City Ordinances: Chapters 95-96


This is just a part of the full ordinance document. Find the full, official document at the bottom or click here.


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. “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 degrees (20º) C, expressed in milligrams per liter or parts per million.
  2. “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.
  3. “Building sewer” means the extension from the building drain to the public sewer or other place of disposal.
  4. “Combined sewer” means a sewer receiving both surface run-off and sewage.
  5. “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.
  6. “Domestic wastewater” means, for the purposes of Section 95.09 of this chapter, all household-type waste discharged from places of human habitation, including toilet, bath, kitchen, and laundry wastewater. Domestic wastewater is further defined as waste that does not exceed daily maximum limits of 300 mg/l COD, 200 mg/l BOD, 250 mg/l suspended solids, 100 mg/l oil and grease, 30 mg/l TKN and 15 mg/l NH3-N at a discharge rate of 100 gallons per capita per day.  This loading is equal to 0.25 pound of COD, 0.17 pound of BOD, 0.20 pound of suspended solids, 0.083 pound of oil and grease, 0.025 pound of TKN and 0.013 pound of NH3-N per capita per day.
  7. “Floatable oil” means 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 shall be considered free of floatable fat if it is properly pretreated and the wastewater does not interfere with the collection system.
  8. “Garbage” means solid wastes from the domestic and commercial preparation, cooking, and dispensing of food, and from the handling, storage and sale of produce.
  9. “Industrial wastes” means the liquid wastes from industrial manufacturing processes, trade, or business as distinct from sanitary sewage.
  10. “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.
  11. “Natural outlet” means any outlet into a watercourse, pond, ditch, lake, or other body of surface or groundwater.
  12. “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.
  13. “pH” means the logarithm of the reciprocal of the weight of hydrogen ions in grams per liter of solution.
  14. “Public sewer” means a sewer in which all owners of abutting properties have equal rights, and is controlled by public authority.
  15. “Sanitary sewage” means sewage discharging from the sanitary conveniences of dwellings (including apartment houses and hotels), office buildings, factories or institutions, and free from storm, surface water, and industrial waste.
  16. “Sanitary sewer” means a sewer which carries sewage and to which storm, surface, and groundwaters are not intentionally admitted.
  17. “Sewage” means a combination of the water-carried wastes from residences, business buildings, institutions, and industrial establishments, together with such ground, surface, and storm waters as may be present.
  18. “Sewage treatment plant” means any arrangement of devices and structures used for treating sewage.
  19. “Sewage works” or “sewage system” means all facilities for collecting, pumping, treating, and disposing of sewage.
  20. “Sewer” means a pipe or conduit for carrying sewage.
  21. “Sewer service charges” means any and all charges, rates or fees levied against and payable by customers, as consideration for the servicing of said customers by said sewer system.
  22. “Slug” means 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 fifteen (15) minutes more than five (5) times the average 24-hour concentration or flows during normal operation.
  23. “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.
  24. “Superintendent” means the City’s designee in charge of the public sanitary sewer system of the City, including (but not limited to) the administration and enforcement thereof, or any duly authorized agent or representative of the City’s designee.
  25. “Suspended solids” means solids that either float on the surface of, or are in suspension in water, sewage, or other liquids, and which are removable by laboratory filtering.
  26. “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. 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 thirty (30) days after date of official notice from the City to do so provided that said public sewer is located within four hundred (400) feet of the property line of such owner and is of such design as to receive and convey by gravity such sewage as may be conveyed to it.  Billing for sanitary sewer service will begin the date of official notice to connect to the public sewer.  In the event such properties become situated within the City limits by means of annexation and a private sewer system in good working condition is in existence at the time of annexation for such property, the owner of such a property shall be allowed to use the private system until the system is in need of repair or replacement, at which time a connection at the owner’s expense to the public sewer system shall be required. (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   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.

