[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Johnston 6-8-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-8. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building construction — See Ch. 118.
Development impact fees — See Ch. 149.
Excavations — See Ch. 161.
Housing standards — See Ch. 194.
Plumbing — See Ch. 252.
Soil erosion and sediment control — See Ch. 291.
Stormwater management — See Ch. 298.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 303.
Wastewater management — See Ch. 332.
Water — See Ch. 335.
Zoning — See Ch. 340.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 279, Sewers, adopted 12-10-1979 by Ord. No. 440 as Secs. 22A-1 to 22A-80 of the 1979 Code, as amended.
The purpose for this chapter is to protect the public health, safety and general welfare of the public; by regulating the construction, use and maintenance of the sewer system in the Town. The Town shall have the authority, pursuant to state law and subject to applicable rules and regulations of the Narragansett Bay Commission, state and federal government, to operate, maintain, extend and improve a wastewater collection system within the Town of Johnston. The Town, through the Director of Public Works, and the Narragansett Bay Commission shall exercise the powers of the Town in relation to all matters pertaining to sewers in the Town as set forth in this Ordinance and in applicable state law and the Narragansett Bay Commission's "Rules and Regulations for Use of Wastewater Facilities Within the Narragansett Bay Commission District."
Unless the context specifically indicates otherwise, the meaning of terms used in this chapter shall be as follows:
- ACT or THE ACT
- The Federal Water Pollution Control Act, also known as the Clean Water Act, as amended, 33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq.
- BIOCHEMICAL OXYGEN DEMAND (BOD)
- The quantity of oxygen utilized in the biochemical oxidation of organic matter under standard laboratory procedure of five days, at 20° C. expressed in terms of weight and concentration (milligrams per liter).
- BUILDING DRAIN
- That part of the lowest horizontal piping within a building that carries water, wastewater or stormwater to a building sewer.
- BUILDING SEWER (ALSO REFERRED TO AS "LATERAL SEWER")
- The extension from the building drain or other place of disposal to the sewer main.
- CATEGORICAL STANDARDS
- National Categorical Pretreatment Standards, or pretreatment standards.
- COLLECTION SYSTEM
- The equipment, pipes, structures, and processes used for the collection, transportation, and pumping of sewage.
- COMPATIBLE POLLUTANT
- BOD, suspended solids, pH, and fecal coliform bacteria, and such additional pollutants as may be specified by the Town or the NBC.
- COOLING WATER
- The water discharged from any use such as air conditioning, cooling or refrigeration, during which the only pollutant added to the water is heat.
- An individual or group of individuals who are responsible for bringing a project through the development review process and the infrastructure construction. If the developer is not the owner, it must submit evidence that it is acting on behalf of the owner.
- The Director of Public Works of the Town, or an authorized agent or representative thereof.
- DOMESTIC WASTES
- Liquid wastes a) from the noncommercial preparation, cooking, and handling of food or b) containing human excrement and similar matter from the sanitary conveniences of dwellings, commercial buildings, industrial facilities, and institutions. It shall not contain groundwater, storm water, surface water, cooling water, or industrial process wastewater.
- DWELLING UNIT
- A house, an apartment, a group of rooms, or a single room occupied or intended for occupancy as separate living quarters. Separate living quarters are those in which the occupants have either:
- ENABLING LEGISLATION
- Chapter 84 of the Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1973, as amended.
- EQUIVALENT DWELLING UNIT
- For assessment purposes, a unit whose wastewater flows are equal to 345 gallons per day. The basis by which projected daily wastewater flows will be determined is based upon current RIDEM-published Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS) (formerly ISDS) values per establishment. For flow wastewater volumes not stated in the OWTS regulations, standard engineering values will be used.
- FLOATABLE OIL
- Oil, fat, or grease in a physical state such that it will separate by gravity from wastewater by treatment in an approved pretreatment facility. A wastewater shall be considered free of floatable oil if it is properly pretreated prior to entry into the sewage facilities and does not interfere with the sewage facilities.
- Solid wastes from domestic and commercial preparation, cooking and dispensing of food and from the handling, storage, and sale of food.
- INCOMPATIBLE POLLUTANT
- Any pollutant that is not a "compatible pollutant" as defined in this section.
- INDUSTRIAL WASTEWATER
- The liquid wastes resulting from the processes employed in industrial, manufacturing, trade, or business establishments, as distinct from domestic wastes.
- INFECTIOUS WASTE
- Waste that contains pathogens with sufficient virulence and quantity so that exposure to the waste by a susceptible host could result in disease. Under this definition, the normal microflora of the body are not classified as infectious. Categories of waste designated as infectious are as follows:
- A. "Human blood, body fluids, and blood products" means all waste human blood, blood products (such as serum, plasma, and other blood components) and body fluids (such as suction fluid and wound drainage) which exist in nonabsorbed liquid form in more than trace quantities.
- B. "Contaminated sharps" consists of discarded sharps, e.g., hypodermic needles, syringes, pasteur pipettes, broken glass and scalpel blades which may have come into contact with infectious agents during use in patient care or in medical research or have been removed from their original sterile container.
- C. "Contaminated animal carcasses, body parts, and bedding" refers to carcasses, body parts, and bedding of animals that were exposed to pathogens in research and in the production of (or in vivo production of) pharmaceuticals.
- D. "Discarded cultures and stocks of infectious agents and associated biological" constitute infectious wastes because pathogenic organisms are present at high concentration in these materials. Included in this category are wastes from the production of biological and discarded live and attenuated vaccines from pathological laboratories and pharmaceutical companies, wastes from the production of biological and discarded live and attenuated vaccines. Also, culture dishes and devices used to transfer, inoculate and mix cultures shall be designated as infectious waste.
- E. "Pathological waste" consists of tissues, organs or body parts, removed during surgery and autopsy.
- INFECTIOUS WASTE TREATMENT
- Any method, technique, or process designed to eliminate the infectious hazard, i.e., to change the biological character or composition of waste so as to remove any disease-causing potential and to render such waste noninfectious by killing the infectious agents present in the waste.
