Borough of Hopewell, NJ
Mercer County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
R.S. 40:62-47, et seq., governs municipal supply of water.
[Ord. 198]
The Hopewell Borough Water Department shall be under the general supervision of one borough council member appointed by the mayor with the consent of the borough council.
The borough council member shall exercise the following duties and powers:
a. 
General supervision of the operation and maintenance of the water supply and distribution system, including machinery, equipment, mains, pumps, reservoirs, pipes, meters and all other related mechanical features.
b. 
Execution of all orders of the borough council pertaining to his duties and the general management of the borough water department.
c. 
Reporting all work done in the borough water department, including all materials purchased and sold, all water service, main extensions, laterals, manholes, meters and connections made and other pertinent data, and keeping a complete record thereof.
d. 
Supervision and responsibility for the making of analysis reports when required under the rules of the State Department of Health and the filing of any required reports with the department.
e. 
Responsibility for all water extensions, house connections, and any repairs, additions or alterations to the water supply system.
f. 
Issuance of requisitions for purchase of materials and supplies in accordance with instructions from the borough council.
g. 
Maintaining a permanent record of the location of all water mains, manholes, meters, house connections, extensions, laterals, and related things, including the financial data pertaining to the water supply system.
[Ord. 198]
There shall be a clerk of the borough water department appointed by the mayor with the consent of borough council.
The clerk of the water department shall have the following duties:
a. 
Collection of all accounts receivable due the borough water department, and responsibility for making out and sending all water bills. The clerk shall account to the borough treasurer, every six months, for all moneys of the borough water department received, turning over to the treasurer for the purpose of the borough, all such moneys and a complete record thereof.
b. 
Issuing permits for connections to the water supply system.
c. 
Keeping accurate records of all water accounts. The clerk shall be required to carry out the provisions of this chapter in relation to delinquent accounts, notices of shutoff and upon payment, the restoration of the water service.
d. 
The clerk shall enter into a bond for the faithful performance of the aforesaid duties in such an amount as the borough council may require.
[Ord. 198; Ord. 290; Ord. 379; Ord. 451; Ord. 453; Ord. 571; Ord. 576]
No lateral from the main to the curb stop shall be laid by any person other than the borough water department, except as specifically authorized by the borough water department in writing.
Applications for connection to the water distribution system shall be made in writing to the clerk of the borough water department and signed by the owner of the property for which the connection is being applied, or by his authorized agent.
The required service connection charge shall be paid at the time the application is made.
The application shall designate the name of the plumber, the address of the premises applied for and the purpose of the connection.
a. 
The following fees and charges are hereby fixed for new service connections to a residential, commercial or industrial property.
1. 
Account set up fee: $65.
2. 
Facility fee: $1,100.
3. 
Connection fee.
(a) 
Standard: $750.
(b) 
Half street width: $1,500.
(c) 
Full street width: $1,800.
A standard connection is where the connection to the water main is made on the side of the street nearest to the property. A half street width connection is where the water main is in the middle of the street and a full street width connection is where the water main is on the far side of the street from the property.
The connection fee covers all costs of connecting to the water main, including excavation, bedding, backfill, inspection, pavement restoration, meter, materials, equipment and labor to install a complete service connection to the curb stop.
All connections of one inch or smaller shall be made by the borough. All connections larger than one inch must be performed by the applicant's plumber, at applicant's sole cost and expense.
b. 
Where a developer, in connection with an approved subdivision and as part of the required improvements, installs water mains connecting the development to the municipal water distribution system and connects all units, residential, commercial, or other, to the water distribution system, the borough will furnish meters for all services of one inch or smaller. The cost to the developer shall be the price of the meter paid by the borough plus 20%. Meters for services larger than one inch, shall be provided by the developer and must be of a type approved by the borough licensed operator or his designated representative.
c. 
