Town of Clarence, NY
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Clarence 7-19-1961. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction and fire prevention — See Ch. 67.
Dumps and dumping — See Ch. 87.
Excavations — See Ch. 93.
Public and private improvements — See Ch. 121.
Plumbing — See Ch. 151.
Sewers — See Ch. 177.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 189.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 193.
Zoning — See Ch. 229.

§ 223-1 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BUILDING
Includes any structure or enclosure to which water is supplied, whether the same is occupied or vacant.
PREMISES
Includes all places to which water is supplied, whether the same are occupied or vacant.
SUPERINTENDENT
The person designated or appointed by the Town Board of the Town to have charge of said Water Department.
TOWN WATER DEPARTMENT
The department of the Town having charge of the furnishing of water either within or without the water districts.

§ 223-2 Applicability.

The following rules and regulations shall be a part of the contract of every owner of property or other consumer furnished water service by the Town Water Department, and all persons now or hereafter receiving, accepting and paying for said water service from the Town Water Department or who may hereafter make application therefor shall be considered as having agreed to be bound by the following rules and regulations of this chapter.

§ 223-3 Permit application; issuance.

A. 
Applications for permits for water supply and for replacements and modifications of existing installations shall be made to the Town by the owner of the premises supplied, upon forms to be provided.
B. 
No permit shall be granted for the installation, replacement or modification of water supply until the fees for tapping mains, connections for service, advance rentals or deposits and all other authorized charges have been paid.

§ 223-4 Right of entry.

[Amended 7-22-1992 by L.L. No. 1-1992]
Free and full access to all parts of any premises supplied with water by the Town or upon which an application has been made to the department or to which Town water is believed to be supplied shall be granted at all reasonable times to the duly authorized representative of the department bearing proper credentials and identification for the purposes of inspection, installation, maintenance and repair.

§ 223-5 Installation and maintenance of service lines.

The installation and maintenance of all privately maintained water service lines shall be in conformity with the following regulations:
A. 
No private service line from a Town water main shall be installed, altered or replaced until the same has been inspected and approved by the Water Department. A fee of $10 shall be paid to the Superintendent of the Water Department upon filing each application for such inspection.
[Amended 7-22-1992 by L.L. No. 1-1992]
B. 
No opening shall be made in any Town street except in full compliance with the Town ordinances and upon the payment of fees and the posting of bonds therein specified.
C. 
All connections or taps of water mains shall be made by the Water Department, accompanied by a tap receipt 48 hours in advance of making such connection or tap.
D. 
Private service lines.
[Amended 8-10-1966]
(1) 
Unless approval, in writing, has been given by the Water Department for the installation and maintenance of a different or substitute material, all private service lines shall be installed, maintained, altered or replaced with copper K soft tubing, which shall conform to ASA No. H 23.1-1947 and ASTM Designation B88-51, of the following widths and thickness:
Service Line Width
(inches)
Thickness
(inches)
3/4
.065
1
.065
1 1/4
.065
1 1/2
.075
2
.083
(2) 
The service line shall be laid not less than four feet below the established grade of the adjacent street or existing ground level; but where it is impractical to meet the department requirements by reason of existing conditions, the Water Department may, upon application therefor, grant a permit for some other method of installation.
E. 
All service lines shall be laid in a separate trench at least three feet distant horizontally from any other underground facility and in solid ground. The placing of water service lines in the same trench as that occupied by sewer pipe, gas pipe or other utility lateral connections will not be permitted except by special authorization of the Water Department in extraordinary cases, including where solid rock is encountered.
F. 
The Water Department shall designate the point at which the water main is to be tapped and also the position of the service pipe connection at the tap. The Water Department shall make necessary excavations for all taps, which shall be at least four feet square and not less than six inches below the main.
G. 
No new tap shall be made to a water main to connect with a service line which is intended to replace an existing service line unless the existing service line is properly disconnected at its tap to the water main. The expense of such disconnection shall be borne by the applicant.
H. 
Where a service line is abandoned, the service line must be shut off at the tap and disconnected at the expense of the owner.
I. 
There shall be a separate and distinct tap for the service of buildings or premises supplied with water. Where there are separate and distinct establishments, such as stores or other places of business, within one building or on the same premises, separate taps shall be provided for each store or place of business. No private water system shall be interconnected with the Town water system.
J. 
All outside service lines, building service pipes, outlets and fixtures shall be maintained in good order and repair, protected from frost, leaks and breaks, and must be promptly repaired if not in good order to prevent waste of water. If the owner fails to observe these requirements, the Water Department may shut off the water supply and assess the cost thereof against the real property affected, to be collected as part of the water rent.
K. 
Type K copper only should be used for service lines. No plastic will be allowed except in a three-inch or larger line.
[Added 10-25-1995]