- INTERCEPTING SEWER
- A sewer that receives sewage flow from a number of main sewers and conducts such flow to a point for treatment.
- LATERAL SEWER
- The extension from the building drain, floor drain and sump pump which discharges into a main or other sewer and has no other common sewer tributary.
- See "shall."
- NARRAGANSETT BAY COMMISSION (NBC)
- The Narragansett Bay Commission.
- ON-SITE WASTEWATER TREATMENT SYSTEM (OWTS)" (formerly individual sewage disposal system [ISDS])
- A system approved by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management which provides sanitary sewage disposal by means other than discharge into a public sewer.
- The Sewer Ordinance of the Town of Johnston, Chapter 279 of the Town Code of Ordinances.[Amended 9-12-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-13]
- Any person who alone, or jointly:
- Shall include an individual, trust, firm, joint-stock company, corporation (including a quasi-government corporation), partnership, association, syndicate, municipality, municipal or state agency, fire district, club, nonprofit agency or any subdivision, commission, department, bureau, agency or Department of State of federal government (including quasi-government corporation) or of any interstate body.
- The logarithm of the reciprocal of the concentration of hydrogen ions in gram moles per liter.
- PLUMBING INSPECTOR
- The Plumbing Inspector of the Town.
- POLLUTED WATER
- Water containing man-made or man-induced alterations to its chemical, physical, biological or radiological integrity of water.
- The reduction of the amount of pollutants, the elimination of pollutants, or the alteration of the nature of pollutant properties in wastewater to a less harmful state prior to or in lieu of discharging or otherwise introducing such pollutants into a water pollution control facility. The reduction or alteration can be obtained by physical, chemical, or biological processes, except as prohibited by Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 403.6(d), or as may be amended from time to time.
- PRETREATMENT COORDINATOR
- The representative of the Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC) who is responsible for administrating the Rules and Regulations regarding commercial and industrial users within the Town of Johnston.
- PRETREATMENT STANDARDS
- All applicable federal rules and regulations implementing Section 403 of the Act, as well as any nonconflicting state or local standards. In cases of conflicting standards or regulations, the more stringent thereof shall be applied.
- PRIVATELY OWNED WASTEWATER TREATMENT FACILITY
- A pump station, collection system and/or wastewater treatment facility owned by a user or an individual or association that is connected to a publicly owned wastewater treatment or collection system.
- PROPERLY SHREDDED GARBAGE
- The wastes from the preparation, cooking and dispensing of food that have been shredded to such a degree that all particles will be carried freely under the flow conditions normally prevailing in the public sewers, with no particle greater than one-half (1/2) inch (1.27 centimeters) in any dimension.
- PUBLICLY OWNED TREATMENT WORKS (POTW)
- The facility defined by Section 212 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, owned by the Town and/or the Narragansett Bay Commission, including any devices and systems used in the storage, treatment, recycling and reclamation of municipal sewage and industrial waste. The systems include sewers, pipes and equipment used to carry wastewater to the Treatment Facility.
- PUBLIC SEWER
- A sewer in which all owners of abutting properties have equal rights and that is controlled by public authority.
- RHODE ISLAND POLLUTANT DISCHARGE ELIMINATION SYSTEM (RIPDES)
- The Rhode Island system for issuing, modifying, revoking and reissuing, terminating, monitoring and enforcing discharge permits and imposing and enforcing pretreatment requirements pursuant to Title 46, Chapter 12, of the General Laws of Rhode Island and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1342.
- SANITARY SEWER
- A sewer that carries sewage and to which storm, surface, and ground waters are not intentionally admitted.
- SEPTAGE WASTE
- The wastewater or waste solids from a domestic on-site wastewater treatment system.
- A combination of the water-carried wastes from residences, business buildings, and industrial establishments.
- A pipe or conduit for carrying sewage.
- Is mandatory; "may" is permissive.
- SIGNIFICANT INDUSTRIAL USER (SIU)
- Any industrial user that is classified under any of the following:
- A. Industrial user subject to categorical pretreatment standards;
- B. Any other industrial user that:
- (1) Discharges an average of 5,000 gpd or more of process wastewater; or
- (2) Contributes a process waste stream which makes up 5% or more of the average dry weather hydraulic or organic capacity of the NBC's treatment plant; or
- (3) Is designated as significant by the NBC on the basis that the user has a reasonable potential for adversely affecting the POTW's operation or for violating any pretreatment standard or requirement.
- Any discharge of water, sewage, or industrial waste which in concentration of any given constituent or in quantity of flow exceeds for any period of duration longer than 15 minutes more than five times the average twenty-four-hour concentration of flows during normal operation.
- STORM DRAIN (SOMETIMES TERMED "STORM SEWER")
- A pipe or conduit that carries storm and surface waters and drainage, but excludes sewage and industrial wastes, other than unpolluted cooling water.
- Any flow occurring during or immediately following any form of natural precipitation and resulting therefrom.
- TOTAL SUSPENDED SOLIDS
- The total suspended matter that floats on the surface of, or is suspended in, wastewater or other liquids, and that is removable by laboratory filtering.
- The Town of Johnston, Rhode Island, or duly appointed representatives thereof.
- Any substance listed as toxic under Section 307(a)(1) of the Clean Water Act, as amended, 33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq., listed under the Hazardous Substances Right-to-Know Act, R.I.G.L. § 28-21-1 et seq., or as may otherwise be designated by the Town.
- UNPOLLUTED WATER
- Water not containing any pollutants limited or prohibited by the effluent standards in effect, or water whose discharge will not cause any violation of receiving water quality standards.
- Any person who discharges or causes or permits the discharge of wastewater into the Town's wastewater treatment system.
- USER CLASSIFICATION
- A classification of user based on the 1972 (or subsequent) edition of the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) manual prepared by the Office of Management and Budget.
- The liquid and water-carried industrial or domestic wastes from dwellings, commercial buildings, industrial facilities, and institutions, together with any groundwater, surface water, and stormwater that may be present, whether treated or untreated, which is discharged into or permitted to enter the Town's wastewater treatment system.