The charges for a standby fire service connection shall be the actual costs incurred by the borough, including labor and materials in making the connection and installation plus 20%. In addition there shall be quarterly standby service charges as follows:
For up to a two inch line $75 per quarter;
For a four-inch line $275 per quarter;
For a six-inch line $580 per quarter;
For an eight-inch line $990 per quarter.
Persons desiring the use of water for building construction shall make application in the regular manner for service.
a. 
Fees and Charges. Charges for the use of water for building construction shall be $100 per calendar quarter or fraction thereof. For structures other than single dwellings, rates shall be fixed and determined by the Borough Water Department.
All charges are payable at the time of the filing of the application for service.
b. 
Regulations for Water Use in Construction. Under no circumstances shall water for building construction be taken from the fire hydrants of the borough.
The water department reserves the right to regulate the purpose for which the water may be used during construction and may, at its option, require the water to be metered.
At least 48 hours' notice shall be given the borough water department before any of the above connections will be made.
Excavating work and the finishing and installation of the service line from the curb stop to the meter and thence to the premises shall be under the supervision of the appointed supervising councilman or his agent. Such excavating and installations shall be at the expense of the property owner.
a. 
Size. All laterals for single dwellings up to buildings with three apartments shall be of three-quarter inch pipe, laterals for buildings with four apartments to six apartments shall be of one inch pipe; and all buildings for commercial purposes and with more than six apartments shall have a lateral of a size and material to be designated by the water department.
b. 
Materials. All laterals consisting of "Type K" copper tubing shall be connected with brass-copper fittings. In general, laterals up to and including two inches shall be made of extra heavy copper tubing, or wrought iron, at the discretion of the water department, and service lines larger than two inches shall be of cast iron, or in each case, of other suitable materials approved by the water department.
c. 
Positioning. All laterals from the main to the curb stop and thence from the curb stop to the premises being supplied, shall be at least three feet below the surface or finished grade to insure against freezing.
A lateral shall be separated from the sewer, septic tank or cesspool, and other service pipe by at least two feet, and the excavation and trench in which the service line shall be laid shall remain open until inspected and approved by the water department.
d. 
Inspection. At least 24 hours' notice shall be given to the water department for the purpose of inspecting this work.
a. 
Maintenance Responsibility, Line to Premises. The property owner shall be responsible for the maintenance of the service line between the curb stop and the premises and shall keep such line in good repair and protected at all times from damage from any cause, and shall be held liable for damage or loss of water from failure to do so.
All leaks in the service line from the curb stop to the premises shall be reported promptly to the department and repaired by the property owner. If repairs are not so made, the water shall be shut off by the water department and not turned on again until the line is placed in serviceable condition and all charges for damage or loss of water have been paid.
b. 
Prohibition, Curb Turnoff or Turnon. No person, except an employee of the water department, shall turn water on or off at a curb stop unless an emergency exists; in such case the water department shall be advised immediately of the action taken.
c. 
Prohibition, Multiple Supplying. Permission will not be granted to supply two or more dwellings, manufacturing establishments or other places from a single lateral.
[Ord. 198; Ord. 224; Ord. 261; Ord. 359; Ord. 423; Ord. 435; Ord. 483; Ord. 510; Ord. 571; Ord. 575; Ord. 586; Ord. 649; Ord. 678; Ord. 712; Ord. 758; Ord. No. 789; Ord. No. 815]
All connections shall be metered, and a use of water without a meter makes the property owner liable for an amount of water consumed as estimated by the water department in addition to any penalties imposed under this chapter. The borough, upon repeated offenses, may order the water supply to be discontinued.
The location provided by a property owner for a water meter shall be readily accessible for reading and maintenance purposes, and shall be such as to offer adequate protection against damage to the meter. All meters shall be installed in such a manner that they may be replaced with a minimum of work. All meters shall be installed in the cellars of buildings, and if no cellars are under the buildings, then in a utility room or in a curb meter box at the curb.
