City of Oneonta, NY
Otsego County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Oneonta 12-15-2015 by Ord. No. 1-2016.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Water — See Ch. 290.
[1]
Editor’s Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 291, Water Department Rules and Regulations, adopted 9-9-1930, as amended.

§ 291-1 Application for water service.

A. 
Application for the introduction of water to any premises must be made by the property owner, or his agent, on a form provided for such purpose. This must be properly submitted before a tap permit will be issued.
B. 
Application for the introduction of new water mains to the City water system must be made to the Board of Public Service. Installation of such mains shall be inspected by the City of Oneonta, and the cost of such inspection shall be borne by the developer and paid to the City of Oneonta at a rate agreed upon in advance by the Board of Public Service.

§ 291-2 Tap permits.

A. 
Before any tap permits will be issued, it is required that a permit be obtained from the Department of Public Service for the opening of any City-owned road or from the Town of Oneonta for any Town-owned road.
B. 
An application for tap must be made to the Department of Public Service.
C. 
Applications for water taps must be accompanied by the standard tapping fee. Water tapping fees shall be established by resolution from time to time by the Common Council of the City of Oneonta. For a schedule of current fees, contact the Department of Public Service.
D. 
Tapping permits will be issued only to the property owner or a plumber licensed by the City of Oneonta acting as the property owner's agent.

§ 291-3 Plumbing.

A. 
All plumbing work of any nature, except as exempted by § 210-8J, to any building within the City of Oneonta, must conform to the existing code and be done by a plumber duly licensed by the City of Oneonta or by the de facto owner, unless otherwise approved by the Department of Public Service.
B. 
All service connections to the City of Oneonta public water system, up to and including the backflow preventer and meter, must conform to the existing code and be done by a plumber licensed by the City of Oneonta or by the de facto owner.
C. 
The City of Oneonta accepts ownership and responsibility of all service lines from the tap connection at the main up to and including the curb box.
D. 
The City reserves the right to require backflow preventers on new installation or repairs.
E. 
Permits for sprinkler installations are required. All master plumbers licensed in the City of Oneonta will be automatically permitted to install approved sprinkler systems. All other contractors wanting to obtain such permit must provide the Plumbing Board with credentials showing training and actual previous work in this field and the Plumbing Board will approve or disapprove the permit. Reciprocity of licensing will be allowed on a case-by-case basis and upon receipt of license and credentials. If approved, the permit will be issued after reviewing the following:
(1) 
Three copies of the sprinkler drawings and calculations, which are stamped by a professional engineer or registered architect.
(2) 
The name of the licensed master plumber who has been subcontracted to perform the plumbing work from the City main to the backflow preventer.

§ 291-4 Tap and service installation.

A. 
The trench over and about the pipe must be dug under the supervision of the permit holder, and must be four feet square and not less than six inches below the pipe and kept clear for the tapper or as required for safety and convenience.
B. 
The Department of Public Service will furnish the required tap(s) and will install same at its expense.
C. 
The entire water service, including valves, etc., from the water main tap to the building must be installed by a plumber licensed by the City of Oneonta, at the expense of the property owner. Such expenses include necessary permits for street opening, excavation, material and labor for service installation, repavement of street, replacement of sidewalks/curbs, etc.
D. 
Services are to be laid at a minimum depth of five feet in relation to established or proposed grades.
E. 
Services are to be one piece from the water main tap to the curb box and one piece from the curb box to the premises unless the distance is so great as to make such impracticable. In such cases, a connection approved by the Department of Public Service must be used.
F. 
The portion of the service from the main to the curb stop must be connected to the curb stop and properly placed in an open trench before the Department of Public Service will install the tap. All curb stops must be placed in the City or town right-of-way, unless otherwise approved by the Department of Public Service.
G. 
Proper provisions for expansion, as per the Standard Specifications and Details, must be provided for in all service pipes. No combination stop-and-waste valve or cock shall be installed in water supply piping. (Building Code of New York State, Plumbing Code 608.7)
H. 
Immediately following the tapping of the main, the plumber will connect the service to the tap and make a pressure test of a minimum duration of 10 minutes so as to check for leaks in the presence of the Department of Public Service general supervisor or his designated representative.
I. 
The trench must be backfilled and the road repaired in accordance with the terms of the street opening permit as issued.