- WASTEWATER TREATMENT SYSTEM
- Any devices, facilities, structures, equipment or works owned or used by the Town for the purpose of the transmission, storage, treatment, recycling, and reclamation of industrial and domestic wastes, or necessary to recycle or reuse water at the most economical cost over the estimated life of the system, including intercepting sewer, outfall sewers, sewage collection systems, pumping, power, and other equipment and their appurtenances, extensions, improvements, remodeling, additions, and alterations thereof; elements essential to provide a reliable recycled supply such as standby treatment units and clear well facilities; and any work, including site acquisition of the land, that will be an integral part of the treatment process or is used for ultimate disposal of residues from such treatment.
- Y CONNECTION
- The point at which the individual lateral sewer connects into the main sewer line (sometimes referred to as the chimney connection).
Where a public sanitary sewer is not available, the building sewer shall be connected to an OWTS complying with the requirements of the Town and the State of Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM). The OWTS must conform to Chapter 332, Wastewater Management, of the Johnston Code of Ordinances.
Required installation of toilet facilities. The owner(s) of all houses, buildings, or properties used for human occupancy, employment, or recreation situated within the Town and abutting on any street, alley, right-of-way or easement in which there is now located or may in the future be located a public sanitary sewer is hereby required to install suitable toilet and waste removal facilities therein, at his expense, and to connect such facilities directly with the proper public sewer in accordance with the provisions of this article, provided that the public sewer is determined by the Director to be accessible and contain adequate capacity to serve said property.
Sewer improvement charge. The owner(s) of all property situated within the Town and abutting on any street, alley, right-of-way, or easement in which there is now located or may in the future be located an accessible and available public sanitary sewer must, before such property is improved, pay a sewer assessment as set forth in § 279-13, Sewer assessment. For purposes of this section, property shall be deemed improved whenever, after an assessment has been levied on it, any new structure containing waste removal facilities and used for any of the purposes set forth in the Narragansett Bay Commission's "Rules and Regulations for Use of Wastewater Facilities Within the Narragansett Bay Commission District, as amended" is constructed or whenever any existing structure is converted for use for any of those purposes or there is a substantial increase, as determined by the Director, in the number of equivalent dwelling units of sewage to be discharged from the structure(s) to be constructed or converted.
Prohibitions on wastewater discharges. Refer to the Narragansett Bay Commission's Rules and Regulations, as amended.
General requirements. The following general requirements shall be applicable for all existing and proposed users of the wastewater collection system:
It shall be unlawful for any person to connect, permit the connection of, or authorize the connection of any sewer lateral to the wastewater collection system without obtaining a sewer permit from the Town and the Narragansett Bay Commission.
No building permit for the construction or alteration of any building or structure which requires a sewer connection shall be issued unless the owner of the property on which such building or structure is to be situated has obtained a sewer permit.
No permit shall be issued until the applicant has presented proof satisfactory to the Director that the applicant is current on all taxes and has either made application for a building permit or notified the Building Official's office of the proposed change in use or occupancy, in accordance with the Town's Zoning Ordinance.
Sewer permits shall be issued on a first-come-first-served basis.
The owner of any sewer lateral that was connected without a sewer permit or that was connected as a result of any false statement, misrepresentation or nondisclosure on the application therefor or which was connected through any means which circumvented the limitations created by this article shall be fined in accordance with § 279-17, Violations and penalties, and must obtain a valid permit.
Any user violating any provision of this Ordinance shall be fined in accordance with § 279-17, Violations and penalties.
No licensed drain layer or master plumber shall have more than five permits outstanding at any time.
Classes of permits; applications.
There shall be two classes of lateral sewer permits: a) for residential services, and b) for commercial and industrial services. Any person proposing a new discharge into the system or a substantial change in the volume or character of wastewater being discharged into the system shall notify the Director and NBC at least 30 days prior to the proposed change or connection.
The permit application shall be supplemented by any plans, specifications, or other information considered pertinent in the judgment of the Director and/or NBC. A permit fee for each user class shall be adopted by the Director from time to time. The fee shall be paid to the Town at the time the application is filed.
Drain laying permit.
Building sewers and connections shall be made only by drain layers licensed to perform such work in the Town of Johnston and/or master plumbers licensed by the State of Rhode Island in accordance with the Standard Sewer Requirements. Notice must be left at the Water/Sewer office at least 48 hours before work is begun on a connection, and no material shall be used or work covered until inspected and approved by the Town, the Director or his agent. Such information as the Town has with regards to the position of junctions or branches will be furnished to drain layers but at their risk as to the accuracy of the same.
Drain layers shall complete and file application for sewers in the name of the owner, obtain the owner's signature thereon, pay the permit and inspection fee, and complete the location plan.
Drain layers and master plumbers within the State of Rhode Island doing work in the Town shall maintain minimum insurance coverages as outlined in Exhibit A for Public Liability and Property Damage Liability. The certificate of insurance shall be provided annually at the time of renewal.
Master plumbers within the State of Rhode Island must complete the requirements for application for licenses and pay all fees to be a licensed drain layer in the Town of Johnston.
Director of Public Works' power to adopt rules and regulations. The Director is hereby empowered to:
Make and adopt such written rules and regulations as may be necessary for proper enforcement of the provisions of this article;
Establish a procedure for the application and issuance of permits to make sewer connections;
Adopt materials and workmanship standards;
Protect and indemnify the Town from damage and loss; and
Interpret and secure the intent of this chapter.
Permit applications. Prior to connecting and/or contributing to the wastewater collection system, all users shall apply for a sewer permit from the Town and the NBC.
Significant industrial user. Users classified as significant industrial users shall be required to obtain an industrial user permit from the Narragansett Bay Commission's Industrial Pretreatment Program.
Commercial users. Commercial users must apply for a sewer permit and shall be required, when necessary, to install pretreatment apparatus, including but not limited to grease traps, oil separators, silver reclamation units and pH adjustment systems, and they shall be required to obtain a permit from the Narragansett Bay Commission's Industrial Pretreatment Program.
Cost of lateral sewers (building sewers). All costs and expenses incident to the installation and connection of the lateral sewer shall be borne by the owner. The owner shall indemnify the Town for any loss or damage that may be occasioned, directly or indirectly, by the installation of the lateral sewer.
