TITLE 9

Counties

New Castle County

CHAPTER 22. SEWERS

Subchapter I. General Provisions


As used in this chapter, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:

(1) "County" means New Castle County.

(2) "Revenue bonds" means bonds to the payment of which all or any part of the revenues derived from the operation of any sewerage system are pledged in accordance with this chapter.

(3) "Service charges" means rents, rates, fees or other charges charged or collected under § 2209 of this title.

(4) "Sewerage system" means the plants, structures and other real and personal property acquired, constructed or operated or to be acquired, constructed or operated by the County for the collection, treatment, purification or disposal in a sanitary manner of any sewage, liquid or solid wastes, night soil or industrial wastes, garbage and storm water, including sewers, conduits, pipelines, mains, pumping and ventilating stations, sewage treatment or disposal systems, plants and works, connections, and outfalls, and other plants, structures, boats, conveyances, and other real and personal property, and rights therein, and appurtenances necessary or useful and convenient for such purposes.

48 Del. Laws, c. 61, § 2; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 2201.;

In addition to the other powers which it has, the County may, under this chapter:

(1) Plan, construct, acquire by gift, purchase, or the exercise of the right of eminent domain, reconstruct, improve, better or extend any sewerage system, and acquire by gift, purchase, or the exercise of the right of eminent domain, lands or rights in land in connection therewith;

(2) Operate and maintain any sewerage system and furnish the services and facilities rendered or afforded thereby;

(3) Enter into and perform contracts, whether long term or short term, with any industrial establishment for the provision and operation by the County of the sewerage system to abate or reduce the pollution of waters caused by discharges of industrial wastes by such industrial establishment and the payment periodically by the industrial establishment to the County of amounts at least sufficient, in the judgment of the County Council, to compensate the County for the cost of providing (including payment of principal and interest charges, if any), and of operating and maintaining, the sewerage system or part thereof serving such industrial establishment;

(4) Issue its bonds to finance, either in whole or in part, the cost of the planning, acquisition, purchase, construction, reconstruction, improvement, betterment or extension of any sewerage system;

(5) Pledge to the punctual payment of the bonds and the interest thereon an amount of the revenues derived from the operation of such sewerage system (including the revenues of the existing facilities, if any, comprising a sewerage system which is being improved, bettered, or extended, and the revenues to be derived from any improvements, betterments, extensions thereafter constructed or acquired), or of any part of any such sewerage system, sufficient to pay, on either equal or priority basis, the bonds and interest as the same become due and create and maintain reasonable reserves therefor, which amount may consist of all or any part or portion of such revenues;

(6) Accept from any authorized agency of the State or the federal government, or from persons, firms, or corporations, grants or contributions for the planning, construction, acquisition, lease, reconstruction, improvement, betterment or extension of any sewerage system and enter into agreements with such agency respecting such loans and grants; and

(7) Enter into a contract or contracts with any city or town situated within the County providing for the disposal of sewage collected by any sewerage system either for a specified or an unlimited time and for the charge to be made for such service by any such city or town.

48 Del. Laws, c. 61, § 3; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 2202; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 14; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 15.;

No sewerage system, or any part thereof, shall be constructed or maintained within the boundaries of any city or town situated in the County without the consent of such city or town. The consent shall be given only by an ordinance adopted by the council or other governing body of the city or town in question.

48 Del. Laws, c. 61, § 4; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 2203.;

(a) The planning, acquisition, purchase, construction, reconstruction, improvement, betterment or extension of any sewerage system may be authorized under this chapter and bonds may be authorized to be issued under this chapter to provide funds for such purposes by ordinance of the County Council.

(b) The County Council, in determining the cost of acquiring or constructing any sewerage system, may include all costs and estimated costs of the issuance of the bonds, all planning, engineering, inspection, fiscal and legal expenses, and interest which it is estimated will accrue during the construction period and for 6 months thereafter on money borrowed or which it is estimated will be borrowed pursuant to this chapter.

