Town of Falmouth, MA
Barnstable County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Falmouth as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted AFTM 11-13-2001, Art. 16, approved 3-15-2002[1]; amended in its entirety AFTM 11-18-2002, Art. 17, approved 3-13-2003]
Editor's Note: This article also repealed former Art. I, Water Emergency, adopted ATM 4-2-1990, Art. 78, and authorized the renumbering of Art. II, §§ 223-7 through 223-15 as 223-11 through 223-19, respectively.

§ 223-1 Authority.

This article is adopted by the Town of Falmouth under its police powers to protect public health and welfare and its powers under M.G.L. c. 40, § 21 et seq. and implements the Town's authority to regulate water use pursuant to M.G.L. c. 41, § 69B. This article also implements the Town's authority under M.G.L. c. 40, § 41A, conditioned upon a declaration of water supply emergency issued by the Department of Environmental Protection.

§ 223-2 Purpose.

The purpose of this article is to protect, preserve and maintain the public health, safety and welfare whenever there is in force a state of water supply conservation or state of water supply emergency by providing for enforcement of any duly imposed restrictions, requirements, provisions or conditions imposed by the Town or by the Department of Environmental Protection.

§ 223-3 Definitions.

For the purpose of this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
The Town's Department of Public Works or other department or board having responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the water supply, the Board of Health, the Health Agent, Department of Natural Resources, the Police Department and the Conservation Officer.
Any individual, corporation, trust, partnership or association, or other entity.
A state of water supply conservation declared by the Town pursuant to § 223-4 of this article.
A state of water supply emergency declared by the Department of Environmental Protection under M.G.L. c. 21G. § 15-17.

§ 223-4 Declaration of state of water supply conservation.

The Town, through its Board of Selectmen, may declare a state of water supply conservation upon a determination by a majority vote of the Board that a shortage of water exists, or may reasonably be determined to be imminent, and conservation measures are appropriate to ensure the safe and adequate supply of water to all water consumers. Restrictions shall be applicable to all public and private users of the Town's public water supply system, regardless of any person's responsibility for paying water bills for water used at any particular facility. However, if the Board of Selectmen makes a specific finding that the shortage of water exists because of a clear and imminent threat to the sole source aquifer underlying Falmouth, such threats to include severe drought, environmental pollution or salt water intrusion, the restrictions adopted pursuant to § 223-5 shall apply to all citizens, water users and consumers regardless of the source of water supply. Public notice of a state of water supply conservation shall be given under § 223-6 of this article before it may be enforced.

§ 223-5 Restricted water uses.

A declaration of a state of water supply conservation shall include, but not be limited to, one or more of the following restrictions, conditions, or requirements limiting the use of water as necessary to protect the public supply. The applicable restrictions, conditions or requirements shall be included in the public notice required under § 223-6.
Odd/Even day outdoor watering. Outdoor watering by water users with odd-numbered addresses is restricted to odd-numbered days. Outdoor watering by water users with even-numbered addresses is restricted to even-numbered days.
Outdoor watering hours. Outdoor watering is permitted only during daily periods of low demand, to be specified in the declaration of a state of water supply conservation and public notice thereof.
Washing of sidewalks, driveways and patios is prohibited.
The use of automatic sprinkler systems is prohibited.
The filling of swimming pools is prohibited.
Outdoor watering is prohibited.
Restaurants may not serve water unless requested by patrons.
Pistol-grip-type nozzles are required for all hoses used for outside watering, car washing or boat washing.
Restrictions imposed on commercial car washes.
Mandatory water use reductions by commercial/industrial users.
Restricting private water supply use.
Termination of water service for failure to comply.

§ 223-6 Public notification of state of water supply conservation; notification of DEP.

Notification of any provision, restriction, requirement or condition imposed by the Town as part of a state of water supply conservation shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the Town, or by such other means reasonably calculated to teach and inform all users of water of the state of water supply conservation. Any restriction imposed under § 223-5 shall not be effective until such notification is provided, Notification of the state of water supply conservation shall also be simultaneously provided to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

§ 223-7 Termination of state of water supply conservation; notice.

A state of water supply conservation may be terminated by a majority vote of the Board of Selectmen, upon a determination that the water supply shortage no longer exists. Public notification of the termination of a state of water supply conservation shall be given in the same manner required by § 223-6.