Permit transfer. Sewer permits are issued to a specific user for a specific operation. A sewer permit shall not be reassigned or transferred or sold to a new owner, a new user, different premises, or a new or changed operation.
Number of lateral sewers. A separate and independent building sewer shall be provided for every building, unless otherwise authorized by the Director.
Plugging required. Upon the permanent discontinuance of the use of the Town's sewer system at any premises, including discontinuance caused by the abandonment of any premises, the demolition of any building or any other cause, the property owner shall cause the connection to the sewer main of the Town to be plugged in a manner which will be strong enough to prevent any leakage of any fluids. All such plugging shall be subject to inspection and approval by the Town, provided that no permit fee, inspection fee or other fee shall be charged for such inspection. If the owner of the property fails to plug the sewer connection in a satisfactory manner within 30 days of the time the owner is notified in writing by the Town to plug the sewer lateral, the Town shall proceed to plug the sewer lateral and bill the owner for the costs. The cost may be collected by the Town and a civil action filed in court. The collection of the costs in a civil action shall not prevent the filing of an action for a fine for the violation of this chapter. Any user violating the provisions of this section shall be fined in accordance with § 279-17, Violations and Penalties.
The Town shall be responsible for all main sewer lines. The property owner shall, at their expense, be responsible for the repair and maintenance of the lateral sewer line and building drain from the building to the main line, including the "Y" connection, "T" connection and any shielded flexible rubber transition coupling as approved by the Department of Public Works.
[Amended 3-12-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-5]
No permit will be issued where an easement is involved unless the easement has been recorded with the Town Clerk's office and all plans have been approved by the Director.
General. All construction procedures, materials and specifications shall conform with the "Standard Sewer Requirements of the Town of Johnston," the Narragansett Bay Commission's "Rules and Regulations for Use of Wastewater Facilities Within the Narragansett Bay Commission District, as amended," and all applicable federal, state, and Town building and plumbing codes. Any deviations from these prescribed procedures and materials must be approved by the Director before installation.
Location plans. Accompanying each application for permit shall be a location plan showing the lot lines and dimensions, location of wells, water pipes, gas lines, buried cable, location of permanent buildings and location of building sewers and storm drains. The plans must be approved and stamped by a registered professional engineer or registered land surveyor, as may be required.
Use of existing lateral sewers. Existing lateral sewers may be used in connection with new buildings only when the applicant provides adequate data to the Director that shows that the building sewer has been examined, tested and meets all requirements of this section.
Size, slope, alignment, etc. The size, slope, alignment, materials of construction of a building sewer, and the methods to be used in excavating, placing the pipe, jointing, testing and backfilling the trench shall all conform to the requirements of the building and plumbing code or other applicable rules and regulations of the Town. All connections are to be made gastight and watertight in conformance with all state and local plumbing codes.
Elevation. In all buildings in which any building drain is too low to permit gravity flow to the public sewer, sanitary sewage carried by such building drain shall be lifted by an approved means and discharged to the public sewer.
Connection of roof downspouts, floor drains, sump pumps, areaway drains, etc. No person shall make connections of roof downspouts, exterior foundation drains, areaway drains, or other surface runoff or groundwater to a building sewer or building drain, which in turn is connected directly or indirectly to a public sanitary sewer.
Pipe size. Unless excepted below, all lateral sewer pipes shall have a minimum diameter of eight inches.
Abandoning and filling when public sewer becomes available. Upon connection to the public sewers, any septic tanks, cesspools, or similar private sewage disposal facilities shall be cleaned of sludge and filled with clean sand or gravel.
Lint traps: must comply with the Narragansett Bay Commission's Rules and Regulations, as amended.
Grease, oil and solids interceptors: must comply with the Narragansett Bay Commission's Rules and Regulations, as amended.
Cleanouts. Cleanouts shall be installed at the property line, at every fitting over 22 1/2° and at seventy-five-foot intervals up to 150 feet. Service connections that are longer than 150 feet shall have sanitary manholes installed at a location(s) as directed by the Director.
One backflow valve per unit shall be installed prior to connection to the Town's sewer system for all residential and multi-unit dwellings. The backflow valve shall be installed by the owner at the owner's expense and shall be maintained by the owner so as to be safe and accessible at all times. The quantity of backflow valves necessary for commercial and industrial establishments must be submitted to and approved by the Director prior to installation.
Existing single-family, multiunit, commercial, and/or industrial buildings connected to the municipal sewer system which have one or more plumbing fixtures or drains installed where the overflow rim is below the next upstream manhole in the public sewer must install and maintain, at the owner's expense, one of the following:
Road opening permit. The contractor shall obtain a road opening permit from the Department of Public Works and pay all related fees and provide proper bonding.
Testing. The Director shall require appropriate tests to the pipes, and the drain layer and contractor, at their own expense, shall furnish all necessary tools, labor, materials, and assistance for such tests and shall remove or repair any defective materials when so ordered by the Director.
Guarding of excavation; restoration of streets and sidewalks. All excavations for lateral sewer installation shall be adequately guarded with barricades and lights so as to protect the public from hazard. Streets, sidewalks, parkways, and other public property disturbed in the course of work shall be restored in a manner satisfactory to the Town.
Crossing roads, driveways, etc. The contractor shall not block any driveway, street, road or railroad at any time without permission of the Director of Public Works or other controlling agencies. Every effort shall be made to permit the movement of vehicular traffic at all times. Whenever it becomes necessary to cross or interfere with roads, walks or drives, whether public or private, the contractor shall maintain, at his own expense, and subject to the approval of the Director, safe bridges or other means of egress.
Excavation and repaving. No person shall open any road, street or highway in the Town for the purpose of installing sewer lines without first receiving a permit and complying with all of the criteria required by the Code of Ordinances of the Town of Johnston. Failure to comply with these regulations shall be deemed a violation of this Code. Any person or persons guilty of said violation shall be liable for a fine as specified in § 279-17, Violations and penalties.
