Borough of Hopatcong, NJ
Sussex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Hopatcong 4-2-1981 by Ord. No. 13-81. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Sewer Utility — See Ch. 47.
Water — See Ch. 237.
Plumbing standards — See Ch. 266.
Water supply — See Ch. 290.
There shall be a Municipal Water Department for the supply and distribution of water, which shall hereafter be known as the "Water Department of the Borough" and which shall consist of the governing body and such other municipal employees as may be designated by the governing body to operate and maintain the Water Department in accordance with the rules and regulations set forth in this chapter.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
MAIN
Either in the singular or the plural, all pipes, other than supply lines and service pipes, used for conveying water to or distributing water throughout the entire Borough water supply system.
METER RATES
Rates or charges to be charged for water based upon the quantity consumed as measured by an approved water meter.
OWNER
Any person owning any property or premises which is or can be supplied with water or his or their duly authorized agent. The occupant of any property will be held to be the agent of an owner with respect to water use and existing water services in the absence of instructions from the owner to the contrary.
SERVICE PIPE
The pipe extending from the curb cock or valve to the meter, usually on privately owned land, for supplying the premises with water.
SUPERVISOR
The Supervisor of the Water Department as duly appointed by the governing body.
SUPPLY LINE
A pipe connected to the main and extending therefrom to and including the curb cock or valve at the curbline of the street.
A. 
Turning on water. No water from the Borough water supply shall be turned on for service into any premises by any person except the Supervisor of the Water Department or such person authorized by him to perform this service.
B. 
Application. Application to have water turned on shall be made in writing to the Supervisor of the Department and shall contain an agreement by the applicant to abide by and accept all of the provisions of this section and such rules and regulations as may from time to time be promulgated by the governing body as conditions governing the use of the Borough water supply by the applicant.
C. 
Service connection; fee. No connection with a supply line shall be made without a permit being issued and 24 hours' notice having been given to the Supervisor of the Department. Any such connection shall be made and all work shall be done at the expense of the applicant, who shall also furnish the materials necessary for such work. All connections shall be made under the supervision of the Supervisor, and no connection shall be covered until the work has been inspected by him. Applications for such connections must be made to the Supervisor of the Department and the fee set forth in § 51-12.
[Amended 9-21-2016 by Ord. No. 22-2016]
D. 
Supply line; tapping fee. All supply lines from the mains to the curb box served shall be installed by the Borough, and the installation shall be paid for by the applicant for the service or the owner of the property to be served. The installation shall be made under the supervision of the Supervisor of the Water Department.
[Amended 9-21-2016 by Ord. No. 22-2016]
E. 
Service pipe.
(1) 
Installation of the service pipe shall be done by a plumber qualified to do plumbing work under municipal regulations. No service pipe shall be installed unless it conforms to specifications promulgated by the Water Department. A copy of such specifications shall be kept on file in the Water Department and shall be open to inspection by any interested person.
(2) 
The property owner shall be responsible for the installation, maintenance and repair of the service pipe and shall keep the same in good repair and protect it from damage due to freezing or other causes. All leaks in the service pipe shall be reported promptly to the Water Department and immediately repaired by the property owner. If repairs are not so made, the water shall be shut off by the Water Department and shall not be turned on again until the pipe is put in serviceable condition. The Borough may, in case of an emergency, repair any service pipe, and if this is done, the cost of the repair work shall be repaid to the Borough by the owner of the premises served.
F. 
Plumbing. No water shall be turned on for service in premises in which the plumbing does not comply with the Plumbing Code of the Borough[1] or does not comply with other pertinent ordinances of the Borough, provided that water may be turned on for construction work in unfinished buildings, subject to the provisions of this section and subject to the approval of the Water Department.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 266, Plumbing Standards.
G. 
Excavations. Excavations for the installation of supply lines or service pipes or for any repair thereof shall, where applicable, be made in compliance with Chapter 205, Article II, Excavations, relating to excavation and construction in public streets. It shall be unlawful to place any supply line or service pipe in the same excavation with or directly over any drain pipe or sewer pipe.
H. 
Shutoff boxes. On all new installations, shut off boxes or service boxes shall be placed on every service pipe and shall be located between the curbline and the sidewalk line where this is practicable. Such boxes shall be so located that they are easily accessible and shall be protected from freezing.