95.09   INDUSTRIAL PRETREATMENT REQUIREMENTS.  All discharges of wastewater, gases, or solids which are not similar to domestic wastewater shall meet the following pretreatment requirements:

  1. City of Rock Valley Non-Domestic Waste Pretreatment requirements and limits as adopted and amended from time to time by City Council resolution.
  2. This section adopts by reference the following sections of the General Pretreatment Regulations for Existing and New Sources of Pollution promulgated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, 40 Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter I, Part 403, as published through July 1, 1989, as amended on October 17, 1989, and July 24, 1990, as the City’s pretreatment regulations. These sections included 403.2, 403.3, 403.4, 403.5, 403.6, 403.7, 403.8, 403.12, 403.15, 403.16 and 403.17.
  3. This section adopts by reference the categorical pretreatment standards set out in 40 CFR 405-471.
  4. This section adopts by reference the testing procedures for wastewater analysis set out in 40 CFR 136.
  5. This section adopts by reference sections 307(b) and (c) and 402(b)(8) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act as amended through July 1, 1990.
  6. Any industrial, commercial or other utility customer which discharges any wastewater, industrial waste or other waste, other than domestic wastewater, to the municipal sanitary sewer system shall comply with all regulations or requirements of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and/or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Where regulations have not been set by those agencies, the Superintendent shall establish pretreatment requirements to obtain the following objectives:
  7. To prevent the introduction of pollutants which will interfere with the treatment plant operation or contaminate the resulting biosolids; and
  8. To prevent the introduction of pollutants which will pass through the system, inadequately treated, into the receiving waters or the atmosphere or otherwise be incompatible with the system; and
  9. To improve the opportunity to recycle and reclaim wastewaters and biosolids from the system.
  10. Any costs for pretreatment flow measuring, or monitoring facilities or analytical systems or tests to meet the pretreatment regulations shall be the responsibility of the customer.
  11. Any costs to the City, including increased operation or maintenance expenditures or fines levied by the State or Federal agencies, which result from the discharge from any utility customer shall be assessed to that customer. In the event more than one utility customer is responsible, the cost shall be prorated among those responsible.
  12. No utility customer may expand said customer’s process or operation if that expansion results in a discharge that exceeds any limitation established for such discharge or results in the discharge of some other substance which will violate any provision of the pretreatment regulations unless the customer’s plans for expansion are approved by the Superintendent at least six (6) months prior to the planned expansion.
  13. All users who are significant or minor non-domestic waste contributors subject to Federal and/or State pretreatment regulations and requirements shall enter into a pretreatment agreement with the City before discharging non-domestic wastewaters. Any contributor discharging pursuant to a contract with the City shall be issued a pretreatment agreement within six (6) months of approval of any Rock Valley Non-Domestic Waste Pretreatment Program.
  14. Failure to meet the standards and requirements of this section or of Section 95.04 shall be a municipal infraction punishable by a penalty of up to $1,000 for the first and each subsequent violation. Each occurrence of prohibited discharge is a violation.  The Superintendent shall be the City’s designee to administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter, which shall include the authority to conduct related inspections, surveillance, and monitoring, and to terminate City sewer service for non­compliance with this Code of Ordinances.



96.01   PERMIT.  No unauthorized person shall uncover, make any connection with or opening into, use, alter or disturb any public sewer or appurtenance thereof without first obtaining a written permit from the City.  The application for the permit shall set forth the location and description of the property to be connected with the sewer system and the purpose for which the sewer is to be used, and shall be supplemented by any plans, specifications, or other information considered pertinent.  The permit shall require the owner to complete construction and connection of the building sewer to the public sewer within sixty (60) days after the issuance of the permit, except that when a property owner makes sufficient showing that due to conditions beyond the owner’s control or peculiar hardship, such time period is inequitable or unfair, an extension of time within which to comply with the provisions herein may be granted.  Any sewer connection permit may be revoked at any time for a violation of these chapters.