Low pressure grinder pumps. Low-pressure grinder pumps shall be manufactured by Environment One, or approved equal. The unit shall consist of a grinder pump, level controls, siphon breaker, check valve and seventy-gallon high-density polyethylene tank. The unit shall be equipped with an electrical quick-disconnect plug, a discharge line shutoff valve and a quick-disconnect assembly. The alarm/disconnect panel shall contain circuit breakers, an audible and visual alarm transfer switch and generator receptacle. A second check valve shall be provided at the curb stop.
Privately owned wastewater treatment facilities. Privately owned and operated pump stations and collection systems connected to the Town of Johnston's wastewater collection system must adhere to the following:
Owners of privately-owned wastewater treatment facilities shall maintain the system in good working order. Proper operation and maintenance shall include, but not be limited to, effective performance based on facility design, adequate operator staffing and training, and adequate laboratory and process controls, including quality assurance procedures as determined to be appropriate by the Town and backup or auxiliary facilities or similar systems to assure compliance or effective performance. Proper operation and maintenance must include emergency procedures and reporting requirements in case of power outages, natural disaster, labor shortage (whether the result of intentional work stoppages or epidemic), equipment failure, acts of terrorism/vandalism or sanitary sewer overflow. Reporting requirements shall include verbal notification to the Director and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) as soon as possible, but not exceeding 24 hours of discovery of the event, and a written report must be submitted to the Director and RIDEM not more than five business days of the event's ending.
The owner shall submit, for review and approval by the Town's Public Works Director, an operations and maintenance manual describing standards and procedures by which the wastewater treatment facilities, pump station(s) and/or collection system(s) will be staffed, operated and maintained during normal and emergency conditions. Should development of the plan include the practice of engineering, the plan must be prepared and certified by a registered professional engineer (registered in the State of Rhode Island).
Owners of existing privately owned pump stations shall submit an operations and maintenance manual within one year of passage of this Ordinance and pay all associated fees as presented in § 279-14, Fees.
The owner shall pay an annual permit fee for the operation of the facilities. The fee shall be adopted by the Town from time to time. In addition, the owner may be required to pay an annual permit fee to the NBC.
The owner is required to conduct (at a minimum) monthly inspections of the pump station. The inspection reports shall be forwarded to the Director within three business days after the inspection. At a minimum, the inspection report shall provide the name of the individual or firm performing the inspection, hours of operation for each pump, generator run time, summary of alarms, any maintenance undertaken during that month, condition of the station, and recommendations.
The operations and maintenance plan shall include, but not be limited to, the following elements:
Describe the detailed operating procedures for the pump station(s) and collection system;
Provide a preventative maintenance plan for the pump station;
Provide staffing requirements;
Provide a list of material suppliers and essential spare parts necessary to be kept on site for normal and emergency conditions;
Provide operating procedures for the emergency generator and automatic transfer switch;
Provide a spill prevention plan;
Provide a description of the auxiliary system, such as water, heating and ventilation, sump pump and dehumidifying;
Provide a description of the alarm system and response procedures;
Provide names, addresses and telephone numbers of all emergency contacts, facility owners and facility operators;
Provide a list of subcontractors that are on call for emergency equipment rental (i.e., septage hauler, portable pump or generator);
Provide emergency procedures and reporting requirements in case of power outages, natural disasters, equipment failure, acts of vandalism, or sanitary sewer overflow;
Provide a description of the means of recordkeeping (the records must be accessible for a three-year period);
Provide as-built plans for the pump station and/or collection system;
Provide a sewer map of the collection system, including but not limited to the overall service area, diameter of pipes, distance between manholes, slope and direction of flow; and
Provide all required easements that will allow the Town of Johnston access to the site for unannounced periodic inspections.
Extension of sewers by others. Sewer lines shall be installed in a public road and shall extend along the entire frontage of the property to be served or for a minimum distance of 150 feet of frontage along the frontage of the lot to be sewered where the frontage exceeds 150 feet. The sewer shall end with a manhole. No lateral sewer shall be permitted to connect into a manhole. Lateral sewers shall be in accordance with the Town's Standard Sanitary Sewer Requirements.
Refer to the Narragansett Bay Commission's Rules and Regulations, as amended, for specific requirements.
No person shall maliciously, willfully, or negligently break, damage, destroy, uncover, deface, or tamper with any structure, appurtenance or equipment that is a part of the sewage facilities. Any person violating this provision shall be subject to the penalties set forth in the Rhode Island General Laws 1956 (as amended).
[Amended 9-12-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-15]
Each year, the Town may set a sewer maintenance charge to be levied against each unit connected to the sanitary sewer. The sewer maintenance charge shall be computed as outlined in § 279-14, Fees, and as set forth in Exhibit A. The purpose of the sewer maintenance charge is to recover the operation and maintenance expenses associated with the operations of the wastewater collection system.
Editor’s Note: Exhibit A is on file in the Town offices.
Each user shall be categorized as residential, commercial or industrial. Residential units will be further subdivided as determined by the Town and the proper sewer maintenance charge assessed.
Sewer maintenance charges imposed by the Town will be in addition to any sewer use charges imposed by the Narragansett Bay Commission.
The Johnston sewer system was established to eliminate severe environmental problems that resulted in direct and indirect discharges into the rivers, streams, lakes and other natural resources within the Town. To meet those goals, the Narragansett Bay Commission, in conjunction with the Town of Johnston, prepared a wastewater facility plan (plan) and subsequent updating of the plan consistently maintained that the elimination of pollution and the protection of the Town's natural resources was the primary priority for the wastewater collection and treatment facilities.
The plan and subsequent updates have delineated the current and future planning area that identifies the planned expansion of the Town's sewer system.
The following requirements are hereby adopted to ensure that the Johnston sewer system is properly protected and the Town has the ability to control and/or otherwise limit any future connections and/or expansions of the system so as not to expose and/or jeopardize the investment that the taxpayers of the Town have made in the overall system, and in keeping with Johnston's Comprehensive Plan.
The Director shall be the ultimate authority to determine whether the applicant has fulfilled his/her obligation as set forth in this section.
Extension along frontage in public road.