§ 223-8 State of water supply emergency; compliance with DEP orders.

Upon notification to the public that a declaration of a state of water supply emergency has been issued by the Department of Environmental Protection, no person shall violate any provision, restriction, requirement or condition of any order approved or issued by the Department intended to bring about an end to the state of emergency.

§ 223-9 Penalties.

Any person violating this article shall be liable to the Town in the amount of $50 for the first violation and $100 for each subsequent violation which shall inure to the Town. Fines shall be recovered by indictment, or on complaint before the District Court, or by noncriminal disposition in accordance with § 21D of Chapter 40 of the General Laws. Each day of violation shall constitute a separate offense.
Termination of water service may be imposed subsequent to a fifth offense.
Any property granted an exemption must prominently display signs visible to the public that includes the following phrase "OPERATING UNDER A WATER EMERGENCY EXEMPTION ISSUED BY THE BOARD OF SELECTMEN." The Design Review Committee shall determine an acceptable size, shape, description and location of exemption signs. Provided an exemption sign meets the parameters approved by the Design Review Committee, the permit requirements of § 184-13 are waived. All signs must be immediately removed whenever the emergency no longer exists or be subject to the penalties of § 223-9.
Commercial agricultural uses and golf courses shall be exempt from all provisions of this article with the exception of the use of the Town public water supply.

§ 223-10 Severability.

The invalidity of any portion or provision of this article shall not invalidate any other portion or provision thereof.
[Adopted AFTM 11-17-1992, Art. 14, approved 2-3-1993]

§ 223-11 Purpose.

The purpose of this article is as follows:
To protect the public potable water supply served by the Falmouth Water Department (hereinafter referred to as "Department") from the possibility of contamination or pollution by isolating, within its customers' internal distribution system, such contaminants or pollutants which could backflow or back-siphon into the public water system.
To promote the elimination or control of existing cross-connections, actual or potential, between its' customers in-plant potable water system and non-potable systems.
To provide for the maintenance of a continuing program of cross-connection control which will effectively prevent the contamination or pollution of all potable water systems by cross-connection.

§ 223-12 Authority.

The authority for this article is as follows:
The Federal Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 and the statutes of the State of Massachusetts Drinking Water Regulations 310 CMR 22.00. The water purveyor has the primary responsibility for preventing water from unapproved sources, or any other substances, from entering the public potable water system.
Falmouth Water Department, Rules and Regulations, adopted.

§ 223-13 Responsibility of Utilities Manager and customer.

The Utilities Manager shall be responsible for the protection of the public potable water distribution system from contamination or pollution due to the backflow or back-siphonage of contaminants or pollutants through the water service connection. If, in the judgment of the Utilities Manager, an approved backflow device is required at the Town's water service connection to any customer's premises, the Utilities Manager or his delegated agent shall give notice, in writing, to said customer to install an approved backflow prevention device at each service connection to his premises. The customer shall, within 90 days, install such approved device or devices at his own expense, and failure or refusal or inability on the part of the customer to install said device or devices, within 90 days, shall constitute a ground for discontinuing water service to the premises until such device or devices have been properly installed.

§ 223-14 Administration.

The Department will operate a cross-connection control program, to include the keeping of necessary records, which fulfills the requirements of the Department of Environmental Protection (hereinafter referred to as "DEP") and is approved by DEP.
The owner shall allow his property to be inspected for possible cross-connections and shall follow the provisions of the Department's program and the DEP regulations if a cross-connection is permitted.
If the Department requires that the public supply be protected by containment, the owner shall be responsible for water quality beyond the outlet end of the containment device and should utilize fixture outlet protection for that purpose.
The Utilities Manager may utilize public health officials or personnel from the Department, or their delegated representatives, to assist him in the survey of his facilities and to assist him in the selection of proper fixture outlet devices and the proper installation of these devices.

§ 223-15 Requirements.

