CHAPTER XV. UTILITIESCHAPTER XV. UTILITIES\ARTICLE 2B. WATER CONSERVATION

The purpose of this article is to provide for a progressive water supply conservation program, including the declaration of a water supply watch, warning or emergency and the implementation of voluntary and mandatory water conservation measures throughout the City in the event such a watch, warning or emergency is declared by the governing body of the City.

(Code 2016)

(a)   “Water,” as the term is used in this article, shall mean water available to the City of Louisburg for treatment by virtue of its water rights or any treated water introduced by the city into its water distribution system, including water offered for sale at any coin-operated site.

(b)   “Customer,” as the term is used in this article, shall mean the customer of record using water for any purpose from the city’s water distribution system and for which either a regular charge is made or, in the case of coin sales, a cash charge is made at the site of delivery.

(c)   “Waste of Water,” as the term is used in this article, includes, but is not limited to:

(1)   permitting water to escape down a gutter, ditch, or other surface drain;

(2)   failure to repair a controllable leak of water due to defective plumbing.

(d)   The following classes of water are established:

Class 1: Water used for outdoor watering: either public or private, for gardens, lawns, trees, shrubs, plants, parks, golf courses, playing fields, swimming pools, or other recreational areas; or the washing of motor vehicles, boats, trailers, or the exterior of any building or structure.

Class 2: Water used for any commercial or industrial, including agricultural purposes: except water actually necessary to maintain the health and personal hygiene of bona fide employees while such employees are engaged in the performance of their duties at their place of employment.

Class 3: Domestic usage, other than that which would be included in either classes 1 or 2.

Class 4: Water necessary only to sustain human life and the lives of domestic pets and maintain standards of hygiene and sanitation.

(Code 2016)

In the event that the governing body of the city or the City’s designated official determines that the City’s water supply may be subject to a shortage in supply or the governing body of the City determines there is need for conservation of the City’s water resources for any reason, the city may begin the progressive three (3) stage water conservation program by declaring a water watch as described in subsection (a) or, in times of need and/or duress, the governing body of the City may choose to declare any section of the program described herein effect at any time:

(a)   Stage 1: Declaration of Water Watch. In the event the governing body of the City finds that conditions indicate that the probability of a drought or some other condition causing a major water supply shortage is rising, it shall be empowered to declare, by resolution, that a water watch exists and that it shall take steps to inform the public and ask for voluntary reductions in water use. Such a watch shall be deemed to continue until it is declared by resolution of the governing body to have ended. The resolutions declaring the existence and end of a water watch shall be effective upon their publication in the official City newspaper.

(b)   Stage 2: Declaration of Water Warning. Whenever the governing body of the City finds that drought conditions or some other condition causing a major water supply shortage are present and supplies are starting to decline, it shall be empowered to declare by resolution that water warning exists and that it will recommend restrictions on nonessential uses during the period of warning. Such a warning shall be deemed to continue until it is declared by resolution of the governing body to have ended. The resolutions declaring the beginning and ending of the water warning shall be effective upon their publication in the official City newspaper.

(c)   Stage 3: Declaration of Water Emergency. Whenever the governing body of the City finds that an emergency exists by reason of a shortage of water supply needed for essential uses, it shall be empowered to declare by resolution that water supply emergency exists and that it will impose mandatory restrictions on water use during the period of the emergency. Such an emergency shall be deemed to continue until it is declared by resolution of the governing body to have ended. The resolutions declaring the existence and end of a water supply emergency shall be effective upon their publication in the official City newspaper.

(Code 2016)

Upon the declaration of a water watch or water warning as provided in Section 15-2b03(a) or 15-2b03(b) above, the mayor (or the city administrator) is authorized to call on all water consumers to employ voluntary water conservation measures to limit or eliminate nonessential water uses including, but not limited to, limitations on the following uses:

(a)   Class 1 uses of water.

(b)   Waste of water.

(Code 2016)

Upon the declaration of a water supply emergency as provided in section 15-2b03(c), the mayor (or the city administrator or authorized city official) is also authorized to implement certain mandatory water conservation measures, including, but not limited to, the following conservation measures:

(a)   Suspension of new connections to the City’s water distribution system, except connections of fire hydrants and those made pursuant to agreements entered into by the City prior to the effective date of the declaration of the emergency.