Sewer lines shall be installed in a public road and shall extend along the entire frontage of the property to be served or for a minimum distance of 150 feet of frontage along the frontage of the lot to be sewered where the frontage exceeds 150 feet.
Property that has frontage on a public road will not be sewered by extending sewers over private property unless the Director determines that it is not feasible to service the property by extending the sewer line along the public road.
The Johnston Planning Board shall not approve any installation of sewers until the developer has executed with the Director of Public Works a permit agreement as hereinafter provided unless the Director waives requirement. Any such permit agreement shall provide for installation of a sewer system as provided in § 279-6, Building sewers and permit requirements, and as further provided below:
The developer shall install not only the main sewer in the street but also the lateral sewer to the property line. In addition, if the developer is constructing a new home on a lot, the lateral sewer shall be extended to connect with the building drain. In the case of new street construction, the developer shall make such installation before surfacing of the street is completed.
When an owner of any lot, or his agent, applies for a building permit, the Building Official shall require, as a condition of the issuance of such permit, that said owner or agent show on the plot plan the layout of the future connection from the main sewer up to and including the building drain, including the elevation of the lateral sewer at the street line, elevation of the finished first floor and/or cellar floor, and elevation of the building drain to which the future lateral sewer would be connected.
The developer shall cap all open ends of the sewer and shall, along with completed as-built plans of the sewer, provide exact ties and elevations so that the capped ends can be readily located.
The developer shall determine the elevations at each point where the sewers are capped, assess the design capacities of the downstream sewer, and submit this information to the Director for his/her approval.
Where topography prevents installation of the sewer within the street, the developer shall install the sewer within an easement that shall be of adequate width as determined by the Director. The easement shall be deeded to the Town of Johnston at no cost to the Town.
Wherever and whenever possible, sewer service shall be achieved by gravity means. All proposals will be reviewed by the Director based on the system's capacity to handle additional sewerage and compliance with this Ordinance and Standard Sewer Requirements of the Town or the Rules and Regulations for Use of Wastewater Facilities within the Narragansett Bay Commission District.
If gravity sewer service is not feasible, as determined by the Director, sewer service shall be achieved by extending service to an existing pumping facility within the established system, subject to the Town's normal review process as stated above.
If a pumping facility is deemed necessary by the Director to serve other areas of the Town, the Director shall require the developer to design and install said pumping facility and appurtenant equipment to accommodate future connections as may be desired by the Town. Upon acceptance by the Town of the pumping facility and appurtenant equipment, the Developer shall deed the site, the facility and equipment to the Town and assign its rights in all warranties and guarantees to the Town. The deed and assignment shall be in a form approved by legal counsel to the Town. There shall be no cost to the Town for the transfer of the pumping facilities.
For any development consisting of more than a single unit having individual unit ownership, whether residential or commercial, with a common sanitary sewer system that is privately owned by an ownership, community or condominium type association or entity and discharges to the Town's publicly owned sanitary sewer system, the association or entity of record shall be fully responsible and accountable for the ownership, operation and maintenance of said sanitary sewer system in its entirety, including all regulatory compliance issues related thereto, and must comply with § 279-7, Sewer construction requirements.
To extend sewers to an existing sewer, the Developer or individual shall provide the necessary engineering studies to ensure the extension of sewers is consistent with the Town's wastewater facilities plan. This study must be performed by a registered professional engineer licensed in the State of Rhode Island. The study shall include, at a minimum, the following:
The Developer or individual shall pay all fees relating to the review.
Before final acceptance of the sewers, the Developer or individual shall perform the required testing as outlined in the Standard Sanitary Sewer Requirements and provide the Director with as-built plans. The as-built plans shall be provided in paper form and electronically in the format specified in the Sanitary Sewer Standards.
Sewers installed by Developers or individuals shall be required to post a bond, in the amount determined by the Director, for the purpose of covering the cost of sewers and the reconstruction of the roadway.
Upon adoption of this Ordinance, all approvals granted by the Town for any proposed connection to, expansion of and/ or discharge to the Town's sewer system by private development will become the property of the Town without compensation by the Town. The Town may require the owner of the privately owned facilities to bring the system(s) in question into compliance before turning it over to the Town.
Upon adoption of this Ordinance, all existing privately installed sewers within the public rights-of-way shall become the property of the Town.
The assessment program relating to the installation of new sewers by the Town will be structured so that each assessment includes a principal and interest amount, with said principal and interest payments due through the twenty-year term of the program paid by the affected properties. A participant can choose to pay the entire remaining principal balance during that period without any interest penalty. In addition, a participant may make other periodic principal payments throughout the term of the bond, if so desired.
The sewer project assessment cost is calculated by establishing the actual total cost of the project (design, construction, construction administration and cost of borrowing) which is then fully recovered from the project area as defined by Council resolution. Such resolution shall also specify the method of recovering the project cost using one of the following models. Said resolution shall be adopted prior to the award of the construction contract.
Collection of sewer assessment. From the date of delivery of the sewer assessment roll to the Finance Director, the amount of each assessment, including any interest thereon, shall constitute a debt payable to the Town by the owner of each estate assessed, on parity with the lien for Town taxes. Such liens shall not be subject to termination under the General Laws, as amended. The Finance Director shall have the same powers to collect sewer assessments from the owners of estates assessed, whether or not residents of this state, and to enforce such liens against the estates assessed as the Finance Director has in the case of Town taxes assessed against residents of this state.
Other assessments for properties not assessed under § 279-13B. It is hereby determined that sanitary sewer lines built by and at the expense of others shall pay the following assessment:
For each parcel of land which abuts a public highway or a road which by general use is generally believed to be a public road or a right-of-way, or a private road in which sanitary sewer lines are installed by a private party and which are connected to the public sanitary system, the following betterment assessment shall apply.
An assessment shall be a flat fee set by the Town from time to time.
Assessments shall be payable by the parcel owner annually over not more than 20 years commencing the year following sewer installation. Interest on the unpaid balance will be set at the time of the assessment. Any assessment may be paid in full at any time. Unpaid assessments shall be liened and foreclosed upon in accordance with the general statutes governing the collection of property taxes. The Town shall set the assessment charges and corresponding interest rates.