§ 223-5.1 Backflow preventers.

[Added 10-25-1995]
Backflow preventers are required in all business buildings, and, as new homes are built, a backflow preventer will be required. An expansion tank will be required at the hot-water tank in all new homes and commercial buildings built in the Town of Clarence. This includes Water District  No. 5, which is maintained by and approved by Erie County Water Authority. The customer shall install only those backflow preventers approved by the New York State Department of Health. A current list of devices approved for use in New York State is available from the Erie County Health Department and New York State Health Department.

§ 223-5.2 Shutting off water at curb.

[Added 10-25-1995]
Customers must contact the Water Department to turn water on or off at the curb, not a plumber or homeowner.

§ 223-6 Water mains; meters.

A. 
Excavations and tapping.
[Amended 3-20-1963]
(1) 
The charges for excavation and the tapping of water mains, exclusive of meter installation and costs, shall be as determined by the Town Board from time to time and publicly posted in the office of the Town Water Department.
(2) 
No tap to a four-inch and six-inch main shall be larger than one and one-fourth (1 1/4) inches. A two-inch tap can only be made to a main which is at least eight inches in diameter. By special authorization of the Water Department in extraordinary cases, a different size or type of tap may be permitted.
(3) 
If two taps in the same excavation are made for the purpose of servicing two separate buildings or structures, the charge shall be as for separate taps.
(4) 
Fee for tie-ins of tapping sleeve and valve and extensions of any water mains for new subdivision, open development, fire service lines or services in excess of two inches. A tap fee schedule shall be established by the Town Board for the privilege of connecting into the existing infrastructure of the Town of Clarence water distribution system.
[Added 8-26-1998]
B. 
Charges for meters; installation of meters.
(1) 
Water meters for the purpose of installation and use in the Town system shall be purchased from the Town and installed either by or under the direction of the Superintendent of the Water Department. A charge for said meters shall be made at the time of application for service by the consumer, said charge to be as determined by the Town Board from time to time and publicly posted in the office of the Town Water Department.
[Amended 3-20-1963]
(2) 
Meter installation and maintenance.
(a) 
The Water Department will install and maintain meters and meter couplings. Meters shall be set as nearly as possible to the point of entry of the service connection pipe to the building and shall be kept unobstructed and easily accessible to Water Department employees at all times. In circumstances where the customary location of a meter is in excess of 70 feet distant from the property line of the premises, the Town may require the meter to be set in a pit or box provided by and at the expense of the consumer and located near the front property line of the premises. Readout location for meter pits shall be four feet above ground level, mounted upon a steel stake or other Water Department-approved mounting device.
[Amended 8-26-1998]
(b) 
Permanent meter installations requiring a two-inch or larger size meter shall be provided, at the consumer's expense, with a valved bypass around the meter and valved spur line on the building side of the meter for test purposes. The design of such special meter setting shall be submitted to the Water Department for approval before construction by the consumer is undertaken. The Water Department will test meters at regular intervals to determine their accuracy and will replace, at its expense, defective parts in improperly operating meters, except where meters are damaged by frost or hot water or from external causes. The meter shall, after installation, be sealed by the Water Department, which shall thereafter have complete control thereof. No sealed meter may be removed without a written permit from the Water Department.
(c) 
No water meters are to be installed in a crawl space, cubby hole, closet, etc. They must be accessible at all times.
[Added 10-25-1995]
(d) 
There must be a flared meter valve before the meter. No sweated joints are allowed from the curb box to the meter.
[Added 10-25-1995]
(3) 
No tampering with meter. No person other than an employee of the Water Department shall interfere with or remove any water meter, sealing device or coupling from any meter installation after it has once been placed in service by the Water Department.
(4) 