(c) The bonds shall bear interest at such rates, may be in 1 or more series, may bear such dates, may mature at such times not exceeding 40 years from their respective dates, may be payable in such medium of payment, at such place or places, may carry such registration privileges, may be subject to such terms of redemption, may be executed in such manner, may contain such terms, covenants and conditions, and may be in such form, either coupon or registered, as the ordinance or subsequent ordinances provide. Debt incurred by the County Council pursuant to this chapter may be represented by uncertificated obligations of the County Council which may be authorized in accordance with the same procedures applicable to bonds which are permitted to be issued under this chapter, and the County Council may determine all procedures appropriate to the establishment of a system of issuing uncertificated debt.

(d) The bonds shall be sold at public sale upon sealed proposals after at least 10 days' notice published at least once in a newspaper published in the City of Wilmington at such price and upon such terms, conditions and regulations as the County Council may prescribe; provided, that the County Council may authorize the County Executive to sell such bonds at public or private sale upon such terms, conditions and regulations as it may prescribe.

(e) Pending the preparation of the definitive bonds, interim receipts or certificates in such form and with such provisions as the County Council determines may be issued to the purchasers of bonds sold pursuant to this chapter.

(f) The rate of interest may be determined in advance of sale, or the bonds may be offered for sale at a rate of interest to be fixed by the successful bidder for such bonds.

48 Del. Laws, c. 61, § 5; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 2204; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 14; 64 Del. Laws, c. 318, §§ 7, 8; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, §§ 15, 70.;

(a) Bonds bearing the signatures of officers in office on the date of the signing thereof shall be valid and binding obligations notwithstanding that before the delivery thereof and payment therefor any or all the persons whose signatures appear thereon have ceased to be officers of the County.

(b) The validity of the bonds shall not be dependent on nor affected by the validity or regularity of any proceedings relating to the planning, acquisition, purchase, construction, reconstruction, improvement, betterment, or extension of the sewerage system for which the bonds are issued. The ordinance authorizing the bonds may provide that the bonds shall contain a recital that they are issued pursuant to this chapter, which shall be conclusive evidence of their validity and of the regularity of their issuance.

48 Del. Laws, c. 61, § 6; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 2205; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, §§ 70, 71.;

The faith and credit of the County are pledged to the payment of any bonds issued by the County under this chapter. The County Council shall annually appropriate to the payment of such bonds and the interest thereon the amounts required to pay such bonds and interest as the same become due and payable. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law the County Council may levy an ad valorem tax, without limitation as to rate or amount, upon all property taxable by the County to raise the moneys necessary to meet any such appropriation.

48 Del. Laws, c. 61, § 7; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 2206; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 14; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 15.;

(a) In the event that the County issues revenue bonds, the resolutions authorizing the issuance of such bonds may contain covenants as to:

(1) The purpose to which the proceeds of sale of the bonds may be applied and the use and disposition thereof;

(2) The use and disposition of the revenue of the sewerage systems, the revenues of which are pledged to the payment of such bonds, including the creation and maintenance of reserves;

(3) The issuance of other or additional bonds payable from the revenues of such sewerage systems;

(4) The operation and maintenance of such sewerage systems;

(5) The insurance to be carried thereon and the use and disposition of insurance moneys;

(6) Books of account and the inspection and audit thereof; and

(7) The terms and conditions upon which the holders of the bonds or any proportion of them or any trustee therefor shall be entitled to the appointment of a receiver by the appropriate court, which court shall have jurisdiction in such proceedings, and which receiver may enter and take possession of the sewerage systems, operate and maintain them, prescribe service charges therefor, and collect, receive and apply all revenue thereafter arising therefrom in the same manner as the County itself might do.

(b) This chapter and any such ordinance or resolutions shall be a contract with the holders of the bonds, and the duties of the County and of the County Council and officers under this chapter and any such resolutions shall be enforceable by any bondholder, by mandamus or other appropriate suit, action or proceeding in any court of competent jurisdiction.

48 Del. Laws, c. 61, § 8; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 2207; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 14; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, §§ 15, 70.;

(a) If the County issues revenue bonds under this chapter, the County Council shall prescribe and collect reasonable service charges for the services and facilities rendered or afforded by the sewerage systems, the revenues of which are pledged to the payment of such bonds, and shall revise such service charges from time to time whenever necessary.

