CHAPTER 95 – Sanitary Sewer System



95.01 Purpose 95.06 Service Outside the City
95.02 Definitions 95.07 Right of Entry
95.03 Superintendent 95.08 Use of Easements
95.04 Prohibited Acts 95.09 Special Penalties
95.05 Sewer Connection Required

95.01    PURPOSE. The purpose of the chapters of this Code of Ordinances pertaining to Sanitary Sewers is to establish rules and regulations governing the treatment and disposal of sanitary sewage within the City in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare.

95.02    DEFINITIONS. For use in these chapters, unless the context specifically indicates otherwise, the following terms are defined:

  1. “Ammonia Nitrogen” means nitrogen that exists as an ammonium ion or ammonia.

  2. “B.O.D.” (denoting Biochemical Oxygen Demand) means the quantity of oxygen utilized in the biochemical oxidation of organic matter under standard laboratory procedure in five (5) days at twenty (20) degrees C., expressed in milligrams per liter or parts per million. Quantitative determination of B.O.D. shall be made in accordance with procedures set forth in Standard Methods.

  3. “Building drain” means that part of the lowest horizontal piping of a building drainage system which receives the discharge from soil, waste, and other drainage pipes inside the walls of the building and conveys it to the building sewer, beginning five (5) feet (1.5 meters) outside the inner face of the building wall.

  4. “Building sewer” means that part of the horizontal piping from the building wall to its connection with the main sewer or the primary treatment portion of an on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system conveying the drainage of one building site.

  5. “Combined sewer” means a sewer intended to receive both wastewater and storm or surface water.

  6. “Compatible pollutants” means B.O.D., suspended solids, phosphorus, nitrogen, pH, or fecal coliform bacteria, plus additional pollutants identified in the City’s NPDES permit for its wastewater treatment facility, provided that such facility is designed to treat such additional pollutants and, in fact, does remove such pollutants to a substantial degree.

  7. “Customer” means any person responsible for the production of domestic, commercial or industrial waste which is directly or indirectly discharged into the public sewer system.

  8. “Easement” means an acquired legal right for the specified use of land owned by others.

  9. “Floatable oil” is oil, fat or grease in a physical state such that it will separate by gravity from wastewater by treatment in an approved pretreatment facility. Wastewater is considered free of floatable oil if it is properly pretreated and the wastewater does not interfere with the collection system.

  10. “Garbage” means solid wastes from the domestic and commercial preparation, cooking, and dispensing of food, and from the handling, storage and sale of produce.

  11. “Ground garbage” means the residue from the preparation, cooking, dispensing, handling, storage and sale of food products and produce that has been shredded to such a degree that all particles will be carried freely in suspension under the flow conditions normally prevailing in public sewers with no particle greater than one-half inch (½”) in any dimension.

  12. “Incompatible pollutants” means wastewater with pollutants that will adversely affect the wastewater treatment facilities or disrupt the quality of wastewater treatment if discharged to the wastewater treatment facilities.

  13. “Industrial wastes” means any solid, liquid or gaseous substance discharged or escaping from any industrial, manufacturing or commercial establishment. Such term includes any wastewater which is not sanitary sewage.

  14. “Inspector” means the person duly authorized by the Council to inspect and approve the installation of building sewers and their connections to the public sewer system; and to inspect such sewage as may be discharged therefrom.

  15. “National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit” means a document issued by the State of Iowa which establishes effluent limitations and monitoring requirements for the municipal wastewater treatment facility.

  16. “Natural outlet” means any outlet, including storm sewers and combined sewer overflows, into a watercourse, pond, ditch, lake, or other body of surface or groundwater.

  17. “Nitrogen” means Kjeldahl nitrogen which is the sum of organic nitrogen and ammonia nitrogen.

  18. “On-site wastewater treatment and disposal system” means all equipment and devices necessary for proper conduction, collection, storage, treatment, and disposal of wastewater from four or fewer dwelling units or other facilities serving the equivalent of fifteen persons (1500 gpd) or less.