96.02   PERMIT FEE.  The person who makes the application shall pay a fee in the amount of seventy-five dollars ($75.00) to the Clerk to cover the cost of issuing the permit and supervising, regulating, and inspecting the work.  In addition, a sewer lift station fee as established by the Council shall also be paid by any person seeking permission to connect and whose sewage flows through a City lift station.

96.03   PLUMBER REQUIRED.  All installations of building sewers and connections to the public sewer shall be made by a State-licensed plumber.

96.04   EXCAVATIONS.  All trench work, excavation, and backfilling required for the installation of a building sewer shall be performed in accordance with the provisions of the State Plumbing Code and the provisions of Chapter 135 of this Code of Ordinances.

96.05   CONNECTION REQUIREMENTS.  Any connection with a public sanitary sewer must be made under the direct supervision of the Superintendent and in accordance with the following:

  1. Old Building Old building sewers may be used in connection with new buildings only when they are found, on examination and test conducted by the owner and observed by the Superintendent, to meet all requirements of this chapter.
  2. Separate Building A separate and independent building sewer shall be provided for every occupied building; except where one building stands at the rear of another on an interior lot and no private sewer is available or can be constructed to the rear building through an adjoining alley, court, yard, or driveway.  In such cases the building sewer from the front building may be extended to the rear building and the whole considered as one building sewer.  In the event a building is divided by a common wall or walls and the subdivisions are owned by a different party, a separate and independent building sewer shall be provided for each subdivision and shall be provided at the time the building is subdivided.
  3. The installation and connection of the building sewer to the public sewer shall conform to the requirements of the State Plumbing Code and applicable rules and regulations of the City.  All such connections shall be made gastight and watertight.  Any deviation from the prescribed procedures and materials must be approved by the Superintendent before installation.
  4. Water Lines. When possible, building sewers should be laid at least ten (10) feet horizontally from a water service.  The horizontal separation may be less, provided the water service line is located at one side and at least twelve (12) inches above the top of the building sewer.
  5. Building sewers shall be sized for the peak expected sewage flow from the building with a minimum building sewer size of four (4) inches.
  6. Alignment and Grade. All building sewers shall be laid to a straight line to meet the following:
  7. Recommended grade at one-fourth (¼) inch per foot.
  8. Minimum grade of one-eighth (1/8) inch per foot.
  9. Minimum velocity of 2.00 feet per second with the sewer half full.
  10. Any deviation in alignment or grade shall be made only with the written approval of the Superintendent and shall be made only with approved fittings.
  11. Whenever possible, the building sewer shall be brought to the building at an elevation below the basement floor.  The depth of cover above the sewer shall be sufficient to afford protection from frost.
  12. Sewage Lifts. In all buildings in which any building drain is too low to permit gravity flow to the public sewer, sanitary sewage carried by such drain shall be lifted by approved artificial means and discharged to the building sewer.
  13. Pipe Specifications. Building sewer pipe shall be free from flaws, splits, or breaks.  Materials shall be as specified in the State Plumbing Code except that the building sewer pipe, from the property line to the public sewer, shall comply with the current edition of one of the following:
  14. Clay sewer pipe – A.S.T.M. C-700 (extra strength).
  15. Extra heavy cast iron soil pipe – A.S.T.M. A-74.
  16. Ductile iron water pipe – A.W.W.A. C-151.
  17. V.C. – SDR26 – A.S.T.M. D-3034.
  18. Bearing Walls. No building sewer shall be laid parallel to, or within three (3) feet of any bearing wall, which might thereby be weakened.
  19. Fittings, type of joint, and jointing material shall be compatible with the type of pipe used, subject to the approval of the Superintendent.  Solvent-welded joints are not permitted.
  20. Unstable Soil. No sewer connection shall be laid so that it is exposed when crossing any watercourse.  Where an old watercourse must of necessity be crossed or where there is any danger of undermining or settlement, cast iron soil pipe or vitrified clay sewer pipe thoroughly encased in concrete shall be required for such crossings.  Such encasement shall extend at least six (6) inches on all sides of the pipe.  The cast iron pipe or encased clay pipe shall rest on firm, solid material at either end.
  21. Preparation of Basement or Crawl Space. No connection for any residence, business or other structure with any sanitary sewer shall be made unless the basement floor is poured, or in the case of a building with a slab or crawl space, unless the ground floor is installed with the area adjacent to the foundation of such building cleared of debris and backfilled.  The backfill shall be well compacted and graded so that the drainage is away from the foundation.  Prior to the time the basement floor is poured, or the first floor is installed in buildings without basements, the sewer shall be plugged and the plug shall be sealed by the Superintendent.  Any accumulation of water in any excavation or basement during construction and prior to connection to the sanitary sewer shall be removed by means other than draining into the sanitary sewer.