Any consumer who wishes to install an outside or remote reading device for his water meter may do so. However, he shall pay the cost of the device to the water department plus an installation charge of $7.
No person, except an employee or agent of the water department, shall disconnect, repair, adjust or tamper in any way with a water meter.
The water department shall have access at all reasonable hours to the premises connected to the water distribution system for the purpose of inspecting and maintaining water meters and associated equipment. The hours between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., except Sunday, shall be considered reasonable hours for this purpose.
All water meters are the property of the borough. The size of meters to be attached to water connections shall be as required by the water department. The consumer shall take all proper precautions to protect the meter from injury, frost and damage from hot water or steam. The owner of premises will be held liable for all damage or loss to the water department from failure to properly care for and protect water meters.
Failure of a meter to register properly shall be reported immediately to the water department; charges for water during the period of such failure shall be computed on the basis of the average consumption over a reasonable period prior to the failure.
Should a consumer believe that a meter is not registering properly, the consumer shall file a complaint with the clerk of the water department. If it is found that the meter registers against the consumer an error of more than three percent there will be no charge for removing, repairing and resetting the meter. If, however, the meter is found to register against the consumer an error of less than three percent, a charge of $50.00 will be made for the test. The water department shall have the right to make periodic tests or replacement of all meters at no cost to the consumer.
a. 
Rates for Water Use. Customers shall be charged the following rates for water used as registered on the water meter. If water usage is not metered, the minimum charge shall apply. These rates shall be effective as of April 1. 2019.
[Amended 5-2-2019 by Ord. No. 830]
For Water Used Each Quarter
Rate
Residential and Commercial
First 2,000 gallons or less (minimum charge)
$26.53
For water in excess of 2,000 gallons up to 5,000 gallons per 1,000 gallons
$13.72
For water in excess of 5,000 gallons up to 10,000 gallons per 1,000 gallons
$14.27
For water in excess of 10,000 gallons up to 20,000 gallons per 1,000 gallons
$14.85
For water in excess of 20,000 gallons up to 30,000 gallons per 1,000 gallons
$15.44
For water in excess of 30,000 gallons up to 40,000 gallons per 1,000 gallons
$16.07
For water in excess of 40,000 gallons per 1,000 gallon
$16.72
Commercial - water in excess of 100,000 gallons per 1,000 gallons
$15.44
b. 
Rate Calculations for Multiple Users on One Meter. All billings for water consumed through meters shall be figured to the nearest 1,000 gallons as set forth on the meters. Where more than one family, customer, business or premises use water registered by one meter, the total gallons to the nearest 1,000 gallons used within a billing period shall be divided between the number of families, customers, businesses or premises, and the water rates shall be applied to this portion of the total usage. The amount thus calculated shall be multiplied by the number of families, customers, businesses or premises, and this final amount shall be charged for the billing period. It shall be the obligation of the property owner to notify the water department of any increase or decrease in this multiple use of water per one meter.
c. 
Meter Deposit. There shall be no requirement for deposit on water meters, and any deposit now held by the water department shall be credited to the next succeeding billing, and thereafter no deposit shall be held by the water department.
d. 
Billing Periods; Payment in Arrears. The measurement of water used by a reading of the meter shall be to the nearest 1,000 gallons. Billing periods for water usage shall be quarterly, and bills shall be rendered as of the first day of January, April, July and October, for water used in the preceding quarterly period as determined from the meter reading. No discount or rebate shall be allowed for or on account of, disconnection from or nonuse of water for a portion of a quarter.
All water bills shall be payable within 30 days from the date of billing. Water charges shall bear interest at the same rate as delinquent taxes, commencing 30 days from the date of the bill.
If payment of any water rent or rents, or for work done or materials furnished, is not made within 60 days of the date when due, the water may be shut off from such real estate, and shall not be again supplied thereto until the arrears with interest and penalties shall be fully paid.