For project design and construction by the Town, the Town will adopt one of the following assessment models, by Council resolution, for the specific project area.
Model 1: cost per EDU. The total cost of the project shall be divided equally per equivalent dwelling unit (EDU). The assessment for the residential, commercial and industrial users shall be as follows:
Model 2: assessment per-linear-foot. The total cost of the project shall be assessed based on linear footage of property frontage as follows:
Each parcel of land which abuts a public road or which, by use, is generally believed to be a public road or a right-of-way, and in which there has been constructed a public sanitary sewer, shall be assessed a per-linear-front-foot charge; provided, however, that no such parcel of land shall be assessed less than a dollar value adopted by the Town at the time of the assessment.
Each corner parcel of land abutting two or more public roads or rights-of-way in which there have been constructed a public sanitary sewer shall be assessed a per-linear-front-foot charge along the side of the public road or right-of-way on which the principal building on the parcel is connected to the common sewer; provided, however, that no such parcel of land shall be assessed less than a dollar value adopted by the Town at the time of the assessment.
Each interior parcel of land, not a corner parcel having frontage on two or more public roads or rights-of way, in which there has been constructed a public sanitary sewer shall be assessed a per-linear-front-foot charge along the side of the public road or right-of-way on which the principal building on the parcel is connected to the common sewer; provided, however, that no such parcel of land shall be assessed less than a dollar value adopted by the Town at the time of the assessment. In addition, the other sides of said interior parcel which abuts a public road or rights-of-way in which a public sanitary sewer has been constructed shall be assessed a per-linear-foot charge for each front foot. The other sides of said interior parcel which abuts a public road or right-of-way in which a public sanitary sewer has been constructed may have its assessment exempted or suspended by the Town depending on the parcel's potential to be subdivided in the future.
Each parcel of land on which there are no buildings and which is unimproved, undeveloped or is farmland and which abuts a public road or right-of-way in which there has been constructed a public sanitary sewer shall be assessed a per-linear-foot charge for each front foot but may have its assessment or portions thereof suspended by the Town depending on the parcel's potential to be subdivided in the future.
Each parcel of land which abuts a public road or right-of-way in which there has been constructed a public sanitary sewer and which, in the opinion of the Director, may not be serviced by the sanitary sewer system because of topographical or other engineering factors may have its assessment suspended upon approval of the Director. As herein used, "topographical or other engineering factors" refers to the capacity of the property to be serviced by means of a gravity flow connection, but does not exclude the use of a forced flow to enter the sanitary sewer.
Special assessments shall be levied against commercial and industrial properties on the basis of benefit received, as determined by the Town.
For the purposes of this chapter, the frontage for each benefited property shall be figured to the nearest foot as shown on the assessment drawings on file in the Office of the Town Assessor, Johnston, Rhode Island. The starting point for the measurement of the frontage of corner lots shall be the point of the intersection of the street lines or, if the corner is an arc, the midpoint of the arc of the corner curve.
Each newly created estate, which estate shall include multifamily units, e.g., condominiums and townhouses, which are to be connected to a public sanitary sewer, shall be assessed as a separate parcel in the same manner as a parcel of land described Subsection E(2)(a) of this section.
The Town may suspend payment on all footage assessed in excess of 250 feet. Any part of an assessment which has been suspended by the Town shall become payable in full upon the sale, transfer or alienation of any part of the estate of land.
Model 3: based on property value. The total cost of the project shall be assessed based on the property value as follows:
The assessment value of the land comprising each estate as determined by the Town for the purpose of assessing real estate taxes (dollar value to be determined at the conclusion of the project) per $1,000 of assessed value. If the land is currently on the tax roles as unimproved, the principal amount paid will be applied to the new assessment, prior to the issuance of a corrected assessment. For those structures known as "townhouses" or "condominiums," said assessment shall be paid by the owner of record of said property, be it an association, partnership, corporation, trust, individual or on any other legal entity.
The assessed value of the buildings and improvements located on each estate, as determined by the Town for the purpose of assessing real estate taxes (dollar value to be determined at the conclusion of the project) per $1,000 of assessed value. For those structures known as "townhouses" or "condominiums," the assessment for each additional unit shall be paid by the owner of record of individual units.
[Amended 9-12-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-12]
The Town shall collect fees for services in connection with sewer maintenance for the purpose of administration, permits, plan review, inspections and/or improvements. All fees collected (starting July 1, 2011) shall be retained in a separate fund, herein referred to as the "Sewer Enterprise Fund," for the sole purpose of maintaining the Town's wastewater collection system and related appurtenances.
The Town shall also collect fees for the purpose of repaying the bond, herein referred to as the "sewer assessment fees." Said fees shall be retained in the Sewer Enterprise Fund for the sole purpose of repayment of the sewer bonds.
General. Any owner, person, or user found in violation of any part of this Ordinance, discharge permit, compliance schedule or order, or any order of the Town shall be subject to enforcement procedures. Such procedures shall include but are not limited to revocation of permit, suspension of discharge, show cause hearing, Town order, legal action and/or penalty costs.
Compliance schedule. When the Director finds that a user has violated or continues to violate the chapter or a permit or order issued thereunder, he may issue an order to the user responsible for the discharge directing that, following a specified time period, sewer service shall be discontinued unless adequate pretreatment facilities, devices, or other related appurtenances have been installed and are properly operated. Orders may also contain such other requirements as might be reasonably necessary and appropriate to address the noncompliance, including installation of pretreatment technology, additional self-monitoring and management practices.
Enforcement costs. The permittee agrees to reimburse the Town for the cost of enforcing the permit, including reasonable attorneys' fees, if violation of the permit is found by a hearing officer during the course of a show cause hearing or, if such decision is appealed, then in court of competent jurisdiction.
Damage to facilities. The permittee agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Town from and against any liability, loss, cost, expense or actual damage (including reasonable attorneys' and accountants' fees incurred in defending or prosecuting any claim for any such liability, loss, cost, expense or damage) suffered by the Town and caused by discharges from the permittee, either singly or by interaction with other wastes.
