UTILITY POLICY


A POLICY OF THE LINCOLN COUNTY BOARD OF PUBLIC UTILITIES OF LINCOLN COUNTY, TENNESSEE AUTHORIZING AND SETTING FORTH GUIDELINES FOR THE DECLARATION OF WATER SHORTAGE EMERGENCY


WHEREAS, Tennessee Code Annotated Sec. 5-16-109, authorizes the Lincoln County Board of Public Utilities (“the Board”) to make and publish reasonable rules and regulations covering the use by any individual firm or corporation of any facility furnished to users.

WHEREAS, it is necessary to impose certain restrictions on the use of water because of shortages which can occur for various reasons; and

WHEREAS, it is necessary to have a plan for implementation of measures which restrict the non-essential use of water during such emergencies for the greatest public benefit with particular regard to public health, fire protection, and domestic use; and

WHEREAS, such implementation procedures must be of a form which can be enacted fairly and quickly to preserve the health and welfare of individuals.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LINCOLN COUNTY BOARD OF PUBLIC UTILITIES OF LINCOLN COUNTY, TENNESSEE, AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1. That no water furnished by the Board shall be wasted. Waste of water includes, but is not necessarily limited to the following:


  1. Failure to repair a controllable leak of water; and

  2. Failure to put to reasonable beneficial use any water withdrawn from the Board’s system.


Section 2. That the Board or the Superintendent are hereby authorized to declare a water shortage emergency to exist, and the Board or the Superintendent may declare an end to a water shortage emergency.

Section 3. That in declaring a water shortage emergency, such emergency shall be designated Status 1 or Status 2 in accordance with conditions as determined by the Superintendent or the Board.

Water Shortage Emergency Status 1 exists when the water level in a major distribution system reservoir cannot be brought above the two-thirds (2/3) full mark in a forty-eight (48) hour period.

When the water supply reaches Water Shortage Emergency Status 1, the Superintendent may declare any or all of the uses of water identified as non-essential use Category 1 provided for in this Policy as being prohibited and said prohibition shall remain in full force and effect until the next meeting of the Board. The list of non-essential uses may be increased or decreased by the Superintendent pending the next meeting of the Board.

Water Shortage Emergency Status 2 exists when the water level in a major distribution system reservoir cannot be brought above the one-quarter (1/4) full mark within forty-eight (48) hour period.

If Water Shortage Emergency Status 2 is reached, the Superintendent may declare any or all of the non-essential uses provided for in this Policy (Category 1 and Category 2) as being prohibited and the same shall remain in full force and effect until the next meeting of the Board. The Superintendent may increase or decrease the number of prohibited non-essential uses pending the next meeting of the Board.

Section 4. NON-ESSENTIAL USES DURING WATER SHORTAGE EMERGENCY.

  1. NON-ESSENTIAL USES CATEGORY 1 – the following uses are declared to be NON-ESSENTIAL USES, CATEGORY 1:


    1. Washing sidewalks, driveways, parking areas, tennis courts, patios, or other exterior paved areas.

    2. Filing or re-filling swimming pools, wading pools, ornamental ponds and fountains and Jacuzzi type pools.

    3. Non-commercial washing of privately owned motor vehicles, trailers and boats.

    4. Any use of water from a fire hydrant except for fighting fires, or use by the Board.

    5. Watering of lawns, flower gardens, landscaped areas, trees, shrubs or other plants, with the exception of flower gardens by bucket.

    6. Watering of any portion of a golf course or ball field.

    7. Use of water for dust control or compaction during construction.

    8. Commercial and industrial use in excess of seventy percent (70%) of the amount used during the corresponding billing period for the previous year. If the customer was not operating the previous year, an estimated amount shall be computed by the Board from its records.


  1. NON-ESSENTIAL USE CATEGORY 2 – The following uses are declared to be NON-ESSENTIAL USES, CATEGORY 2, in addition to those listed for Category 1:


    1. Commercial and industrial use in excess of fifty percent (50%) of the amount of water used by it during the corresponding billing period for the previous year. If the customer was not operating the previous year, an estimated amount shall be computed by the Board from its records. The Superintendent, with the concurrence of the Board, may increase the percentage for any connection use or customer if it is determined that such increase is necessary to protect the public health, safety, and welfare or to spread equitably among the water users of the Board the burden imposed by the shortage in the water supply.


Section 5. LINCOLN COUNTY BOARD OF PUBLIC UTILITIES ACTION


  1. Either the Superintendent or the Board may declare a water shortage emergency irrespective of whether the water supply has reached Water Shortage Emergency Status 1 or Status 2, and either the Superintendent or the Board may terminate or end a water shortage emergency.