96.06   INTERCEPTORS REQUIRED.  Grease, oil, sludge and sand interceptors shall be provided by gas and service stations, convenience stores, car washes, garages, and other facilities when, in the opinion of the Superintendent, they are necessary for the proper handling of such wastes that contain grease in excessive amounts or any flammable waste, sand or other harmful ingredients.  Such interceptors shall not be required for private living quarters or dwelling units.  When required, such interceptors shall be installed in accordance with the following:

  1. Design and Location. All interceptors shall be of a type and capacity as specified in the State Plumbing Code, to be approved by the Superintendent, and shall be located so as to be readily and easily accessible for cleaning and inspection.
  2. Construction Standards. The interceptors shall be constructed of impervious material capable of withstanding abrupt and extreme changes in temperature.  They shall be of substantial construction, watertight and equipped with easily removable covers that shall be gastight and watertight.
  3. All such interceptors shall be maintained by the owner at the owner’s expense and shall be kept in continuously efficient operations at all times.

96.07   SEWER TAP.  Connection of the building sewer into the public sewer shall be made at the “Y” branch, if such branch is available at a suitable location.  If no properly located “Y” branch is available, a saddle “Y” shall be installed at the location specified by the Superintendent.  The public sewer shall be tapped with a tapping machine and a saddle appropriate to the type of public sewer shall be glued or attached with a gasket and stainless steel clamps to the sewer.  At no time shall a building sewer be constructed so as to enter a manhole unless special written permission is received from the Superintendent and in accordance with the Superintendent’s direction if such connection is approved.

96.08   INSPECTION REQUIRED.  All connections with the sanitary sewer system before being covered shall be inspected and approved, in writing, by the Superintendent.  As soon as all pipe work from the public sewer to inside the building has been completed, and before any backfilling is done, the Superintendent shall be notified and the Superintendent shall inspect and test the work as to workmanship and material; no sewer pipe laid under ground shall be covered or trenches filled until after the sewer has been so inspected and approved.  If the Superintendent refuses to approve the work, the plumber or owner must proceed immediately to correct the work.

96.09   PROPERTY OWNER’S RESPONSIBILITY.  All costs and expenses incident to the installation, connection and maintenance of the building sewer shall be borne by the owner.  The owner shall indemnify the City from any loss or damage that may directly or indirectly be occasioned by the installation of the building sewer.

96.10   ABATEMENT OF VIOLATIONS.  Construction or maintenance of building sewer lines whether located upon the private property of any owner or in the public right-of-way, which construction or maintenance is in violation of any of the requirements of this chapter, shall be corrected, at the owner’s expense, within thirty (30) days after date of official notice from the Council of such violation.  If not made within such time the Council shall, in addition to the other penalties herein provided, have the right to finish and correct the work and assess the cost thereof to the property owner.  Such assessment shall be collected with and in the same manner as general property taxes. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[3])

96.11   GREASE TRAPS AND INTERCEPTORS.  All food service establishments are required to have a grease interceptor or grease trap.  The requirements in this section are in addition to any applicable requirements of the Iowa Plumbing Code and the International Plumbing Code.