Suspension of discharge.
The Director may suspend the wastewater service and/or a sewer permit when such suspension is necessary, in the opinion of the Director, in order to stop an actual or threatened discharge which presents or may present an imminent or substantial endangerment to the health or welfare of persons, to the environment or causes interference or pass-through to the wastewater treatment system.
Any person notified of a suspension of the wastewater treatment service and/or a sewer permit shall immediately stop or eliminate the contribution. In the event of a failure of the person to comply voluntarily with the suspension order, the Director shall take such steps as deemed necessary, including immediate severance of the sewer connection, to prevent or minimize damage to the system or endangerment to any individuals. If said action is taken, the Director shall notify the Building Official, who, in turn, shall enforce the requirements of the Building Code. The Director shall reinstate the wastewater discharge and/or the wastewater service upon proof of the elimination of the noncomplying discharge. A detailed written statement submitted by the user describing the causes of the harmful contribution and the measures taken to prevent any further occurrence shall be submitted to the Director within 15 days of the date of occurrence.
Show cause hearing.
If a violation is not corrected within the time frame mandated by the Director, the Director may order any person who causes or allows an unauthorized discharge to show cause before the Town Council why service should not be terminated. The Town Clerk shall serve notice on the offending party, specifying the time and place of a hearing to be held by the Town Council regarding the violation and directing the offending party to show cause before said authority why an order should not be made directing the termination of service. The notice of the hearing shall be served personally or by registered or certified mail (return receipt requested) at least 10 days before the hearing. Service may be made on any agent or officer of a corporation.
At any public hearing, testimony taken before the hearing authority or any person designated by it must be under oath and recorded stenographically. The transcript or any part of the hearing so recorded will be made available to any member of the public upon payment of the usual charges.
After the Town Council has reviewed the evidence, it may issue an order to the party responsible for the discharge directing that, following a specified time period, the sewer service be discontinued unless adequate treatment facilities, devices or other related appurtenances shall have been installed or existing treatment facilities, devices, or other related appurtenances are properly operated, and such further orders and directives as are necessary and appropriate.
Legal action. Any discharge in violation of the substantive provisions of this Ordinance shall be considered a public nuisance. If any person discharges sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes into the Town collection system contrary to the substantive provision of this Ordinance, the Town Solicitor shall commence an action for appropriate legal and/or equitable relief in the Superior Court of Providence County.
Penalty costs. Any person who is found to have violated an order of the Town Council or who has failed to comply with any provision of a discharge permit issued by the Town, or provision of this Ordinance, and the orders, rules and regulations issued hereunder, shall be fined. In addition, the Town may recover reasonable attorneys' fees, court costs, court reporters' fees and other expenses of litigation by appropriate suit at law against the person found to have violated this Ordinance or the orders, rules, regulations, and permits issued by the Town.
Any significant industrial users or commercial users in violation of these regulations shall be subject to NBC enforcement (Section 10 of its Rules and Regulations).
Board of Sewer Appeals. In order that the provisions of this article may be reasonably applied and substantial justice done in instances where unnecessary hardship would result from carrying out the strict letter of this article, the Town Council shall serve as a Board of Sewer Appeals. The Board of Sewer Appeals shall consider appeals from decisions of the Director and shall determine in particular cases whether any deviation from the strict enforcement of this article will violate its intent or jeopardize the public health and safety.
Procedure. Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Director shall, in addition to any other remedy provided by law, have the right to appeal to the Board of Sewer Appeals within 30 days of the decision appealed from. The Director shall consider the appeal and give the aggrieved person a reasonable opportunity to be heard. The final disposition of the appeal shall be in the form of a resolution reversing, modifying or affirming the decision appealed from.
Any user or person violating any provision of § 279-6, Building sewers and permit requirements, and Town's laws shall be fined up to $500 for each offense. A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during which a violation occurs or continues.
Any user or person violating any provision of § 279-7, Sewer construction requirements, and Town's laws shall be fined up to $500 for each offense, and a separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.
Any user or person violating any provision of § 279-9, Protection from damage, and Town's laws shall be fined not more than $500, or by imprisonment of not more than 30 days. Each day of violation of this article shall constitute a separate offense.
Any person who is found to have violated an order of the Town and/or the Narragansett Bay Commission's pretreatment requirements, or who fails to comply with any provision of a discharge permit issued by the Director or the Narragansett Bay Commission, or provision of this Ordinance, and the orders, rules and regulations issued hereunder, shall be fined up to $25,000 per day for each offense, for each and every day during which a violation occurs. In addition to the penalties provided herein, the Town and/or Narragansett Bay Commission may recover reasonable attorneys' fees, court costs, court reporters' fees and other expenses of litigation by appropriate suit at law against the person found to have violated this Ordinance or the orders, rules and regulations issued hereunder, or a discharge permit issued by the Town and/or the Narragansett Bay Commission.
The Narragansett Bay Commission's Rules and Regulations for Use of Wastewater Facilities within the Narragansett Bay Commission District, as amended, shall be part of the Town's Sewer Ordinance. Where conflicts may arise between the Town's Sewer Ordinance and the Narragansett Bay Commission's Rules and Regulations, as amended, the more stringent requirement will prevail.
Any and all monies collected in the payment of fees, costs and penalties as set forth in this Ordinance shall be retained by the Sewer Enterprise Fund.
All rules, regulations and requirements stated in this Ordinance shall be complied with by all users of the Town's sewer system, regardless of whether or not the user is located in the Town of Johnston. The Town has this authority, as stated in Rhode Island General Laws.
The Director or his designee shall have the right to enter and inspect any part of any premises served by the public sewers and drains of the district upon which there may be reason to believe that violations of the requirements of this Ordinance have occurred or are likely to occur, for the purpose of ascertaining facts as to the violation or suspected violation, or of obtaining samples of wastes, substances or waters being discharged into sewers or drains, or of inspecting devices provided to exclude such prohibited discharges.
The Director or his designee, bearing proper credentials and identification, shall be permitted to enter upon all properties for the purpose of inspection, observation, measurement, sampling and testing, in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance.