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(A) No free service. No free service shall be allowed, and should any user thereof make use of the services and facilities of the water or sewer system of the city, payment therefor shall be paid per connection according to the rates prescribed in this chapter.
(B) Diversion and tampering with or damaging city water or sewer system.
(1) Tampering with or damaging water or sewer system. A person commits an offense if, without the written permission of the City Manager or the Director of Public Works, he or she knowingly, within the city or its extraterritorial jurisdiction:
(a) Tampers with, damages or destroys any part of the city water system; or
(b) Tampers with, damages or destroys any pari of the city sewer system; or
(c) Tampers with, damages or destroys a city fire hydrant.
(2) Illegal connection to city water or wastewater system. A person commits an offense if, without the written permission of the City Manager or Director of Public Works, he or she knowingly, within the city or its extraterritorial jurisdiction:
(a) Connects to the city water distribution system illegally, such as by:
1. Connecting to a city fire hydrant without a fire hydrant meter that has been tested monthly and is properly registering usage; or
2. Connecting to city water service without a water meter.
(b) Discharges city sewer or other effluent from the customer's service address into the city's sewer system through un-metered bypass piping or illegal sewer tap(s) or connections.
(3) Obstruction of city access to a meter for the purpose of reading, maintenance, repair or removal. A person commits an offense if, after either oral or written notification, he or she continues to obstruct the city access to a meter.
(4) Certain conditions creating prima facie evidence of tampering. For purposes of this section, it is prima facie evidence that a person has tampered under division (B)(1), (2), or (3) of this section, if the person is a customer, owner, or person in control of the premises and:
(a) Water is prevented from passing through a meter used or furnished by the city to supply water to the premises; or
(b) A meter that's used or furnished by the city is prevented from correctly registering the quantity of water supplied to the premises; or
(c) Water is diverted or bypassed by the use of a device, from or around a pipe, main, meter, hydrant or other connection of the city; or
(d) A conversion or misappropriation of water by any form of connection to the water system which is not metered; or
(e) A meter or service connection of the apartment used for service to the premises is removed; or
(f) Tampering with, damaging, or destroying a part of the sewer collection system; or
(g) OBSTRUCTION TO THE WATER OR SEWER SYSTEM, including a meter, will consist of the following, but the following are not considered all-inclusive:
1. Restricting access by building a fence or other object that prevents access; or
2. Access restricted due to aggressive animals knowingly placed near the system by a person; or
3. Access restricted with improper planting or growth of bushes or landscaping knowingly placed near the system by a person; or
4. Access restricted by covering the meter by dirt, debris, fences, shrubs or any other item that would prevent the ready reading or maintenance of the system, knowingly placed near the system by a person.
(5) Prima facie evidence of knowledge. The existence on premises of a device used for any of the unlawful purposes stated in this section shall constitute prima facie evidence of knowledge of the unlawful purpose on the part of the customer, owner or person in control of the premises.
(6) Minimum service charge. In any case of water or sewer service diversion, unlawful use of service, or tampering with a city meter or other equipment that prevents accurate metering, the city shall bill the customer a minimum service charge of $200, or such higher amount as may be estimated from the best available data, that when billed at the applicable rate schedule, will compensate the city for revenue lost due to the diversion, together with reimbursement of all other city costs, including equipment repair or replacement, and personnel costs, incurred in investigating and correcting the diversion.
(7) Separate offense. It shall be a separate offense under this section for each connection, for each day that the customer, owner or person in control of the premises commits an act, or continues an act under this section.
(a) A person who violates any provision of this section shall, upon conviction, be punished as provided in § 10.99 of this code.
(b) The City Attorney is authorized to commence an action for appropriate legal or equitable relief in a court of competent jurisdiction. Such relief may include:
1. An injunction to prevent a violation of this section;
2. Recovery for damages to the water or sewer system(s) resulting from a violation of this section;
3. Recovery for expenses incurred by the city in responding to a violation of this section;
4. A civil fine of up to $1,000 per day for a violation of this section; and
5. All other damages, costs, and remedies to which the city may be entitled.
(Ord. 10-0714, passed 7-14-2010; Ord. 12-1016, passed 10-16-2012)