's expense.
(I) Certificates of compliance.
(1) Issuance. If, following inspection, it is determined that the property is in compliance with this section, the city shall issue a certificate of compliance. No new inspections or certificates for single-family, owner-occupied properties shall be required until one of the events in division (H)(1) above occurs.
(2) Certificate of compliance period. Certificates of compliance are valid as follows:
(a) For any property that had a full sewer service line and/or lining replacement, the certificate is valid for 25 years from the date of issuance.
(b) For any property that had a partial sewer service line and/or lining replacement, the certificate is valid for ten years from the date of issuance or until January 1, 2026, whichever is later.
(3) The city shall issue a certificate of compliance if the inspection verifies that all of the following conditions are met:
(a) There is no sewer pipe joint degradation, as evidenced by root intrusion and mineral staining, scaling and deposits;
(b) There are no prohibited discharges or connections as defined by divisions (E) and (F) above;
(c) There are no misaligned joints obstructing the flow of wastes causing blockages, exfiltration of the intrusion of roots or minerals; or
(d) The lateral is free of holes, cracks, fractures, collapses, or other structural defects.
(J) Residential rental properties. For residential rental properties, the property owner is required to locate the building's sewer cleanout, open the cleanout to ensure functionality, identify any private manholes or outside cleanouts and locate all sump pump systems (if applicable). The property owner shall obtain an independent inspection and submit an inspection report to the city upon submission of a new or renewal rental license application. The inspection report shall indicate that the property is free from prohibited discharges and prohibited connections, including illegal sump pumps. If any violations are discovered, corrections must be made pursuant to division (L) below. The city shall conduct a reinspection or receive a post-repair video to verify compliance. Upon verification that the corrections have been made, the city shall issue a certificate of compliance.
(K) Commercial, industrial and HOA properties. For commercial and industrial properties and condominium or townhome residential properties with a homeowners’ association (“HOA properties”), property owners are required to locate the building's sewer cleanout, open the cleanout to ensure functionality, identify any private manholes or outside cleanouts and location all sump pump systems (if applicable). The property owner shall obtain an independent inspection and submit an inspection report to the city. The inspection report shall indicate that the property is free from prohibited discharges and prohibited connections, including illegal sump pumps. If any violations are discovered, corrections must be made pursuant to division (L) below. The city shall conduct a reinspection or receive a post-repair video to verify compliance. Upon verification that corrections have been made, the city shall issue a certificate of compliance.
(1) Violations, generally. Except as provided in division (L)(2) below, for owner-occupied, single-family private sewer lateral violations discovered during a time of sale inspection, when the Inspector determines there has been a violation of any provision of this division, the Inspector will give notice of the violation to the owner and occupant in writing and allow time for compliance as follows.
(a) For residential rental, commercial, industrial and HOA properties, private sewer lateral violations shall be corrected within 120 days of discovery of the violation.
(b) For all sump pump violations, regardless of the classification of the property, the violation shall be corrected within 30 days.
(2) Violations discovered at time of sale.
(a) Seller responsibilities. When the Inspector determines that there has been a violation of any provision of this section prior to the sale, the seller is responsible for correcting the violations prior to the sale, unless the buyer has assumed such responsibility as provided in division (L)(2)(b) below. Failure of a seller to disclose to a buyer that there are uncorrected violations of this section is a violation of the City Code. When correcting the violations, all necessary permits shall be obtained from the city. Upon completion of the corrections, the city shall reinspect the property to verify compliance or the seller shall provide a copy of a post-repair video to the city.
(b) Buyer responsibilities. If a seller cannot correct the violations prior to the sale, the seller must require the buyer to assume the responsibility for correcting the violations, in which case, the seller and the buyer shall sign and submit a written acknowledgment to the city that includes:
1. The buyer’s acceptance and assumption of responsibility for correcting the violations within one year after closing on the property;
2. The buyer's understanding that either the city shall reinspect the property to verify compliance or a copy of a post-repair video must be provided to the city in order to verify that the corrections have been completed;
3. The buyer's agreement to hold the city harmless from liabilities and claims if the buyer occupies the dwelling prior to corrections of the violations; and
4. The buyer's understanding that failure to correct violations or deficiencies, failure to provide a post-repair video or failure to allow a reinspection is a violation of the City Code and subjects the buyer to penalties as stated in divisions (M), (O), and (P).
(3) Violations and corrections under the roadway. When the Inspector determines that there has been a violation of any provision of this section and the violations are under the roadway, the property owner will perform the repairs, except as stated in division (L)(4) below. However, a property owner shall not excavate in the roadway without permission from the City Engineer.
(4) Non-excavation violations and corrections. When the property owner is correcting violations of the private sewer lateral between the street and the building using a cured in place pipe ("pipe liner") or similar approved repair methods, and the corrections only involve the lining of the private sewer lateral, the contractor shall terminate the pipe liner as close to the connection with the city's public sanitary sewer main as possible. If the pipe liner extends into the public main, the contractor shall trim off the excess portion and report its approximate location to the Public Works Department as soon as possible.
(1) A monthly penalty of $50 for owner-occupied, single-family properties; and a monthly penalty of $300 for residential rental, commercial, industrial and HOA properties shall be sent an invoice if:
(a) An owner fails to complete an inspection pursuant to divisions (H), (J) and (K);
(b) An owner whose property was found in violation of this section did not make the necessary repairs and furnish proof of those changes to the city within the time frames required by this section;
(c) An owner fails to allow an inspection or reinspection to verify compliance; or
(d) The property owner or occupant reconnects a clear water discharge line to the municipal sanitary sewer system after it has been previously disconnected at the city's or a court's direction. The property owner will be subject to the penalty for all months between the last two inspections.
(2) The penalty shall be added for every month during which the property is not in compliance.
(N) Temporary waiver. The City Engineer may allow or require a temporary waiver from the provisions of this section when strict enforcement would cause a threat of damage or harm to other property, the environment or public safety because of circumstances unique to the individual property or due to weather conditions. A written request for a temporary waiver must be first submitted to the City Engineer specifying the reasons for the request.
(O) City Engineer. The City Engineer may set conditions to any temporary waiver issued. The City Engineer may terminate the waiver upon a failure to comply with any conditions imposed in the temporary waiver or may take appropriate legal action to enforce those conditions. The City Engineer must give a five-day written notice of the termination to the property owner and occupant setting forth the reasons for the termination. After expiration or termination of a temporary waiver, the property owner must comply with the provisions of this section.
(P) Public nuisance. An owner or occupant who fails to have an inspection, who has done work that does not comply with this section, who reconnects to a previously disconnected prohibited discharge, who fails to pay the penalty or who has failed to do the work required by this section within the specified time limit, will be deemed to have created a public nuisance subject to abatement and assessment, as provided in Chapter 94 of this City Code.
(Q) Remedies. The remedies provided in this section do not limit the right of the city to pursue any other available legal remedy.
(2001 Code, § 700.20) (Ord. 16-06, passed 6-13-2016; Ord. 17-08, passed 7-10-2017; Ord. 19-13, passed 7-22-2019)