Chapter 96 – Building Sewers and Connections

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.


The person who makes the permit application shall pay a connection charge in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100.00) to reimburse the City for costs borne by the City in making sewer service available to the property served.


All installations of building sewers and connections to the public sewer shall be made by a plumber approved by the City. The Superintendent shall have the power to suspend the approval of any plumber for violation of any of the provisions of these Sanitary Sewer chapters; a suspension, unless revoked, shall continue until the next regular meeting of the Council. The Superintendent shall notify the plumber immediately by personal written notice of the suspension, the reasons for the suspension, and the time and place of the Council meeting at which the plumber will be granted a hearing. At this Council meeting the Superintendent shall make a written report to the Council stating the reasons for the suspension, and the Council, after fair hearing, shall affirm or revoke the suspension or take any further action that is necessary and proper. The plumber shall provide a surety bond in the minimum sum of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) secured by a responsible surety bonding company authorized to operate within the State, conditioned to indemnify and save the City harmless against all losses or damages that may arise from or be occasioned by the making of connections with the public sewers or excavations therefor or by carelessness, negligence or unskillfulness in making the same. Such bond shall remain in force and must be executed for a period of one year except that on such expiration it shall remain in force as to all penalties, claims and demands that may have accrued thereunder prior to such expiration. In lieu of a surety bond, a cash deposit of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) may be filed with the City.


All excavations required for the installation of a building sewer shall be open trench work unless otherwise approved by the City. Pipe laying and backfill shall be performed in accordance with A.S.T.M. Specification C-12, except that no backfill shall be placed until the work has been inspected. The excavations shall be made in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 135 where applicable.


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 Sewers. 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 Sewers. 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.
  3. Installation. The connection of the building sewer into the public sewer shall conform to the requirements of Division 4, Plumbing Rules and Regulations, of the State Building Code, applicable rules and regulations of the City, or the procedures set forth in A.S.T.M. Specification C-12. 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. Size. 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:
    1. Recommended grade at one-fourth (¼) inch per foot.
    2. Minimum grade of one-eighth (1/8) inch per foot.
    3. Minimum velocity of 2.00 feet per second with the sewer half full.
    4. 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.
  7. Depth. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Pipe Specifications. Building sewer pipe shall be free from flaws, splits, or breaks. Materials shall be as specified in Division 4 of the State Building 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:
    1. Ductile iron water pipe – A.W.W.A. C-151.
    2. P.V.C. – SDR26 – A.S.T.M. D-3034.
  10. Bearing Walls. No building sewer shall be laid parallel to, or within three (3) feet of any bearing wall, which might thereby be weakened.
  11. Jointing. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Tracer Wire. A tracer wire shall be installed running parallel with the building sewer on all new and replacement lines. The type of wire to be used, the depth that it is to be placed and other installation details shall be as approved by the Superintendent.


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 provided by the Iowa Public Health Bulletin and Division 4 of the State Building 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. Maintenance. 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 saddle “Y” shall be furnished and installed by the City and the expense of the saddle “Y” included in the tapping fee. 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.


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.


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.


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])