Meter size. The Water Department shall determine the proper size of meter to be installed and shall have the right to change the meter at any time it is necessary in order to ensure its proper operation.
(a) 
Where buildings or other improvements under construction require a service connection larger than two inches, the Town of Clarence shall require that the customer purchase and maintain, to American Water Works Association (AWWA) standards, the meter, valves, strainers, backflow devices and/or any other accessories, including the meter pit valve, to provide water for the customer's needs.
[Added 10-14-1998]
(b) 
All meters within the Town of Clarence must be fire rated and manufactured by the following companies specified by the Town for United States distribution only: Neptune, Pro-Read and Compound. All services shall require backflow prevention as established by the Town of Clarence and New York State Health Department.
[Added 10-14-1998]
(c) 
Maintenance of defective meters must be done within 30 days of the discovery of a defective or suspected defective meter. Customers will be notified by telephone and letter to the address of billing. If certified calibration is not available, the defective meter must be replaced within 30 days. In the event that the meter is not calibrated (with certification presented to the Water Department Superintendent) or replacement is not completed within 30 days, an estimated bill based on previous usage will be generated. The amount of the estimated bill will not be subject to negotiation.
[Added 10-14-1998]
(d) 
After a sixty-day period (or one billing cycle) the estimated amount of usage shall be doubled. For each thirty-day period (or billing cycle) thereafter, an unrepaired meter surcharge shall be applied to the current bill amount as follows: double the estimated amount of usage plus 10% for each thirty-day period (billing cycle) that the meter is left unrepaired.
[Added 10-14-1998]
(5) 
Damage to meters. Any meter damaged by frost or by hot water or steam backing into the meter or by any external cause shall be repaired by the Water Department at the expense of the property owner, and the water service may be disconnected until such corrective action is taken to prevent a recurrence of the incident which caused the damage. The charge for such repairs shall be based on the cost of removing, repairing, testing and replacing said meter, plus 15% for department overhead, transportation and use of tools, and the minimum charge shall be as follows:
[Amended 7-22-1992 by L.L. No. 1-1992]
Meter Size
(inches)
Fee
5/8
$10.00
3/4
$15.00
1
$20.00
1 1/2 or larger
$25.00
(6) 
Testing meters. Consumers, upon request, may have the meters serving their premises tested by the Water Department in their presence or that of a duly authorized representative. If the meter so tested shall be found to register not more than 103% of the amount of water actually passing through it, a charge in the amount of $10 shall be paid by the consumer for testing a meter one inch or less in size, and for meters larger than one inch in size, the actual expense, including overhead, incurred by the Water Department in removing, testing and replacing the meter shall be paid by the consumer.
[Amended 7-22-1992 by L.L. No. 1-1992]
(7) 
Meter reading.
[Added 5-27-1987 by resolution; amended 7-22-1992 by L.L. No. 1-1992]
(a) 
Employees of the Water Department bearing proper credentials and identification, in the performance of their duties, shall be permitted to enter the premises of any consumer at any reasonable hour to remove, replace, repair or test the meter, to make a record of the quantity of water used, to inspect the premises to determine the manner of water use or to enforce the provisions of this chapter. If the Water Department is unable to read a meter after two successive attempts, the charge will be estimated on the basis of prior use in comparable periods and the difference adjusted when the meter is again read. If the meter is damaged or fails to operate, the bill will be based on the average use during prior comparable periods, unless there is evidence that the use is not normal and the average use for comparable periods is not properly applicable, in which case the charge will be estimated by some other method which the Water Department considers equitable.
(b) 
For the purchase and installation of a remote reader, the fee shall be $20.
(8) 
Any building over 150 feet from the front property line is required to have a meter pit and remote readout. It must also have two meter valves in the pit, one on either side of the meter. The meter pit must be approved by the Water Department. Exceptions can be made at the discretion of the Water Superintendent.
[Added 10-25-1995]

§ 223-7 Discontinuance of service.

[Amended 7-22-1992 by L.L. No. 1-1992]
A. 
Temporary discontinuance of service. If a consumer desires to discontinue the use of water for a temporary period, the Water Department shall be given at least 24 hours' notice, in writing, for turning off the water and similar notice for turning it on again. If the temporary discontinuance is during the winter months, the Water Department, upon such notice and request, will shut off the service at the curb cock and remove and place the water meter in its storeroom and will reinstall the same upon proper notice when required; and a charge of $10 will be made to cover the expenses incurred rendering this service.
B. 
Shutoff for permanent vacancy. If a consumer desires to discontinue the use of water due to permanent vacancy, the Water Department shall be given at least 24 hours' notice, in writing, accompanied by a fee of $10, whereupon it will, at the time required, shut off the service and will read and remove the meter for the consumer and will render a special bill for the fractional period.

§ 223-8 Service connections; cross-connections.

A. 
Special types of service connections.
(1) 
Fire service connections.
(a) 
A service connection for private fire-protection purposes may be secured from the Town upon application by the owner of the property involved. A drawing showing the proposed location of all valves, pipes, hydrants, sprinkler heads and other appurtenances to be installed shall be submitted with the application. The Water Superintendent will determine the necessity and advisability of installing any fire service connection in view of the size of the street main available, the existence of available fire hydrants and the possible effect on the main pipe system if such a service line were broken and open during a conflagration. Likewise, the Water Superintendent will determine the proper size of each fire connection, which in no case shall be larger than six inches in diameter. The cost of installation of such service, including an approved type of check valve with a meter on a bypass located in a pit or vault, if required, shall be borne entirely by the applicant. An annual ready-to-serve charge, based on the size of the service connection and payable in advance, shall be made as follows:
[Amended 7-22-1992 by L.L. No. 1-1992]
Size of Service Connection
(inches)
Fee
4
$40.00
6
$50.00
(b) 
A fire service connection, except as provided in this section, will be subject to the same rules and regulations as apply to regular service connections. No connection shall be made at any time between the fire-protection system and the regular water supply on the premise or any other supply, regardless of source, unless specifically approved by the Water Superintendent. A fire service connection is exclusively for fire-protection purposes. The use of water from this service for any other purpose whatsoever is prohibited. Any violation of these provisions shall be sufficient cause for discontinuing such service until reasonable assurance is given that the offense will not be repeated.
(2) 
Service connections to supply lawn sprinkler pipe systems will be permitted only where the use of water for that purpose will not adversely affect regular service to neighboring consumers at periods of peak demand. The size and arrangement of pumps, if any, valves, check valves and other appurtenances shall meet the requirements of the Water Department.
B. 
Cross-connections. No person owning or occupying premises receiving water service from the Town shall make or allow to be made any connection, either of a direct or of an indirect nature, between his piping system and a water supply from any other source or install or allow to be installed any fixture or appliance or waste or soil pipe from which water may flow, be syphoned or be pumped into any piping connected to the Town water system. Regulations are available at the Water Department.
[Amended 5-26-1993 by resolution]

§ 223-9 Duties of contractors.

Where either hand excavation or excavating machines are used by contractors or others in digging trenches for sewers, drains, gas mains and conduits or in connection with any other underground excavation work, all water mains shall be maintained in position at the expense of such persons or contractors. Contractors or others working in the public street must ascertain for themselves the location of all water service connection pipes. Where they are removed, cut or damaged in the construction or repair of a sewer, drain, gas main or conduit or in connection with any other underground excavation work, such person or contractor must, at his own expense, cause them to be replaced or repaired promptly, and he must at once notify the Water Department of the interruption of service and must reimburse the department for any expense to it in providing temporary service and in restoring regular service.

§ 223-10 Distribution facilities.

A. 
Installation and maintenance of distribution facilities. The Water Department will operate, maintain and, where necessary, replace all existing mains and appurtenances, fire hydrants and other facilities within the territory of any street or any easement that is under the jurisdiction of the Town, except that repair of damage to hydrants resulting from collision or any other external cause shall be paid for by the person causing such damage.
B. 
Operation of waterworks facilities. No unauthorized person shall open or close any valve, hydrant or curb cock or interfere or meddle with any hydrant, valve, pipe or main, curb cock, meter or other fixture or appurtenance connected with the water system of the Town. The Water Department shall control all mains, taps, gate valves, street service connections, curb stopcocks, curb and gate valve boxes and meters and may, whenever such facilities are operated or interfered with in any way in violation of these rules and regulations, discontinue the water service to the premises involved, which action shall be in addition to the penalties provided for by this chapter. No person shall, except with a permit from the Water Department, allow contractors, masons or other unauthorized persons to take water from his premises or operate any valve connected with the distribution system.

§ 223-11 Fire hydrants.

A. 
Fire hydrants are, except under special circumstances and with permission of the Water Department, for the sole use of the various fire companies of the Town furnishing fire-protection service. Tampering with any fire hydrant or the unauthorized use of water therefrom is a violation of this chapter. In cases where no other supply is available, permission may be granted by the Water Department for temporary use of the hydrant. Permits for the use of hydrants for filling sprinklers, sweepers, sprayers, swimming pools and other equipment apply only to such hydrants as are designated for such use. Such permit shall be granted for such time, under such conditions and for such fee as the Water Department shall prescribe, consistent with the paramount purpose of hydrants as instruments of public fire protection.
B. 
If a property owner or other party desires a change in the location of a fire hydrant, he shall bear all costs of such change. Any change in the location of a fire hydrant must be approved by and the work must be done by the Water Department.
C. 
For fire protection, fire hydrants must be kept clear of any and all obstructions including but not limited to fences, flowers, trees, tree branches and buildings. The cleared area shall be a five-foot radius from the center point of each hydrant. The Town Water Department will give the property owner 10 days' written notice to remedy blockage of any affected hydrant. If the blockage is not removed within said ten-day period, the Town reserves the right to remove blockage or trim trees to allow for operation of the affected fire hydrant without liability to the property owners.
[Added 8-26-1998]

§ 223-12 Nonliability for damages.

A. 
The Town and the water districts make no guaranty as to the amount or consistency of pressure or volume of the water they furnish and will not under any circumstances be responsible for any loss or damage from any excess, deficiency or variation in the pressure, volume or supply of water or for loss or damage caused by water escaping from or obstructions in a service line due to frost or any other cause or for any loss or damage as a result of water escaping from laterals, fixtures, appliances or pipes owned by consumers. The Water Department shall have the right to shut off the water in the mains temporarily to make repairs, alterations or additions to the plant or system, but the Town will not be responsible for damages resulting directly or indirectly from any interruption of the water supply.
B. 
When it becomes necessary to shut off the water from any section of the water system, the Water Department will endeavor to give notice to as many of the customers affected thereby as time will permit and will, so far as practicable, use its best efforts to prevent inconvenience and damage; but failure to give such notice shall not make the Town responsible or liable for any damages that may result either directly or indirectly from shutting off the water.

§ 223-13 Safety devices for boilers and other appliances.

In cases where boilers or other appliances in a premises depend upon the pressure in the service line to keep them supplied with water, the owner or occupant shall place suitable safety devices to guard against the possibility of collapse or explosion when the water supply is interrupted. Likewise, such owner or occupant shall protect water-cooled compressors for refrigeration systems by means of high-pressure safety cutout devices and shall provide means for the prevention of the transmission of water hammer or noise of operation of any valve or appliance through his piping to any adjacent premises. Failure of the owner or occupant to provide such safety devices shall in no wise make the Town responsible for any resulting damage.

§ 223-14 Restrictions on water use.