§ 291-5 Service specifications.

A. 
A service as described herein refers to the service pipe from the water main tap to the meter within the owner's premises.
B. 
Services from three-quarter-inch (minimum) diameter to two-inch (maximum) diameter must be copper with flare or compression fittings from the main to the meter. Other materials will only be allowed upon written approval by the City Engineer.
C. 
Services of over two inches in diameter are classified as special, and the property owner should contact the City Engineer with regard to such special services.
D. 
Copper service specifications:
Type of Tubing
Specifications
3/4 inch to 2 inch seamless copper
#16 Stubs Gauge Type K, ASTMbB88
E. 
Tap requirements.
(1) 
The size of the service shall be the same as the size of the tap.
(2) 
All charges pertaining to water taps of four-inch, six-inch, eight-inch or larger taps requiring saddles or sleeves will be quoted as follows: The contractor or property owner will supply all required fittings (tapping tee, valve, saddle, sleeve, etc.) suited for the type of pipe being used and will assemble and mount all necessary fittings. The Department of Public Service will perform the tap. Any repairs immediately needed due to improper service installation will be made by the Department of Public Service, and the contractor/property owner will be billed on a time and material basis, plus administrative fee of 50%.
(3) 
A separate tap and service is required for each individual building. Multioccupancy buildings may be furnished water through one or more taps at the discretion of the City Engineer. A master meter for multiple buildings on a single parcel may be approved at the discretion of the City Engineer.
(4) 
Individual rental spaces in mobile home parks may be furnished water through branch connections from a single tap by special permit from the City Engineer, indicating the number of spaces served. Additional connections may be made only after written approval of the City Engineer and the filing of a new permit. Violation of this section shall incur an annual water minimum charge at an amount determined from time to time by resolution of the Common Council per year per unauthorized connection.
(5) 
No new replacement tap will be made until the existing tap is terminated at the main.
F. 
Branch connection. A branch connection from any water service lateral is not allowed on the street side of the meter.
G. 
Curb stops.
(1) 
Curb stops for services up to and including two inches must be made of an inverted, ground key, round-way type and must be the same size as the service pipe. No combination stop-and-waste valve shall be installed in water supply piping. (Building Code of New York State, Plumbing Code 608.7)
(2) 
Gate valves, of a design approved by the Department of Public Service, must be used as curb stops for services over two inches.
(3) 
All curb stops or gate valves are to be located approximately two feet inside of the curbline, unless otherwise approved by the Department of Public Service.
(4) 
Each curb stop or gate shall be properly enclosed by a gatebox and cover of a type as approved by the Department of Public Service.
H. 
Interior valve. A full-bore valve or a design approved by the Department of Public Service must be located on the incoming service, just inside the building.
I. 
Provision for meter.
(1) 
Meters shall be installed by the Department of Public Service or a contractor approved by the Department of Public Service general supervisor or his designee.
(2) 
Meters shall be installed per the Standard Specifications and Details.
(3) 
The meter, a backflow preventer (if required) and a test tee between two approved-type valves must be located on the premises side of the fill-in-piece, as illustrated in the Standard Specifications and Details.
(4) 
Meters are not required for sprinkler services. Sprinkler services shall carry an annual fee equal to the minimum annual rent for water services.
J. 
Meter pits. Outdoor meter pits may be installed in special cases on written approval of the City Engineer. Such meter pits must be constructed in accordance with the Standard Specifications and Details at the expense of the property owner.

§ 291-6 Sprinkler service connections.