I. 
Resale or redistribution. No water shall be resold or distributed by the recipient thereof from the Borough supply to any premises other than that for which application has been made and a meter installed, except upon approval of the governing body in cases of emergency.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection J, Unoccupied premises, which followed this subsection, was repealed 12-19-2001 by Ord. No. 29-2001.
A. 
Meters required. All premises using the Borough water supply must be equipped with an adequate water meter furnished by the Borough. Meters shall remain the property of the Borough, and all meters will be at all times under Borough control; provided, further, that no meters need to be installed for premises on that portion of the Borough's water system serviced by aboveground pipes.
[Amended 9-21-2016 by Ord. No. 22-2016]
B. 
Installation. The meter shall be installed in a location that affords adequate protection against damage and which shall be easily accessible for reading and maintenance purposes. Compression stops shall be provided by the property owner on each side of and directly adjacent to the meter.
C. 
Failure of meter. Failure of a meter to register properly shall be reported immediately to the Water Department. Charges for water consumed during the period of failure shall be computed on the basis of the average consumption over a reasonable period prior to such failure. Meters shall be sealed by the Water Department, and no one, except an authorized employee of the Department, shall break or injure such seal.
D. 
Reading meters. The Supervisor of the Department, in each quarter of each year, shall read or cause to be read every water meter belonging to the Borough in order that bills may be sent out to the consumers at the proper time.
E. 
Testing meters. Any Borough water meter shall be taken out and tested upon complaint of the consumer upon payment of a fee as set forth in § 51-12. If, upon test, the meter is not within 3% of being accurate, it shall be repaired or replaced, and the fee shall be returned to the consumer.
[Amended 9-21-2016 by Ord. No. 22-2016]
During the construction of any building and before any water meter is installed as herein provided, the contractor so constructing the building may be permitted to use the Borough water supply by making application and paying the fee prescribed by § 51-12.
The water supply may be shut off from any premises for which the water bill remains unpaid for a period of 30 days after the bill is rendered and mailed. When shut off, water shall not be turned on except upon the payment of all delinquent charges and a fee as set forth in § 51-12 for turning on that water.
Charges for water used shall be due during the first month of each succeeding quarter of each year and shall be billed and collected by the Borough. Any charge not paid at the due date shall bear interest at the same rate as uncollected taxes of the Borough and shall become a lien upon the premises served until paid, and the Borough shall have the same remedy for the collection thereof, together with interest, costs and penalties, as it now has or may hereafter have under the laws of the State of New Jersey for the collection of taxes and other municipal liens upon real estate.
[Amended 2-22-1989 by Ord. No. 7-89]
The governing body may, by resolution or ordinance, establish rules and regulations, from time to time, as may be deemed necessary for the construction, maintenance, operation and use of mains and supply and service lines and for the proper administration and control of the Borough water supply and distribution system.
The Supervisor of the Water Department, the Borough Engineer and any authorized employee of the Water Department, upon presentation of credentials provided by the Water Department, shall be permitted at all reasonable hours to enter upon any premises supplied with Borough water for the purpose of making inspection or examination of the water supply and plumbing systems upon the premises.
The Water Department shall be authorized to shut off the water from the premises of any owner or tenant violating any of the provisions of this chapter upon serving the owner or tenant with written notice stating the nature of the violation and providing a reasonable time limit for the satisfactory correction thereof. Discontinuance of service shall be in addition to the imposition of any applicable penalties provided by ordinance.
It shall be a violation of this section for any unauthorized person to tamper with, alter or injure any water meter or any part of the Borough water supply and distribution system.
[Amended 3-7-1985 by Ord. No. 4-85; 8-2-1990 by Ord. No. 25-90; 12-18-1990 by Ord. No. 36-90; 12-5-1991 by Ord. No. 36-91; 12-20-1991 by Ord. No. 39-91; 6-29-1992 by Ord. No. 18-92; 11-4-1993 by Ord. No. 23-93; 2-1-1996 by Ord. No. 5-96; 4-4-1996 by Ord. No. 12-96; 2-6-1997 by Ord. No. 3-97; 4-3-1997 by Ord. No. 15-97; 2-21-2001 by Ord. No. 3-2001; 10-3-2001 by Ord. No. 22-2001; 2-5-2003 by Ord. No. 3-2003; 3-3-2004 by Ord. No. 7-2004; 4-20-2005 by Ord. No. 8-2005; 1-6-2010 by Ord. No. 40-2009; 7-6-2011 by Ord. No. 16-2011; 12-21-2011 by Ord. No. 32-2011[1]]
A. 