If any water rent or other charge shall remain in arrears for six months, the officer charged with the duty of collecting water rents shall file with the officer charged with the collection of tax arrears, a statement showing such arrearages, and from the time of such filing, the water rent or other charge shall be a lien upon the real estate to which the water was furnished, and in connection with which the charges were incurred, to the same extent as taxes are a lien upon real estate in the municipality, and shall be collected and enforced by the same officers and in the same manner as liens for taxes.
e. 
Special Meter Reading. A fee of $50 shall be charged to any borough water consumer who requests a special meter reading, for whatever purpose such as sale, change of occupant, et cetera, where the meter reading is made at a time other than the regular quarterly reading.
[Ord. 198; Ord. 261; Ord. 545; Ord. 571]
When requested by the owner or his agent, the water department shall discontinue service to a property. A turn-off charge of $50 shall be made for discontinuing the service. A turn-on charge of $50 shall be made when the service is restored. A service discontinued for a period of two years shall be considered abandoned.
No adjustment of water charges due to failure of the borough water department to disconnect or restore water service as requested by an owner shall be made unless the request for discontinuance or restoration is in writing and duly filed with the water department.
Where a service is abandoned, the owner shall so notify the clerk of the borough water department, the water meter shall be removed and a fee of $50 shall be paid by the owner. Thereafter, a new application in writing to the clerk of the water department shall be made if the service is to be reinstated, at which time a water department agent shall determine whether a new service connection and curb box is required and, if so, charges for these shall be made as herein provided at a cost similar to installation of new service.
Where the existing original service connection and curb box are in accordance with the requirements herein, and are in good repair, a fee of $50 shall be paid by the owner for reconnection and for a five-eighths-inch meter, or a fee of $15 plus the cost of the meter shall be paid for a meter larger than five-eighths-inch. Where service is abandoned at the convenience of and request of the water department, the department reserves the right to charge less than the rates herein provided at its sole discretion.
When a person has been cited for a violation of emergency water restrictions imposed by the governing body pursuant to section 10-8, the borough may forthwith discontinue the water service to the property at the time of the alleged violation and the owner shall be charged $50 for the disconnection of service. At the time the service is restored there shall be a charge of $50 for the restoration of service.
[Ord. 198]
Any person receiving a supply of water for any purpose from the borough water department, shall be subject to the rules and regulations as set forth in this chapter.
The owner of any house, tenement, building or lot shall be liable for the payment of the price of rent fixed herein for the use of water, and for the installation, purchase price, repair and testing of any water meter, water service, connections, appliances or parts and renewals thereof furnished or made by the borough water department in or upon such house, tenement, building or lot, or connecting with such house, tenement, building or lot, and the interest and penalties charged. Such price or rent or other costs, expenses, interest and penalties as fixed herein shall be a lien upon such house, tenement, building or lot until paid and satisfied. All bills for water and the costs for performing the work heretofore mentioned shall be sent directly to the owner of the premises in which the water is consumed, or the work done. Bills shall be forwarded to the owner, and each meter located in the premises shall have a separate billing.
No person shall in any manner obstruct or prevent free access to any fire hydrant, or place or store temporarily or otherwise, any object, material, snow, debris or structure of any kind within a distance of 15 feet of any fire hydrant. Any obstruction, when discovered, shall be removed at once by the borough water department at the expense of the person responsible for the obstruction.
Any necessary changes in piping between the curb stop and the premises due to corrosion or otherwise, valves or connection and all material and labor used to increase the water supply or efficiency thereof must be made by the property owner, at his own expense, subject to inspection and approval of the borough water department.
The borough water department reserves the right to decrease or limit the quantity of water used whenever, in the judgment of the water department, upon public notice, it is necessary or expedient to do so. The borough is not responsible for damages by reason of the failure to supply water insofar as it may affect any property or use.
Water service may be discontinued for any of the following reasons:
a. 
For the use of water for any other property or purpose than that described in the application.
b. 