A. 
Application to install a commercial sprinkler service from a water lateral must be obtained from the City of Oneonta Code Enforcement Office. Sprinkler services must follow all specifications outlined in § 291-7 except those which apply only to the introduction of the meter. Requests for required flow tests must be attached to the permit application.
B. 
All flow tests must be performed by the City of Oneonta or an individual or agency approved by the City Engineer. Written approval by the City Engineer is required. If performed without approval, the property owner shall be assessed an administrative fee established from time to time by resolution of the Common Council of the City of Oneonta. All flow tests must be witnessed by a representative of the City of Oneonta.
C. 
Sprinkler service design must adhere to the Standard Specifications and Details, and must be approved by the City Engineer or designee.
D. 
Final inspection and sign-off shall be performed by the licensed professional engineer or registered architect who stamped the design, to certify that the installation has been done as per the approved design. The architect or professional engineer shall submit the findings to the Code Enforcement Office.
E. 
Property owners must annually certify that their sprinkler systems are functioning according to forms provided by the Code Enforcement Office. Sprinkler inspections must be performed by a NICET Level II inspector. Those failing to obtain certification shall be certified by the City at the property owner's expense. The Code Enforcement Office will make spot checks as deemed necessary.
F. 
Flow tests for existing sprinkler services must be approved by the Department of Public Service in coordination with the main flushing schedule. If performed without approval, the property owner shall be assessed an administrative fee established from time to time by resolution of the Common Council of the City of Oneonta.

§ 291-7 Procurement of and setting of meters.

A. 
Unless otherwise specified, all water meters are furnished to the consumer by a fee established from time to time by resolution of the Common Council. The City Engineer reserves the right to specify the maximum size meter required for any purpose.
B. 
Meters shall be located with approximately six inches clearance to the building wall and near the point where the water meter service enters the building and not more than four feet above the floor, where practicable.
C. 
Clear access of a minimum of three feet shall be maintained around the meter, and a clear lane maintained from the point of egress to such meter location.
D. 
The meter shall be installed at a level slightly higher than the service stop-and-waste valve. No other valves, cocks, drains, etc., shall be allowed between the meter and the stop-and-waste valve on the incoming service.
E. 
An approved-type valve, test tee and backflow preventer shall be located on the premises side of the meter and not more than two feet from the meter.
F. 
A test tee and backflow preventer shall be installed between the meter and valve as per Subsection E above, on all services. (See § 291-5I(3) above.)
G. 
The meter shall be suitably supported and protected so as to prevent vibration, freezing, or damage from external causes.

§ 291-8 Water for construction and other purposes.

Water for construction and other purposes shall only be used with prior approval from the Department of Public Service. If approved the water shall be metered, and regular meter rates will apply unless, in the judgment of the Board of Public Service, such is not practicable. In such cases, provisions for flat-rate charges may be made at charges to be determined by the Board of Public Service.

§ 291-9 Cross-connections.

All cross-connections are prohibited. See Municipal Code, Chapter 290.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 290, Water.

§ 291-10 Water motors.

The use of water from the public water supply for the production of power in any type of apparatus is strictly forbidden.

§ 291-11 Service replacement.

A. 
When the City replaces or installs a water service from the main to the curb stop and is unable to make a proper connection to the property owner's water service, the Department of Public Service will contact the property owner, and the property owner shall be responsible for making a proper connection at his/her expense.
B. 
If, for any reason, the City replaces or installs a water service, the City will replace only that portion of the service from the main up to and, if necessary, including the curb stop.
C. 
On all streets where it is proposed to construct new pavements or relay existing pavements, all iron, steel or lead services may be replaced with copper under such proposed pavements. In the case of such renewals, the Department of Public Service shall notify property owners of such renewal so that an opportunity to replace the entire service is provided.

§ 291-12 Maintenance of services.