(b) The service charges prescribed shall be such as will procure revenue at least sufficient:

(1) To pay when due all revenue bonds and interest thereon, for the payment of which such revenue is or shall have been pledged, charged or otherwise encumbered, including reserves therefor; and

(2) To provide for all expenses of operation and maintenance of such sewerage systems, including reserves therefor.

(c) The service charges when collected shall be applied to the payment of the revenue bonds and interest and to the expenses of such operation and maintenance in accordance with the resolutions authorizing the revenue bonds.

48 Del. Laws, c. 61, § 9; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 2208; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 14; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 15.;

(a) The County Council may charge and collect rents, rates, fees or other charges (in this chapter sometimes referred to as "service charges") for direct or indirect connection with, or the use or services of, any sewerage system. Such service charges may be charged to and collected from any person contracting for such connection or use or service or from the owner or occupant, or both of them, of any real property which directly or indirectly is or has been connected with a sewerage system, or from or on which originates or has originated sewage which directly or indirectly has entered or may enter into a sewerage system, and the owner or occupant, or both of them, of any such real property shall be liable for and shall pay such service charges to the County at the time when and place where the County Council, by ordinance, rule or regulation, determines that such charges are due and payable.

(b) Such service charges shall, as near as the County Council deems practicable and equitable, be uniform throughout the area served by the sewerage system, and may be based or computed either on the consumption of water on or in connection with the real property, making due allowances for commercial use of water, or on the number and kind of water outlets on or in connection with the real property, or on the number and kind of plumbing or sewerage fixtures or facilities on or in connection with the real property, or on the number of persons residing or working on or otherwise connected or identified with the real property, or on other factors determining the type, class and amount of use or service of the sewerage system, or on any combination of any such factors.

48 Del. Laws, c. 61, § 10; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 2209; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 14; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 15.;

(a) In the event that a service charge with regard to any parcel of real property is not paid as and when due, a penalty shall accrue and be due to the County on the unpaid balance at a rate and in a manner to be set by ordinance of County Council.

(b) In the event that any service charge with respect to any parcel of real property is not paid as and when due, the Chief Financial Officer of the County may, at his or her discretion, enter upon such parcel and cause the connection thereof leading directly or indirectly to the sewerage system to be cut and shut off until the service charges and any subsequent charges with regard to such parcel and all penalties thereon are fully paid.

(c) The Office of Finance of New Castle County may at any time notify in writing the person or corporation employing any person responsible for the payment of delinquent service charges hereunder that the charges are due, delinquent and unpaid and thereupon the employer shall deduct from the wages, or from any sum due such employee, the amount of the charges due from such employee, and charge the same against the employee. If such employer refuses or neglects to comply with this section within 3 months from the time of receiving such notice, the employer shall be personally liable for the charges of such person as to whom notice has been given. The Office of Finance may recover the amount of the charges from such employer in an action of debt before any Justice of the Peace. When the amount of such charges is held by any employer under this section, the employer shall pay the same to the Office of Finance within 30 days thereafter. A copy of this section shall accompany all written notices to employers.

48 Del. Laws, c. 61, § 10; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 2210; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 14; 63 Del. Laws, c. 169, § 2; 65 Del. Laws, c. 435, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, §§ 15, 72.;

(a) In the event that any service charge is not paid as and when due, the unpaid balance thereof and any penalties accrued thereon shall be a lien on the parcel of real property with regard to which the service charge was made. The lien shall be superior and paramount to the penalties in such parcel of any owner, lessee, tenant, mortgagee or other person, except the lien of taxes.

(b) If any service charges remain unpaid at the end of 1 year after the due date, or any charges in an amount greater than $250 remain unpaid at the end of 60 days after the due date, the County Council may cause to be brought proper proceedings for the enforcement of the lien and levy the service charges as an assessment with penalties thereon accrued, and all costs thereon, upon the grounds and buildings with regard to which the service charges were made. Such grounds and buildings, or any part thereof, may be sold by the Sheriff of the county as is provided by law.

(c) The Sheriff shall, out of the purchase money of the premises so sold, pay all costs arising from the process and sale to the parties entitled thereto respectively, and shall pay the amount of the service charge with accrued penalties thereon to the County Council. The residue of the purchase money shall be immediately deposited to the credit of the owner or owners of record of the property so sold in a depository bank having been designated by New Castle County.