  19. “Operation and maintenance costs” includes all costs associated with the operation and maintenance of the wastewater treatment facilities, including administration and replacement costs, all as determined from time to time by the City.

  20. “pH” means the logarithm of the reciprocal of the hydrogen-ion concentration. The concentration is the weight of hydrogen ions in grams per liter of solution. Neutral water, for example, has a pH of 7 and a hydrogen-ion concentration of 10-7.

  21. “Phosphorus” means total phosphorus and is expressed in mg/l of P (phosphorus).

  22. “Public sewer” means a sewer in which all owners of abutting properties have equal rights, and is controlled by public authority.

  23. “Replacement costs” means expenditures for obtaining and installing equipment, accessories or appurtenances which are necessary during the useful life of the wastewater treatment facility to maintain the capacity and performance for which such facilities were designed and constructed. Operation and maintenance costs include replacement costs.

  24. “Sanitary sewage” means a combination of liquid and water carried wastes discharged from toilets and/or sanitary plumbing facilities.

  25. “Sanitary sewer” means a sewer which carries sewage and to which storm, surface, and groundwaters are not intentionally admitted.

  26. “Sewage” means the spent water of a person or community. The preferred term is “wastewater.”

  27. “Sewer” means a pipe or conduit that carries wastewater or drainage water.

  28. “Sewer service charge” means a charge levied on users of the wastewater treatment facilities for payment of operation and maintenance expenses, debt service costs and other expenses or obligations of said facilities.

  29. “Slug” means any discharge of water or wastewater which in concentration of any given constituent or in quantity of flow exceeds for any period of duration longer than fifteen (15) minutes more than five (5) times the average twenty-four (24) hour concentration or flows during normal operation and/or adversely affects the collection system and/or performance of the wastewater treatment facility.

  30. “Standard Methods” means the examination and analytical procedures set forth in the most recent edition of Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, published jointly by the American Public Health Association, the American Water Works Association and the Water Pollution Control Federation.

  31. “Storm drain” or “storm sewer” means a sewer which carries storm and surface waters and drainage but excludes sewage and industrial wastes, other than unpolluted cooling water.

  32. “Superintendent” means the Superintendent of sewage works and/or of water pollution control of the City or any authorized deputy, agent, or representative.

  33. “Suspended solids” means total suspended matter that either floats on the surface of or is in suspension in water, wastewater or other liquids, and that is removable by laboratory filtering as prescribed in Standard Methods and referred to as nonfilterable residue.

  34. “Unpolluted water” means water quality equal to or better than the effluent of the wastewater treatment facilities or water than would not cause violation of receiving water quality standards and would not be benefited by discharge to the sanitary sewers and wastewater treatment facilities.

  35. “Wastewater” means the spent water of a community or person. From the standpoint of source, it may be a combination of the liquid and water-carried wastes from residences, commercial buildings, industrial plants and institutions, together with any groundwater, surface water and storm water that may be present.

  36. “Wastewater collection facilities” (or sanitary sewer system) means the structures and equipment required to collect and carry wastewater.

  37. “Wastewater treatment facilities” means an arrangement of devices and structures for treating wastewater and sludge, and is also referred to as wastewater treatment plant or sewage treatment plant.

  38. “Watercourse” means a channel in which a flow of water occurs, either continuously or intermittently.

95.03    SUPERINTENDENT. The Superintendent shall exercise the following powers and duties:

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[4])

1. Operation and Maintenance. Operate and maintain the City sewage system.

2. Inspection and Tests. Conduct necessary inspections and tests to assure compliance with the provisions of these Sanitary Sewer chapters.

3. Records. Maintain a complete and accurate record of all sewers, sewage connections and manholes constructed showing the location and grades thereof.