  2. Either the Superintendent or the Board may prohibit any NON-ESSENTIAL USE, CATEGORY 1 and any NON-ESSENTIAL USE, CATEGORY 2, during any period that a water shortage emergency has been declared, irrespective of whether the water shortage has reached Water Shortage Emergency Status 1 or Status 2.

  3. Any water shortage emergency declared by the Superintendent or the Board shall continue until terminated by the Superintendent or the Board at the next meeting of the Board. If the Board does not take action to terminate the water shortage emergency, the same shall continue in full force and effect until terminated by the Superintendent or the Board.

  4. The Board may terminate or modify any limitations on non-essential use of water.

Section 6. NOTICE

Upon the declaration of the existence of a water shortage emergency by the Superintendent or the Board, the Superintendent shall notify the local media and furnish detailed information concerning the existence of the water shortage emergency and all prohibited uses. In addition, a newspaper ad in the legal notices section (approximately 4 inches x 6 inches) shall be published once per week in any newspaper regularly circulated in Lincoln County, Tennessee, informing the public of the water shortage emergency, any prohibition concerning the non-essential uses, and of the date of the next board meeting. Every practical effort shall be made to keep the water-using public informed of conditions during any declared water shortage emergency.

Section 7. CUSTOMER NON-COMPLIANCE

  1. Any failure of a customer to comply with the requirements of a declared water shortage emergency shall be reported to the Board and shall be immediately investigated by the Superintendent or his designated agent. If non-compliance is found to exist, the customer shall be notified by telephone, door-hanger or other means, of the need for immediate compliance. Should the customer fail or refuse to immediately comply with the request, the Superintendent shall immediately discontinue water service to the customer in question.

  2. Any customer whose service is disconnected because of failure to comply with the requirements of a declared water shortage emergency shall have the right, after the first such disconnection, to have service reinstated upon payment to the Board of a reconnection charge of $250.00 and upon execution of a written statement that the customer will comply with the requirements of the declared emergency. If service is disconnected because of a second failure to comply, such customer shall have the right to reinstatement of service only after the approval of the Superintendent, payment of a reconnection charge of $750.00, and subject to such terms and conditions as the Superintendent shall impose. If service is disconnected because of a third failure to comply, such customer shall have the right to reinstatement of service only after the approval of the Board, payment of a reconnection charge of $1,500.00, and subject to such terms and conditions as the Board shall impose. Any further failure to comply with the requirements of a declared water shortage emergency will be the refusal to reinstate service until the water shortage emergency has terminated. During a water emergency shortage, the Board shall meet as needed to promptly hear and determine requests for reinstatement.

Section 8. VARIANCES. The Superintendent may in writing grant temporary variances for existing customers for water usage otherwise prohibited under this Policy if it is determined that failure to grant such variance would cause an emergency condition adversely affecting the health, safety or welfare for the public or the person requesting such variance and all of the following conditions are met:

      1. Granting of a variance must not cause an immediate significant reduction in the water supply.

      2. The health, safety or welfare of other persons will not be adversely affected by granting of the variance.

      3. The applicant must demonstrate that the extreme hardship or need is related to the health, safety or welfare of the person requesting it.

      4. Compliance with this Policy cannot be technically accomplished during the duration of the water supply shortage or other condition for which the Policy is in effect.

      5. Alternate methods can be implemented which will achieve the same level of reduction in water use.

Persons requesting an exemption from the provisions of this Policy shall file a petition for a variance with the Board after the water shortage emergency has been declared. All petitions for variances shall be reviewed by the Superintendent and shall include the following:

  1. Name

  2. Purpose of water use

  3. Specific provisions of the Policy from which petitioner is requesting relief.

  4. Detailed statement as to how the specific provision of the Policy adversely affects the petitioner or others if petitioner complies with this Policy.

  5. Description of the relief requested.

  6. Period of time for which the variance is sought.

  7. Alternate water use restrictions of other measures the petitioner is taking or proposes to take to meet the intent of this Policy and the compliance date.

  8. Other pertinent information.

Variances granted by the Board shall be subject to the following conditions, unless waived or modified by the Board:

  1. Variances granted shall include a timetable for compliance.

  2. Variances granted shall expire when the water shortage emergency is no longer in effect, unless the petitioner has failed to meet specific requirements.

  3. No variance shall be retroactive to otherwise justify any violation of this Policy occurring prior to the issuance of the variance.

  4. The Superintendent may revoke a variance granted when conditions are not being met or are no longer applicable.

Section 9. That this Policy shall take effect from and after its adoption, the general welfare of Lincoln County, Tennessee requiring it.

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