A. 
All services from the building to the curb box must be properly maintained by the property owner, at his/her expense.
B. 
Curb stops and boxes must be protected from damage, kept free of dirt, refuse, snow, ice, etc., at all times by the property owner. When changes are made by the property owner in the yard grade, curb boxes must be realigned to the new grade level. Such realignment must be approved and inspected by the Department of Public Service. Only the Department of Public Service shall operate curb stops. A fee for such inspection may be charged as set from time to time by the Common Council. Front yard parking is also prohibited per § 300-61C(5).
C. 
If, within 10 days, a property owner fails to make repairs to his/her section of a faulty water service after due notice has been filed with such property owner by the Department of Public Service, the City reserves the right to discontinue water service until repairs are made to the satisfaction of the Department of Public Service.
D. 
The thawing and/or repair of frozen water services from the user's side of the curbstop, to and including the water meter, are the responsibility and liability of the property owner.

§ 291-13 Maintenance of water meters.

A. 
Normal repair, maintenance and replacement of City-owned water meters will be done by the Department of Public Service at its expense.
B. 
Damage to water meters due to freezing, slush, ice, fire, hot water, and other damage which cannot be attributed to normal operational wear and tear will be billed to the property owner at charges established from time to time by resolution of the Common Council. (Flanges, fittings and hardware will be extra.)

§ 291-14 Testing of water meters.

A. 
All water meters may be tested periodically in the field, at the Department of Public Service test laboratory or at an independent testing service. Larger meters shall be tested according to the schedule below. All costs of that testing, including any costs incurred by the City in obtaining access to the meter, together with an additional administrative fee of 50% of those costs, will be added to the owner's water bill.
Meter Size
(inches)
Required Testing Interval
2
Every 4 years
3
Every 3 years
4
Every 2 years
6 or larger
Every year
B. 
Special tests may be made by the Department of Public Service at the request of the property owner or on its own initiative where indicated. A fee for such service shall be established from time to time by resolution of the Common Council.

§ 291-15 Inaccurate registration of water meters.

A. 
In the event of the failure of a water meter to register accurately, water consumption will be billed based on an average of the three prior years' bills for the premises in question.
B. 
If prior bills are not available, average current water consumption may be used as a basis for estimated usage and billing purposes, upon appeal to the Board of Public Service.

§ 291-16 Water meter seals.

A. 
Unauthorized tampering with water meter seals is a misdemeanor, and offenders will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
B. 
In the event that seals on water meters are found to be broken, from any cause whatsoever, billing in the amount of three times the average bill of the last two identical billing periods may be issued. Service may be disconnected if such is deemed advisable by the Board of Public Service.

§ 291-17 Wastage of water.

A. 
Water is a natural resource and must be conserved.
B. 
All water services must be metered.
C. 
Under no circumstances will a property owner be allowed to run or waste water, without charge, to prevent freezing or for other purposes, except as directed by the Department of Public Service.

§ 291-18 Sprinkling.

A. 
Lawn sprinkling is permitted, but may be regulated when deemed necessary by the Board of Public Service.
B. 
Excess sprinkling at any time, such as to result in any obvious waste, shall be construed as a "wastage of water" and subject to penalty or other restrictions as determined by the Board of Public Service.

§ 291-19 Transfer of water.

A. 
Water shall not be resold by any consumer to tenants or to any other person or entity.
B. 
Water may not be transferred for use off the premises for which water is supplied, for any reason whatsoever.

§ 291-20 Fire hydrants.

A. 
Fire hydrants are provided for fire protection and water distribution maintenance only. Hydrants may only be operated by City personnel.
B. 
Under exceptional circumstances, the Department of Public Service is authorized to issue permits for the use of specific hydrants, for specific purposes, at such fees as established from time to time by resolution of the Common Council. Use of any fire hydrant, including those located on private property, is subject to approval by the Department of Public Service. Use of a hydrant without prior approval shall cost the property owner according to a fee established from time to time by resolution of the Common Council.
C. 
Tampering with or obstructing fire hydrants is specifically prohibited.
D. 
Fire hydrants within the limits of the Town of Oneonta are subject to an annual fee for rental of those hydrants. Such fee shall be established from time to time by resolution of the Common Council.