35 Del. Laws, c. 69, § 3; 38 Del. Laws, c. 69; Code 1935, § 1172; 46 Del. Laws, c. 294, § 2; 48 Del. Laws, c. 61, § 12; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 2211; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 14; 63 Del. Laws, c. 142, § 16; 63 Del. Laws, c. 169, § 3; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, §§ 15, 73, 74, 75.;

(a)(1) The County Council of New Castle County shall establish regulations and fees for the issuance of sewer permits required in § 2216 of this title. Upon issuance of the sewer permit, the fees for such permits shall become liens against the property for which the permit is issued. The lien for sewer permits and the lien for sewer service shall be superior and paramount to the interest in such parcel of any owner, lessee, tenant, mortgagee, or other person, except to the lien of taxes.

(2) The Department of Public Works shall issue the permits and collect the fees arising therefrom for the use of the County Council. The Department of Public Works shall, under supervision and direction of the County Council, prepare a docket to be known as the "New Castle County Sewer Lien Docket" in which shall be recorded the liens for sewer permits. The form of the Docket shall be established by the County Council. No sewer permit lien shall be valid unless duly recorded in the said Docket. All sewer permit liens duly recorded in the Docket shall continue in full force and effect until the liens have been satisfied by payment, and when such liens are satisfied by payment the Department of Public Works, acting under the supervision and direction of the County Council, shall satisfy of record the liens, entering thereon the date of final payment, and signing the Docket. The Department of Public Works, for the use of the County Council, shall receive a fee of $0.50 for each satisfaction so recorded.

(3) The County Council shall also establish the form in which the record of the sewer service liens shall be kept. Such records shall be in the custody of the Department of Public Works.

(b) All proceedings taken and all acts done prior to April 10, 1957, purporting to establish liens for sewer service and for front foot fees are legalized, validated and confirmed, notwithstanding any errors, omissions or irregularities in the act or the establishment of a sewer lien docket or other records relating thereto.

35 Del. Laws, c. 69, § 3; 38 Del. Laws, c. 69; Code 1935, § 1172; 46 Del. Laws, c. 294, § 2; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 2212; 51 Del. Laws, c. 33; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 14; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 15.;

(a) Each municipality or public corporation, or other person, owning or operating any system of water distribution serving 3 or more parcels of real property in the County shall, from time to time after request therefor by the Department of Public Works, deliver to the Department of Public Works a statement showing the amount of water supplied to every such parcel of real property as shown by the records of the municipality or public corporation, or other person. The statements shall be delivered to the Department of Public Works within 10 days after request is made for them, and the Department of Public Works shall pay the reasonable cost of preparation and delivery of such statements.

(b) The occupant of every parcel of property the sewage from which is disposed of or treated by any sewerage system of the County shall, upon request therefor by the Department of Public Works, furnish to the Department of Public Works information as to the amount of water consumed by such occupant or in connection with such parcel and the number and kind of water outlets, and plumbing or sewerage fixtures or facilities on or in connection with such parcel and the number of persons working or residing therein.

48 Del. Laws, c. 61, § 11; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 2213; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 14.;

Each city or town or other public corporation owning or operating any water distribution system serving 3 or more parcels of real property in the County, and every other person owning or operating any such system may enter into and perform a contract with the County that it will, upon request by the County Council specifying a parcel of real property in the County charged with any unpaid service charge under § 2209 of this title, cause the supply of water from its system to such parcel of real property to be stopped or restricted, as the County Council may request, until the service charge and any subsequent service charge charged to such parcel and the interest accrued thereon is fully paid or until the County Council directs otherwise. No such city or town or other public corporation or other person shall be liable for any loss, damage or other claim based on or arising out of the stopping or restricting of such supply, and the County Council shall pay the reasonable cost of so stopping or restricting such supply and of restoring the same and may agree to indemnify such city or town or other public corporation or other person from loss or damage by reason of such stopping or restriction, including loss of profits.