  1. New Establishments. Food service establishments that are newly proposed or constructed on or after the effective date of this section shall be required to install, operate, and maintain a grease interceptor or grease trap according to the requirements contained in this section.  Existing facilities that are expanded or renovated to include a food service establishment where such establishment did not previously exist shall be considered a new establishment under this ordinance.  Grease interceptors or grease traps shall be installed and a permit issued prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.
  2. Existing Establishments. All food service establishments existing and operating within the City prior to the effective date of this section shall be permitted to continue to operate with existing facilities provided:
  3. Existing grease interceptors or grease traps shall be maintained in accordance with the requirements of this ordinance.
  4. Existing grease interceptors or grease traps shall be permitted to continue in use until:

(1)        Remodeling of the food preparation or kitchen waste plumbing system is performed, thereby requiring a plumbing permit to be issued by the City of Rock Valley, or,

(2)        Grease discharges from the food service establishment cause operational problems such as but not limited to plugging in the sewers of the City of Rock Valley.

  1. Grease interceptors or grease traps shall be installed at the user’s expense, when such user operates a food service establishment. Grease interceptors or grease traps may also be required in non-cooking or cold dairy and frozen foodstuffs establishments and other industrial or commercial establishments when it is deemed necessary by the Director or his/her designee for the proper handling of liquid wastes containing FOG.
  2. Grease interceptors and grease traps shall conform to the standards of the Iowa Plumbing Code adopted by this reference to the Plumbing Code of Rock Valley Municipal Utilities, Iowa.
  3. Grease interceptors shall provide access manholes with a minimum diameter of twenty-four (24) inches over each chamber and sanitary tee. The access manholes shall extend at least to the finished grade and be designed and maintained to prevent surface water inflow or ground water infiltration.  The manholes shall also have readily removable covers to facilitate inspection and grease removal.
  4. Non-grease-laden sources shall not be allowed to connect to sewer lines intended for grease interceptor service.
  5. Grease interceptors and grease traps shall be equipped with an accessible sampling port on the effluent side of the interceptor or trap. Users who are required to install a grease interceptor or grease trap shall:

(1)        Operate the great interceptor or grease trap in a manner so as to maintain such devise such that attainment of the grease limit is consistently achieved.  “Consistent” shall mean any wastewater sample taken from such grease interceptor or trap shall meet the numerical limit of one hundred milligrams per liter (100 mg/L) FOG.

(2)        Remove any accumulated grease cap and sludge pocket as required when FOG and solids reach twenty-five percent (25%) of the unit’s capacity, at the user’s expense.  Grease interceptors and grease traps shall be kept free of inorganic solid materials such as grit, rocks, gravel, sand, eating utensils, cigarettes, shells, towels, rags, etc., which could settle into this pocket and thereby reduce the effective volume of the grease interceptor or grease trap.

(3)        Skim or pump wastes or other materials removed from the grease interceptor or grease trap so as not to be reintroduced into the sewer, even after of any kind of on-site treatment of said wastes.

(4)        Not use hot water as a grease abatement method.  The use of biological additives as a grease degradation agent is conditionally permissible, upon prior written approval by the City of Rock Valley.  Any establishment using this method of grease abatement shall maintain the interceptor or trap in such a manner that attainment of the grease wastewater discharge limit, as measured from the outlet, is consistently achieved.

(5)        Utilize an automatic grease removal system only upon prior written approval by the City of Rock Valley.  Any establishment using this equipment shall operate the system in such a manner that attainment of the grease wastewater discharge limit, as measured from the unit’s outlet, is consistently achieved.

(6)        Maintain a written record of grease interceptor or grease trap maintenance.  Said record shall include dates and means of disposal, and shall maintain those records for three (3) years.  All such records will be available for inspection by the City of Rock Valley at all times. (Section 96.11 – Ord. 449-15(2) – Jun. 18 Supp.)


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