6117.012 Rules for disconnection and reconnection or relocation of improper inflows into sewers.

(A) A board of county commissioners may adopt rules requiring owners of property within the district whose property is served by a connection to sewers maintained and operated by the board or to sewers that are connected to interceptor sewers maintained and operated by the board to do any of the following:

(1) Disconnect storm water inflows to sanitary sewers maintained and operated by the board and not operated as a combined sewer, or to connections with those sewers;

(2) Disconnect non-storm water inflows to storm water sewers maintained and operated by the board and not operated as a combined sewer, or to connections with those storm water sewers;

(3) Reconnect or relocate any such disconnected inflows in compliance with board rules and applicable building codes, health codes, or other relevant codes;

(4) Prevent sewer back-ups into properties that have experienced one or more back-ups of sanitary or combined sewers maintained and operated by the board;

(5) Prevent storm water from entering a combined sewer and causing an overflow or an inflow to a sanitary sewer, which prevention may include projects or programs that separate the storm water from a combined sewer or that utilize a prevention or replacement facility to prevent or minimize storm water from entering a combined sewer or a sanitary sewer.

(B) Any inflow required to be disconnected or any sewer back-up required to be prevented under a rule adopted pursuant to divisions (A)(1) to (4) of this section constitutes a nuisance subject to injunctive relief and abatement pursuant to Chapter 3767. of the Revised Code or as otherwise permitted by law.

(C) A board of county commissioners may use sewer district funds; county general fund moneys; the proceeds of bonds issued under Chapter 133. or 165. of the Revised Code; and, to the extent permitted by their terms, loans, grants, or other moneys from appropriate state or federal funds, for either of the following:

(1) The cost of disconnections, reconnections, relocations, combined sewer overflow prevention, or sewer back-up prevention required by rules adopted pursuant to division (A) of this section, performed by the county or under contract with the county;

(2) Payments to the property owner or a contractor hired by the property owner pursuant to a competitive process established by district rules, for the cost of disconnections, reconnections, relocations, combined sewer overflow prevention, or sewer back-up prevention required by rules adopted pursuant to division (A) of this section after the board, pursuant to its rules, has approved the work to be performed and after the county has received from the property owner a statement releasing the county from all liability in connection with the disconnections, reconnections, relocations, combined sewer overflow prevention, or sewer back-up prevention.

(D) Except as provided in division (E) of this section, the board of county commissioners shall require in its rules regarding disconnections, reconnections, relocations of sewers, combined sewer overflow prevention, or sewer back-up prevention the reimbursement of moneys expended pursuant to division (C) of this section by either of the following methods:

(1) A charge to the property owner in the amount of the payment made pursuant to division (C) of this section for immediate payment or payment in installments with interest as determined by the board not to exceed ten per cent, which payments may be billed as a separate item with the rents charged to that owner for use of the sewers. The board may approve installment payments for a period of not more than fifteen years. If charges are to be paid in installments, the board shall certify to the county auditor information sufficient to identify each subject parcel of property, the total of the charges to be paid in installments, and the total number of installments to be paid. The auditor shall record the information in the sewer improvement record until these charges are paid in full. Charges not paid when due shall be certified to the county auditor, who shall place the charges upon the real property tax list and duplicate against that property. Those charges shall be a lien on the property from the date they are placed on the tax list and duplicate and shall be collected in the same manner as other taxes.

(2) A special assessment levied against the property, payable in the number of years the board determines, not to exceed fifteen years, with interest as determined by the board not to exceed ten per cent. The board shall certify the assessments to the county auditor, stating the amount and time of payment. The auditor shall record the information in the county sewer improvement record, showing separately the assessments to be collected, and shall place the assessments upon the real property tax list and duplicate for collection. The assessments shall be a lien on the property from the date they are placed on the tax list and duplicate and shall be collected in the same manner as other taxes.

(E) The county may adopt a resolution specifying a maximum amount of the cost of any disconnection, reconnection, relocation, combined sewer overflow prevention, or sewer back-up prevention required pursuant to division (A) of this section that may be paid by the county for each affected parcel of property without requiring reimbursement. That amount may be allowed only if there is a building code, health code, or other relevant code, or a federally imposed or state-imposed consent decree that is filed or otherwise recorded in a court of competent jurisdiction, applicable to the affected parcel that prohibits in the future any inflows, combined sewer overflows, or sewer back-ups not allowed under rules adopted pursuant to division (A)(1) , (4), or (5) of this section. The board, by rule, shall establish criteria for determining how much of the maximum amount for each qualifying parcel need not be reimbursed.

(F) Disconnections, reconnections, relocations, combined sewer overflow prevention, or sewer back-up prevention required under this section and performed by a contractor under contract with the property owner shall not be considered a public improvement, and those performed by the county shall be considered a public improvement as defined in section 4115.03 of the Revised Code.

Disconnections, reconnections, relocations, combined sewer overflow prevention, or sewer back-up prevention required under this section performed by a contractor under contract with the property owner shall not be subject to competitive bidding or public bond laws.

(G) Property owners shall be responsible for maintaining any improvements made or facilities constructed on private property to reconnect or relocate disconnected inflows, for combined sewer overflow prevention, or for sewer back-up prevention pursuant to this section unless a public easement or other agreement exists for the county to maintain that improvement or facility.

(H) A board of county commissioners may provide rate reductions of and credits against charges for the use of sewers to a property owner that implements a project or program that prevents storm water from entering a combined sewer and causing an overflow. Such a project or program may include the use of a prevention or replacement facility to handle storm water that has been separated from a combined sewer. The revised rates or charges shall be collected and paid to the county treasurer in accordance with section 6117.02 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 11-20-1991; 05-06-2005; 2008 HB562 09-22-2008