There is hereby established the following schedule of rates and fees for water use and water-related services for users of the Borough water supply system:
(1) 
Water rates.
(a) 
For the first 10,000 gallons, quarterly, as measured by water meter, the fee shall be $85. In the event that any multiunit residential building shall contain individual living units, which are not separately metered, each separate residential unit shall be charged at the rate of $85 per quarter. Water used in excess of 10,000 gallons per quarter multiplied by the number of residential units in the structure or structures serviced by a single water meter shall be billed in accordance with Subsection A(1)(b).
(b) 
For each 1,000 gallons in excess of the first 10,000 gallons, per quarter, the fee shall be $3.54 per 1,000 gallons or part thereof.
(c) 
For users not metered due to broken meters, the fee shall be $85 per quarter.
[Amended 9-21-2016 by Ord. No. 22-2016]
(d) 
In the event of an underestimation of usage by the Borough of Hopatcong, the user shall be responsible to pay the full fee for actual usage through the time of meter reading, irrespective of the period of time in which the Borough has been charging the estimated fee of $150. However, in the event of an overpayment by the user, the Borough shall only be responsible to refund any overpayment prorated to January 1 in the calendar year in which the actual meter reading occurs. Access denied for more than two quarters is subject to disconnection of service.
[Amended 9-21-2016 by Ord. No. 22-2016]
(e) 
For users failing to provide access to their home or business to install a new meter or replace a broken meter after three consecutive notices, the fee shall be $150 per quarter, to be charged at the start of the next quarter following the third and final notice. The aforesaid method of billing will continue until installation of the meter and continue until start of the next quarter.
[Amended 9-21-2016 by Ord. No. 22-2016]
(f) 
All of the above water use charges will be billed on a quarterly basis.
[Amended 9-21-2016 by Ord. No. 22-2016[2]]
[2]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Subsection A(1)(g), which immediately followed this subsection. See now Subsection A(1)(f).
(2) 
Water-related service fees.
(a) 
For water for building construction, the fee shall be a minimum flat rate charge of $150 per month.
[Amended 9-21-2016 by Ord. No. 22-2016]
(b) 
For service connection, the fee shall be $4,591 per EDU (with EDUs computed with the same formula as set forth in § 186-9) payable at certificate of occupancy or activation of service. Service lines shall be installed at $1,000 for the first 10 feet of piping installed, plus $55 per foot for each additional foot of piping installed in order to extend service value to the property line. Said sum shall be due and payable as follows:
[Amended 3-21-2012 by Ord. No. 4-2012; 4-15-2015 by Ord. No. 6-2015; 9-21-2016 by Ord. No. 22-2016]
[1] 
Twenty percent of the connection fee, plus the cost of installation of the service line at installation.
[2] 
The balance due shall be payable in eight equal consecutive quarterly billings, plus interest, commencing with the first quarterly billing.
[3] 
Any fee not paid shall bear interest at the rate established for delinquent taxes and water bills by the Borough of Hopatcong.
(c) 
For repair of pipes or appurtenances by the Borough, the fee shall be the cost of materials and labor, plus 33 1/3% per employee required to perform the service.
(d) 
For all user-requested testing of water meters for accuracy, the fee shall be $150 per test.
[Amended 9-21-2016 by Ord. No. 22-2016]
(e) 
For turnoff charge, the fee shall be $30.
(f) 
For turn-on charge, the fee shall be $30, plus any amount then due for water use or related service.
(g) 
For services of the Borough Water Inspector, the fee shall be the cost of labor and materials, plus 33 1/3%.
(h) 
For extension of a new water main by a developer under an agreement with the Borough, the fee shall be paid by the developer for each service connection from the extended main.