48 Del. Laws, c. 61, § 13; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 2214; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 14; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 15.;

The County Council may make a contract with any city or town within the territorial limits of the County to dispose of or treat by means of any sewerage system of the County the sewage originating in such city or town. Any such contract may be authorized by resolution duly adopted by the County Council and may be made with or without consideration and may contain provisions obligating the County to dispose of and treat all or any part of the sewage originating in such city or town and obligating such city or town to permit the County to dispose of or treat such sewage, either for a specific period of time or for an unlimited time. Any such contract may contain other and different provisions relative to the kind and character of sewage to be disposed of and treated and the compensation, if any, to be paid for such services.

48 Del. Laws, c. 61, § 14; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 2215; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 14; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 15.;

Permits for connecting any property by a drain with any county sewer shall be obtained from the County Council and shall be issued only to plumbers licensed to do business in the State. No permit will be granted for connecting any property by a drain with any sewer unless application is made therefor to the County Council in writing upon blanks furnished by the County Council. The application shall state the full name of the owner, the size and kind of drain pipe to be used and a full description of the premises, its location, the number and size of each building located thereon to be drained, the area of each floor thereof, including the floor of the cellar or basement, all of the purposes for which the drain is to be used, the time when the connection is to be made and other particulars for a full understanding of the subject and that the owner will be subject to all the rules and regulations prescribed by the County Council. The application shall be signed by the owner of the property to be drained and by a plumber licensed to do business in the State. The owner shall also execute a release to the County Council releasing the County Council, its officers and agents and the County from all liability or damage which may in any manner result to the premises by reason of such connection. No permit shall be deemed to authorize anything not therein specifically stated.

35 Del. Laws, c. 69, § 2; Code 1935, § 1171; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 2216; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 14; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 15.;

All necessary plumbing work to be done in connecting any property with a county sewer shall be done by a plumber licensed to do business in this State in a good and workmanlike manner and with good and proper materials, and shall be subject to the approval of the Department of Public Works.

35 Del. Laws, c. 69, § 4; Code 1935, § 1173; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 2217; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 14; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 404, §§ 1, 3.;

Whoever wilfully makes any misrepresentation in any application or makes or maintains any connection with any sewer contrary to the authority granted by permits issued therefor by the County Council, or without a permit therefor in accordance with this chapter, shall be fined not less than $5.00 nor more than $500.

35 Del. Laws, c. 69, § 5; Code 1935, § 1174; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 2218; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 14; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 15.;

(a) The Department of Public Works or its representatives may go upon any land for the purpose of making surveys for sewers, sewer systems, sewage disposal plants or pumping plants or for rights-of-way or other property rights required for the sewers, sewerage systems, sewage disposal plants and pumping plants.

(b) The Department of Public Works or its representatives may inspect, at reasonable hours, any premises, dwellings or other buildings in the vicinity of a county sewer to determine if it is connected to the county sewer, or to determine if the sewer connection has been made or is being maintained in accordance with the regulations of the County Council.

(c) Whoever refuses to permit inspections and surveys at reasonable hours shall be fined not less than $10 for every such refusal.

35 Del. Laws, c. 69, § 6; Code 1935, § 1175; 46 Del. Laws, c. 294, § 3; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 2219; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 14; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 15.;

The powers conferred by this chapter shall be in addition to and not in substitution for the powers conferred by any other general, special or local law. The powers conferred by this chapter may be exercised notwithstanding that any other general, special or local law may confer such powers, and without regard to the requirements, restrictions, limitations or other provisions contained in such other general, special or local law.

48 Del. Laws, c. 61, § 15; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 2220.;

(a) Notwithstanding any language to the contrary, for any residence that the government of New Castle County or any agent or representative thereof in any capacity or form (County) deems that installation of a grinder pump or any other sewage pump or waste management device shall be necessary in conjunction with or in relation to the New Castle County Sewer Rehabilitation Project, the County shall pay any and all expenses, costs, and fees of any form or manner related to maintenance and/or operation of such pump or device and any replacement thereof in perpetuity.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section above, the County shall incur no obligation nor incur any liability where a grinder pump or any other sewage pump or waste management device was installed on or in a residence by the owner or a representative thereof prior to commencement of or subsequent to completion of the New Castle County Sewer Rehabilitation Project.

78 Del. Laws, c. 190, § 1.;