95.04    PROHIBITED ACTS. No person shall do, or allow, any of the following:

1. Damage Sewer System. Maliciously, willfully, or negligently break, damage, destroy, uncover, deface or tamper with any structure, appurtenance or equipment which is a part of the sewer system.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 716.1)

2. Surface Run-off or Groundwater. Connect a roof downspout, sump pump, exterior foundation drain, areaway drain, or other source of surface run-off or groundwater to a building sewer or building drain which in turn is connected directly or indirectly to a public sanitary sewer.

3. Manholes. Open or enter any manhole of the sewer system, except by authority of the Superintendent.

4. Objectionable Wastes. Place or deposit in any unsanitary manner on public or private property within the City, or in any area under the jurisdiction of the City, any human or animal excrement, garbage, or other objectionable waste.

5. Septic Tanks. Construct or maintain any privy, privy vault, septic tank, cesspool, or other facility intended or used for the disposal of sewage except as provided in these chapters.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[3f])

6. Untreated Discharge. Discharge to any natural outlet within the City, or in any area under its jurisdiction, any sanitary sewage, industrial wastes, or other polluted waters, except where suitable treatment has been provided in accordance with subsequent provisions of these chapters.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[3f])

95.05    SEWER CONNECTION REQUIRED. The owners of any houses, buildings, or properties used for human occupancy, employment, recreation or other purposes, situated within the City and abutting on any street, alley or right-of-way in which there is now located, or may in the future be located, a public sanitary or combined sewer, are hereby required to install, at such owner’s expense, suitable toilet facilities therein and a building sewer connecting such facilities directly with the proper public sewer, and to maintain the same all in accordance with the provisions of these Sanitary Sewer chapters, such compliance to be completed within sixty (60) days after date of official notice from the City to do so provided that said public sewer is located within one hundred (100) feet of the property line of such owner. Billing for sanitary sewer service will begin the date of official notice to connect to the public sewer.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12 [3f])

(IAC, 567-69.1[3])

95.06    SERVICE OUTSIDE THE CITY. The owners of property outside the corporate limits of the City so situated that it may be served by the City sewer system may apply to the Council for permission to connect to the public sewer upon the terms and conditions stipulated by resolution of the Council.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.4 [2 & 3])

95.07    RIGHT OF ENTRY. The Superintendent and other duly authorized employees of the City bearing proper credentials and identification shall be permitted to enter all properties for the purposes of inspection, observation, measurement, sampling, and testing in accordance with the provisions of these Sanitary Sewer chapters. The Superintendent or representatives shall have no authority to inquire into any processes including metallurgical, chemical, oil, refining, ceramic, paper, or other industries beyond that point having a direct bearing on the kind and source of discharge to the sewers or waterways or facilities for waste treatment.

95.08    USE OF EASEMENTS. The Superintendent and other duly authorized employees of the City bearing proper credentials and identification shall be permitted to enter all private properties through which the City holds a duly negotiated easement for the purposes of, but not limited to, inspection, observation, measurement, sampling, repair, and maintenance of any portion of the sewage works lying within said easement. All entry and subsequent work, if any, on said easement, shall be done in full accordance with the terms of the duly negotiated easement pertaining to the private property involved.

95.09    SPECIAL PENALTIES. The following special penalty provisions shall apply to violations of these Sanitary Sewer chapters:

1. Notice of Violation. Any person found to be violating any provision of these chapters except subsections 1, 3 and 4 of Section 95.04, shall be served by the City with written notice stating the nature of the violation and providing a reasonable time limit for the satisfactory correction thereof. The offender shall, within the period of time stated in such notice, permanently cease all violations.

2. Continuing Violations. Any person who shall continue any violation beyond the time limit provided for in subsection 1 hereof shall be in violation of this Code of Ordinances. Each day in which any such violation shall continue shall be deemed a separate offense.

3. Liability Imposed. Any person violating any of the provisions of these chapters shall become liable to the City for any expense, loss, or damage occasioned the City by reason of such violation.