(i) 
(Reserved)[3]
[3]
Editor’s Note: Former § 51-12A(2)(i), Extensions, was repealed 3-21-2012 by Ord. No. 4-2012.
(j) 
Mark-outs of Borough-owned waterlines and curb boxes shall be provided by the Water Department at no charge to the customer. The Borough will not locate private service lines or any other waterlines on private property.
(k) 
The replacement of a curb box necessitated by damage caused solely by the customer shall be charged at a rate of $150, plus the cost of materials. It shall be the responsibility of the Borough of Hopatcong to determine the cause of curb box damage.
(l) 
For an account status search and issuance of a written statement as to the current status of the account (outside of normal billing cycle), the fee shall be $10.
(m) 
For an account status search and issuance of a verbal statement as to the current status of the account (outside of normal billing cycle), there shall be no fee.
(n) 
For a final or special meter reading and issuance of an invoice (site visit necessary to read meter), the fee shall be $20.
(o) 
For a final reading and issuance of a final invoice (no site visit necessary), the fee shall be $10.
(p) 
Replacement of customer-damaged meters.
[1] 
The replacement of a water meter for damage caused solely by a customer, including frozen meters, shall be charged at the following rates:
[Amended 9-21-2016 by Ord. No. 22-2016]
Size
(inches)
Fee
5/8 by 3/4
$150
1
$250
1.5
$850
2
$1,500
[2] 
In addition to the above, the customer shall be responsible for the cost of all Borough labor (including applicable overtime expenses) and material costs, plus 33 1/3%.
(q) 
Meters for multiple-family and condominium properties shall be supplied by the property owner. Meters shall be new and furnished by a manufacturer acceptable to the Water Department.
[Added 9-21-2016 by Ord. No. 22-2016]
(r) 
Cancellation of appointments by less than two hours' notice will be subject to a fee of $50.
[Added 9-21-2016 by Ord. No. 22-2016]
B. 
Water service charges shall be billed quarterly on January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1 of each year, and shall be due within 30 days. In the event that any payment is not made within 15 days of its due date, a late penalty of $10 shall be added.
[Amended 4-17-2019 by Ord. No. 2-2019; 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 23-2019]
C. 
In the event that a bill for water service charges is not paid within 30 days of the bill date, the account shall be considered delinquent and interest shall be charged at the maximum rate permitted for nonpayment of real property taxes pursuant to N.J.S.A. 54:4-67. Unpaid water service charges shall be a lien on the premises and shall be enforceable in the manner provided for real property tax liens pursuant to N.J.S.A. 54:5-1 et seq. Water service is subject to discontinuance where a bill is delinquent.
[Amended 4-17-2019 by Ord. No. 2-2019]
D. 
Water related service fees shall be billed at the time the service is provided and are due within 30 days. Any delinquency in payment for water related service fees shall be subject to the same terms, conditions and penalties as set forth in Subsection C for water service charges.
[Added 4-17-2019 by Ord. No. 2-2019]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided that it would take effect 1-1-2012.
[Added 4-17-2002 by Ord. No. 10-2002]
A. 
Whenever the Borough of Hopatcong shall extend a municipal waterline independently or pursuant to or in response to the Spill Compensation and Control Act, N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11 et seq., the Borough shall, upon completion of the extension of any such water main, notify, in writing, all property owners owning property fronting on any such public street in which the waterline has been extended and within 100 feet of said line that the waterline is ready for use. Any property owner receiving such written notice whose private well has become polluted pursuant to NJDEP regulations shall connect said property to the municipal waterline within 90 days of the date of said notice from the Borough of Hopatcong. The property owner shall further discontinue use of the polluted private well and shall seal said well within 90 days of the date of the connection of said property to the municipal water system pursuant to NJDEP regulations and Chapter 290, Water Supply, of the Code of the Borough of Hopatcong.
B. 
Any property owner required to connect his property to the municipal water system under Subsection A above may, upon a showing of hardship, apply to the governing body of the Borough of Hopatcong for permission to pay the connection fee to the municipal system required in § 51-12, Rates and fees, in equal quarterly installments over a period of up to 18 months.
[Added 4-17-2002 by Ord. No. 10-2002]
Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, or any combination thereof. Each day in which a violation continues shall be considered a separate offense.