§ 291-21 Entrance to premises.

The Department of Public Service general supervisor or authorized Department of Public Service employees shall have full power to enter the premises of any consumer, at all reasonable hours, to read meters, examine fixtures, manner of using water, etc. See Municipal Code § 290-11.

§ 291-22 Emergencies.

In the event that the City Council, the State Department of Health, the State Department of Environmental Conservation or other agencies shall deem it advisable, the Board of Public Service is herewith authorized to take such measures as may be deemed necessary to protect the public water supply.

§ 291-23 Change of pressure.

The Department of Public Service shall not be liable for any damage or loss of any name or kind, to property or persons, or business or loss of use of property, which may arise from or be caused by any change of pressure whatsoever.

§ 291-24 Shutting off water.

It is understood and agreed that the City of Oneonta shall not be liable for any injury or damage which may result to any person or premises, from shutting off of water from any main or service for any purpose whatever, even in cases where no notice is given.

§ 291-25 Rate schedule for water services.

A. 
Water meters are required for all water services. A water account, which does not have a meter installed, shall be subject to an annual fee as set from time to time by the Common Council of the City of Oneonta.
B. 
Water rent charges are set from time to time by the Common Council of the City of Oneonta. Current water rent tables are available in the Finance Department.
C. 
The annual minimum fee for water service shall be charged as the annual fee for sprinkler services, which are not tapped off from a metered service.
D. 
If a property owner disputes the accuracy of the water rent accessed against the property, an appeal may be made to the Board of Public Service. Such appeal shall be in writing and within 60 days of the date of the bill.

§ 291-26 Water billing.

A. 
Billing for water will be issued for any overage above minimum billing for the previous year, plus advance minimum billing for the current year.
B. 
Billing will also include a charge for sewer rent at a rate set by the Common Council.
C. 
Billing will also include charges for fire lines on a minimum fee basis where provided.
D. 
Water billing appeals.
(1) 
Owners with concerns about their water bill should first contact the Department of Public Service. Department of Public Service personnel will review meter-reading history and may visit the property to make a general inspection and identify any potential issues related to the recorded water consumption.
(2) 
If information provided by the Department of Public Service does not adequately address the owner's concerns, a written appeal may be submitted to the Board of Public Service. Appeals to the Board of Public Service must be submitted to the City Clerk within 60 days of the date of the bill.
(3) 
When a complaint is received, the City Clerk will acknowledge receipt of the complaint and inform the customer of the procedure to be followed. The City Clerk will distribute the complaint to the appropriate departments.
(4) 
If issues related to the water consumption were not adequately identified upon inspection, the customer may request that the water meter be removed and tested by the Department of Public Service at no charge to the customer. If a property owner is not satisfied with the Department of Public Service testing results, the meter may be sent to a New York State Public Service Commission-approved testing company. If the meter test indicated inaccuracy that exceeds 2%, the Department of Public Service will pay testing charges and adjust the water rent for that period involved. If the meter is accurate within + or - 2%, the property owner shall pay the testing charges.
(5) 
The meter readings and any other documentation shall be provided by the Department of Public Service to the Board of Public Service. After the results are reviewed, the customer will be invited to a future meeting of the Board of Public Service.
(6) 
The Board will listen to the complaint, review all documentation and meter testing results, and will decide whether there is evidence that the meter was inaccurate at the time of the current billing.
(7) 
If the meter is deemed inaccurate, the billing will be adjusted pursuant to § 291-15 of the Rules and Regulations of the Water Department.
(8) 
If the meter is deemed accurate, the Board will notify the customer that the water and sewer bill will remain as originally billed and must be paid as follows:
(a) 
If the usage billed is less than three times the average of the previous three years' billed usage, the bill must be paid in full within 30 days of notification to the customer that the appeal of his/her water/sewer bill was unsuccessful. After 30 days, normal late payment penalties must be paid in addition to the original bill amount.
(b) 
If the bill is at least three times the average of the previous three years' billings, a payment schedule will be offered, not to extend beyond November 30 of the year the bill was received. If the appeal schedule has been adhered to, all additional penalties will be waived from the date of the original appeal.