The Town shall have the right to curtail the amount of water supplied in the event that its supply becomes limited. The Water Department, in case of a shortage of water, may limit or prohibit the use of water for sprinkling of lawns or gardens or for any purpose not deemed necessary for the maintenance of public health. Where water is wastefully or negligently used on a consumer's premises seriously affecting the general service, the Water Department may discontinue the service to such premises if conditions are not corrected within 24 hours after giving such customer written notice; or, if an emergency exists, it may discontinue service without notice.

§ 223-15 Rates; charges; fines.

A. 
Rates set by Town Board. The schedule of charges and rates for water service shall be as adopted annually or at any other time as determined by resolution of the Town Board, except that, if no action is taken by the Board, the most recently adopted schedules shall continue in effect.
B. 
Water charges. All water supplied shall be charged for on the basis of the amount registered on the meters installed on the consumer's premises, with a minimum charge as established by the Town Board. Where two or more meters supply the same premises, the consumer, in addition to the fixed charges for all meters, shall be billed at the schedule of rates for a quantity of water equal to the sum of the readings of all meters on the premises.
C. 
Charge for building purposes. A charge shall be made for construction purposes during the erection of any dwelling or business establishment, which charge shall be fixed by the Town Board when it adopts the schedule of charges and rates herein provided for. For all other types of construction, water use shall be metered.
D. 
A fine, in accordance with the Town of Clarence Code §§ 223-10B and 223-19, shall be imposed upon any person, builder, contractor or property owner who turns on the water service of a building under construction, and the Town shall remove the service tap from the water main. The property owner or builder shall be required to pay a second tap fee to have the service reinstated.
[Added 8-26-1998]

§ 223-16 Services under unusual conditions.

The Water Superintendent, with the approval of the Town Board, shall determine the charges and rates in special cases to cover unusual conditions or types of service not contemplated in these rules and regulations or in the rates and charges set by the Town Board for regular service. No consumer will be allowed to supply water to other persons or premises and no owner or occupant shall use water from another premises unless specified permission has been obtained in each case from the Water Department. The Department has the right to require, during a temporary period of emergency, that a consumer allow it to connect an adjacent premises to such consumer's piping, but in such case allowance will be made for any excess water registered on his meter.

§ 223-17 Payment of charges.

A. 
Billing procedure.
(1) 
Checks for payment of water bills and water charges shall be made payable to the Town Water Department. Meters will be read and bills rendered at regular quarterly intervals. Bills for the previous quarter shall be due and payable at the office designated on the bill.
(2) 
If a bill remains unpaid an unreasonable time after it becomes due, the water will be shut off until such bill, together with an additional charge of $5, is paid.
B. 
Owner responsible for payments. The Water Department, upon the written request of a property owner, will mail the water bills to the tenant or lessee using the water, but the owner shall remain responsible for all charges provided for in this chapter, together with any penalties.

§ 223-18 Unpaid charges to be lien.

A. 
All water rents, penalties and interest thereon and all charges for tapping, connecting and disconnecting and any other charges provided by this chapter shall be a lien on the real property upon which the water is used, and such lien shall be prior to every other lien or claim except the lien of an existing tax.
B. 
The Town Clerk shall annually file with the Town Board and the Supervisor the amount of any such liens which have not been paid at the time and in the manner prescribed by the Town Board, with a description of the real property affected thereby, and the Supervisor and the Board of Assessors may include such amount in the annual tax levy and transmit such statements to the Board of Supervisors, which shall levy the same upon the real property in default.

§ 223-19 Penalties for offenses.

[Amended 7-22-1992 by L.L. No. 1-1992]
A violation of this chapter or any part or section thereof is hereby declared to be a violation, punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 or imprisonment not to exceed 15 days, or both. Where it is provided that a violation of this chapter or any part or section thereof shall impose a penalty or forfeiture, the Town Board may maintain an action or proceeding in any court of competent jurisdiction to collect such forfeiture or penalty and to compel compliance with this chapter by injunction or in any other legal manner.