(b)   Restrictions on the uses of water in one or more classes of water use as described in Section 15-2b02(d), wholly or in part;

(c)   Restrictions on the sales of water at coin-operated facilities or sites;

(d)   The imposition of water rationing based on any reasonable formula including, but not limited to, the percentage of normal use and per capita or per consumer restrictions;

(e)   Complete or partial bans on the waste of water; and

(f)   Any combination of the measures in subsections (a-e) as the governing body of the City or authorized City official may deem appropriate and/or necessary.

(Code 2016)

Upon the declaration of a water supply emergency as provided in Section 15-2b03(c), the governing body of the City shall have the power to adopt emergency water rates by ordinance designed to conserve water supplies. Such emergency rates may provide for, but are not limited to:

(a)   higher charges for increasing usage per unit of use (increasing block rates);

(b)   uniform charges for water usage per unit of use (uniform unit rate); or

(c)   extra charges in excess of a specified level of water use (excess demand surcharge).

(Code 2016)

During the effective period of any water supply emergency as provided for in Section 15-2b03(c), the mayor (or city administrator or public works director or other authorized city official) is empowered to promulgate such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this article, any water supply emergency resolution, or emergency water rate ordinance. Such regulations shall be subject to the approval of the governing body at its next regular or special meeting.

(Code 2016)

(a)   If the mayor, city administrator, public works director, or other city official or officials charged with implementation and enforcement of this article or a water supply emergency resolution learn of any violation of any water use restrictions imposed pursuant to Section 15-2b04 or 15-2b06, a written notice of the violation shall be affixed to the property where the violation occurred and the customer of record and/or any other person known to the City who is responsible for the violation and/or the correction of said violation shall be provided with either actual or mailed notice. Said notice shall describe the violation(s) and order that the noted violation(s) be corrected, cured, or abated immediately or within such specified time as the City determines is reasonable under the circumstances. In the event the order is not cured within the time period given in the notice, the City may terminate water service to the customer subject to the following procedures:

(1)   The City shall give the customer notice by mail or actual notice that water service will be discontinued within a specified time due to the violation(s) and that the customer will have the opportunity to appeal the termination by requesting a hearing scheduled before the City governing body or a City official designated as a hearing officer by the City governing body;

(2)   If such a hearing is requested by the customer charged with the violation, he or she shall be given a full opportunity to be heard by the City governing body of the City official designated as the hearing officer by the City governing body before termination is ordered; and

(3)   The City governing body or City official designated as the hearing officer by the City governing body shall make findings of fact and order whether service should continue or be terminated.

(b)   A fee of $50 shall be paid for the reconnection of any water service terminated pursuant to subsection (a). In the event of subsequent violations, the reconnection fee shall be $200 for the second reconnection and $400 for any subsequent additional reconnections within a two (2) year period.

(c)   Violations of this article shall be a municipal offense and may be prosecuted in municipal court. Any person so charged and found guilty in municipal court of violating the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a municipal offense. Each calendar day in which the violation is observed shall constitute a separate offense. The penalty for an initial violation shall be a mandatory fine of $200. In addition, such customer may be required by the court to serve a definite term of confinement in the county jail which shall be fixed by the court and which shall not exceed 30 days. The penalty for a second or subsequent conviction shall be a mandatory fine of $500. In addition, such customer shall serve a definite term of confinement in the county jail which shall be fixed by the court and which shall not exceed 60 days.

(Code 2016)

Nothing in this article shall limit the ability of any properly authorized city official from terminating the supply of water to any or all customers upon the determination of such city official that emergency termination of water service is required to protect the health and safety of the public or for any other emergency as required or authorized by ordinance or as deemed a necessity of the City by such city official or governing body of the City.

(Code 2016)

Whenever the governing body determines that water use must be restricted or prohibited, it shall forthwith issue a proclamation of emergency through the news media and use other appropriate methods of making public the proclamation.

(Code 2016)

In the event a proclamation of emergency is issued, water usage will be restricted or prohibited first for uses in the following priority:

(a)   Water lawns, gardens, trees, shrubs, plants, and water outside dwellings for such purposes as car, boat, or trailer washing or washing exterior of dwellings.

(b)   Industrial uses of water, including but not limited to car wash operations and packing plant operations;

(c)   Business use, other than industrial;

(d)   Home uses other than those set forth in subsection (a).

(Code 2016)