For willful waste of water through improper or imperfect pipes, fixtures or otherwise.
c. 
For failure to maintain in good order connections, service lines or fixtures owned by the consumer.
d. 
For molesting, tampering or attempting to molest or tamper with any service pipe, curb stop, seal, water meter or any other appliances of the water department.
e. 
For refusal of access at reasonable hours to property for purposes of inspecting or for caring for or repairing or removing meters.
f. 
Any person or corporation who shall use any water of the borough water department that does not pass through a meter, without permission of the water department or as herein otherwise allowed.
g. 
For nonpayment of bills for service rendered or water consumed and fines and penalties imposed, or for any other reason causing or tending to cause a loss in the borough water department.
h. 
In no case shall the water service be restored until the defects have been remedied and the bills due and fines or penalties imposed and a fee of $5 to cover the cost of shutting off and turning on of water have been paid. Furthermore, the owner of the premises shall be liable for any loss sustained by the water department as a result of such defects.
[Ord. 576]
a. 
Authorized Use. No person shall use or operate any fire hydrant intended for the use of the fire department for fire suppression purposes, except the fire department for such purposes, unless such person first secures a permit for such use from the borough water department. This subsection shall not apply to the use of such hydrants by a person employed by and authorized to make such use by the water company. The fee for a permit shall be $75.
b. 
Unauthorized Use. Any person who, without obtaining a permit for such use, uses or operates any fire hydrant intended for the use of the fire department for fire suppression purposes, except for fire suppression purposes, shall be subject to the following penalties: imprisonment in the county jail or in any place provided by the municipality for the detention of prisoners, for any term not exceeding 90 days or by a fine of not less than $100 and not exceeding $1,000.
[New]
Any person guilty of violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be subject to penalties as provided by section 3-11 of this revision.
[Ord. 460; Ord. 545]
Whenever the governing body shall be satisfied and finds that a water emergency exists in the borough, it may adopt a resolution declaring that a water emergency exists in the municipality. Such resolution shall be adopted by the governing body at any regular, special, adjourned or emergency public meeting of the governing body. Such resolution shall identify that portion of the borough affected by the water emergency, which may include the entire borough and shall specify which of the water use restrictions contained in subsection 10-8.2 of this section is being imposed as well as any exemptions as may be authorized. Such resolution shall be effective immediately and shall continue in effect for 90 days or such lesser time period as may be specified, unless extended or repealed as set forth in subsection 10-8.3 of this section. For the purpose of this subsection, a water emergency shall exist if the governing body is satisfied that a water emergency exists in the borough.
Upon adoption by the governing body of a resolution declaring that a water emergency exists in the borough in accordance with subsection 10-8.1 of this section;
a. 
All citizens shall be urged to observe voluntary indoor conservation measures; and
b. 
If any of the following water use restrictions shall be imposed said restrictions shall be applicable to all residents and tenants, except where a bona fide health emergency exists and to exempt businesses, as specified herein during the water emergency:
1. 
The complete ban and prohibition of outside water usage, including the watering of lawns and plants, the filling of pools and the washing of cars;
2. 
Outside water usage on alternate days allowing outside water usage by persons or businesses having even house or box numbers on even days and those having odd house or box numbers on odd days, with outside water usage being completely banned and prohibited on the 31st day of any month during the water emergency;
3. 
Any other water use restriction specified by the governing body in the resolution required by subsection 10-8.1 of this section which is reasonable under the circumstances considering the nature and extent of the water emergency. Any water restriction imposed pursuant to this paragraph shall be limited in application to that portion of the borough, which may include the entire borough, identified as being affected by the water emergency in the resolution of the governing body adopted in accordance with subsection 10-8.1 of this section.