For premises existing prior to the start of this program, the Department will perform evaluations and inspections of plans and/or premises and inform the owner by letter of any corrective action deemed necessary, the method of achieving the correction and the time allowed for the correction to be made. Ordinarily, 90 days will be allowed. However, this time period may be shortened depending upon the degree of hazard involved and the history of the device(s) in question.
The Department will not allow any cross-connection to remain unless it is protected by an approved backflow preventer for which a permit has been issued and which will be regularly tested to ensure satisfactory operation.
The Department shall inform the owner by letter of any failure to comply by the time of the first reinspection. The Department will allow an additional 15 days for the correction. In the event that the owner fails to comply with the necessary correction by the time of the second reinspection, the Department will inform the owner by letter that the water service to the owner's premises will be terminated within a period not to exceed five days. In the event that the owner informs the Department of extenuating circumstances as to why the correction has not been made, a time extension may be granted by the Department but in no case will exceed an additional 30 days.
If the Department determines at any time that a serious threat to the public health exists, the water service will be terminated immediately.
The Department shall have on file a list of private contractors who are certified backflow device testers. All charges for these tests will be paid by the owner of the building or property.
The Department will begin initial premises inspections to determine the nature of existing or potential hazards following the approval of this program by the DEP during the calendar year 1993. Initial focus will be on high-hazard industries and commercial premises.
The owner shall be responsible for the elimination or protection of all cross-connections on his premises.
The owner, after having been informed by a letter from the Department, shall at his expense install, maintain and test or have tested any and all backflow preventers on his premises.
The owner shall correct any malfunction of the backflow preventer which is revealed by periodic testing.
The owner shall inform the Department of any proposed or modified cross-connections and also any existing cross-connections of which the owner is aware but have not been found by the Department.
The owner shall not install a bypass around any backflow preventer unless there is a backflow preventer of the same type on the bypass. Owners who cannot shut down operation for testing of the device(s) must supply additional devices necessary to allow testing to take place.
The owner shall install backflow preventers in a manner approved by the Department.
The owner shall install only backflow preventers approved by the DEP.
Any owner having a private well or other private water source must have a permit if the well or source is cross-connected to the Department's system. Permission to cross-connect may be denied by the Department. The owner may be required to install a backflow preventer at the service entrance if a private water source is maintained, even if it is not cross-connected to the Department's system.
The owner shall be responsible for the payment of all fees for permits, annual or semiannual device testing, retesting in the case that the device fails to operate correctly and second reinspections for noncompliance with Department or DEP requirements.

§ 223-16 Degree of hazard.

The Department recognizes the threat to the public water system arising from cross-connections. All threats will be classified by degree of hazard and will require the installation of approved reduced pressure principle backflow prevention devices or double check valves.

§ 223-17 Existing in-use backflow prevention devices.

Any existing backflow preventer shall be allowed by the Department to continue in service unless the degree of hazard is such as to supersede the effectiveness of the present backflow preventer or result in an unreasonable risk to the public health. Where the degree of hazard has increased, as in the case of a residential installation converting to a business establishment, any existing backflow preventer must be upgraded to a reduced pressure principle device or a reduced pressure principle device must be installed in the event that no backflow device was present.

§ 223-18 Periodic testing.

Reduced pressure principle backflow devices shall be tested and inspected at least semiannually.
Periodic testing shall be performed by the Department's certified tester or his delegated representative. This testing will be done at the owner's expense.
The testing shall be conducted during the Department's regular business hours. Exceptions to this policy, when at the request of the owner, may require additional charges to cover the increased costs to the Department.
Any backflow preventer which fails during a periodic test will be repaired or replaced. When repairs are necessary, upon completion of the repair, the device will be retested at the owner's expense to ensure correct operation. High-hazard situations will not be allowed to continue unprotected if the backflow preventer fails the test and cannot be repaired immediately. In other situations, a compliance date of not more than 30 days after the test date will be established. The owner is responsible for spare parts, repair tools or a replacement device. Parallel installation of two devices is an effective means of the owner ensuring uninterrupted water service during testing or repair of devices and is strongly recommended when the owner desires such continuity.
Backflow prevention devices will be tested more frequently than specified in Subsection A above in cases where there is a history of test failures and the Department feels that, due to the degree of hazard involved, additional testing is warranted. Cost of the additional tests will be borne by the owner.

§ 223-19 Fees and charges.

The Department will publish a list of fees or charges for the following services or permits:
Testing fees: $50 per unit.
Retesting fees: $25.
Fee for reinspection: $25.
Charges, after-hours inspections or tests: $100.