§ 291-27 Penalty provisions for nonpayment of water bill.

A. 
Water bills will incur penalties of incremental percentages for late payment as specified by the City Finance Department.
B. 
Disconnection.
(1) 
The Department of Public Service reserves the right to disconnect water service at the main, or shut off service at the curb stop, in the event that bills are not paid within a stated period of time after the last due date.
(2) 
In the event that such action is deemed advisable, the City Finance Department shall so advise the owner of record of this contemplated action by registered mail. If payment in full, plus accrued penalties, is not received within 15 days of the mailing of such notice, the water may be disconnected at the main, or service shut off at the curb stop.
C. 
A fee as established from time to time by the City of Oneonta Common Council will be charged against the property owner and will be subject to the same penalties as the unpaid water bill. This fee shall cover the cost associated with such shutoff.
D. 
No property will be reconnected to the water main until all water and sewer rents and penalties charged against said properties, including the cost of disconnecting and reconnecting such properties to the water main, have been paid.

§ 291-28 Discontinuance of water.

A. 
Full water bills will be rendered according to a regular rate schedule as determined by the Common Council unless such service is disconnected at the water main, or at the curb box, at the discretion of the Department of Public Service general supervisor. A property owner may elect to have the meter removed temporarily and stored. In such cases, the Department of Public Service shall close the curb box and then remove the meter. The property owner shall be billed for such service at a fee established from time to time by resolution of the Common Council. The property water rent shall be no less than the annual minimum.
B. 
If premises are to be torn down, or otherwise vacated, and water service abandoned, the Department of Public Service must be notified by the property owner so that the water service may be disconnected at the water main or the curb box, at the discretion of the general supervisor. All disconnections will be performed by the Department of Public Service.
C. 
Billing for water services (including any minimum fee) will terminate on the first day of the month immediately subsequent to the date of disconnection. A disconnection fee established from time to time by resolution of the Common Council will be charged for each requested disconnection, and any other charges or credits will be issued as of the same aforementioned date.

§ 291-29 Transfer to tax rolls.

All charges for water and sewer rents, repairs, damages caused by carelessness or neglect, penalties, etc., shall be made against the premises supplied and the owner of premises shall be held responsible therefor. Such charges, if not paid, shall be a lien on the property benefited. All such unpaid charges shall be added to the next City tax against the property.

§ 291-30 Real estate transfers.

The Department of Public Service will, upon request, cooperate in taking or recording meter readings usually required in real estate transfers of ownership.

§ 291-31 Distribution.

A. 
Materials used for construction will be approved by the Engineering Department.
B. 
No mains less than eight inches in diameter will be allowed, unless authorized by the Board of Public Service.
C. 
No services will be allowed in streets in lieu of water mains.
D. 
All main extensions outside of the City limits must be approved by the Board of Public Service after petition.
(1) 
The entire cost of such main extensions shall be borne by the petitioner. The Board may enter into a contract with the petitioner agreeing that no taps will be made in such extensions without the knowledge of the petitioner. Further, the Board may also agree that the petitioner may have the right to charge, along with the Department of Public Service, a tapping fee for up to a five-year period.

§ 291-32 Records of water use and charges.

A. 
The Finance Department shall keep such records pertaining to the use and the charges therefor as may be prescribed by the Board of Public Service.
B. 
The Department of Public Service and Code Enforcement Office shall issue permits as may be authorized by these regulations.
C. 
The Department of Public Service clerical staff shall perform such other clerical or office work as may be prescribed by the Board of Public Service.