The resolution of the governing body required by subsection 10-8.1 of this section shall, in addition to complying with subsection 10-8.1, provide a period of time during which the water use restrictions imposed shall be applicable and which shall be no longer than reasonably necessary to abate the water emergency under the circumstances considering the nature and extent of the water emergency. At the expiration of the time period specified in the resolution, the water use restrictions shall lapse and be inapplicable and unenforceable. If the governing body shall be satisfied that the water emergency has been abated prior to the expiration of the time period specified in the resolution, it shall adopt a resolution declaring the water emergency ended and the water use restrictions inapplicable. If, at the expiration of the time period specified in the resolution, the governing body shall be satisfied that the water emergency continues to exist, it may adopt a resolution in accordance with the requirements of this section continuing the water use restrictions.
The water use restrictions imposed pursuant to this section shall be enforced during a water emergency by the local authorized official. Whenever a local authorized official shall find a violation of the water use restrictions, such authorized official shall give the violator a written warning and explain the penalties for a second and third offense as provided by subsection 10-8.5 of this section. The local authorized official shall keep such records as may be reasonable and necessary for the purpose of determining the persons and businesses who have been warned upon a first offense. The local authorized official is hereby empowered to write summonses for the violation of the water use restrictions imposed pursuant to this section.
After a warning for a first offense in accordance with subsection 10-8.4 of this section, any person or business who thereafter violates the water use restrictions imposed pursuant to this section shall be fined or imprisoned in accordance with this subsection and in addition their water service may be discontinued at the time they are cited for the violation of the emergency water restrictions. For a second offense, the fine imposed shall be $500 or imprisonment for 10 days or both and in addition their water service may be discontinued at the time they are cited for the alleged violation. For a third and subsequent offense, the fine imposed shall be $1,000 or imprisonment for 30 days or both and in addition their water service may be discontinued at the time they are cited for the alleged violation.
If any section, paragraph, subdivision, clause or provision of this ordinance shall be adjudged invalid, such adjudication shall apply only to the section, paragraph, subdivision, clause or provision invalidated and the remainder of this section shall be valid and enforceable.
All ordinances and resolutions or parts thereof inconsistent with this section are hereby repealed.
[Ord. 583]
It shall be the purpose of this section to require inspections to be performed by the borough water department for each individual lot or lots in the borough prior to a transfer of title to ensure that (1) all metering systems monitoring water and sewer usage by the lot(s) are properly functioning and recording; (2) water and sewer connections for the lot(s) are not altered or damaged; and (3) any and all sump pumps located on the lot(s) are not connected to a sanitary sewer line.
Prior to the transfer of title of any lot(s) served by water and sewer connections or on which a sump pump is located, the owner of said lot(s) shall obtain a certificate of meter, water/sewer and sump pump compliance from the borough water department ("certificate of compliance"). A certificate of compliance shall only be provided after an inspection by the borough water department which shall be permitted to make entry on the lot(s), investigate, and make conclusions as to the following items:
a. 
The proper working condition and recording accuracy of the meter and remote meter recording water and sewer gallonage provided to the lot(s);
b. 
The absence of any damage, leakage, alteration or rerouting of water and sewer connections serving the lot(s);
c. 
The absence of any connection between any sump pump located on the lot(s) and a sanitary sewer line.
If, after inspection, the lot(s) are found to be in violation of the provisions of this section, the owner of the lot(s) subject to transfer of title shall be responsible for providing any and all repairs and/or modifications to the meter, remote meter, or water/sewer connections as deemed necessary by the borough water department, and shall further be responsible for the immediate disconnection of any sump pump connected to a sanitary sewer line. A certificate of compliance shall not be issued until the repairs and/or modifications are made and reinspection is made by the borough water department.
The borough water department shall have access at all reasonable hours to the lot(s) subject to inspection. The hours between 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., except Saturday and Sunday, shall be considered reasonable hours for this purpose.
The cost for the inspections to be performed by the borough water department under this section shall be paid from fee receipts obtained by the borough for special meter readings as provided in subsection 10-4.7e.