The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

Chapter Number 51, Water Service



Water and Light Department

            51.01   Department established

            51.02   Consent to regulations

            51.03   Repairs

            51.04   Application

            51.05   Expenses of connection

            51.06   Rates

            51.07   Powers

            51.08   Liability

Discharge of Surface Waters

            51.20   Sump pump required

            51.21   Discharge of surface waters prohibited


            51.30   Fire Hydrants

            51.32   Private Fire Hydrants

            51.34   Enforcement



            There is established a City Water and Light Department.  The water, power and heating systems as they are now constituted or shall hereafter be enlarged or extended shall be operated and maintained under the provisions of this chapter subject to the authority of the City Council at any time to amend, alter, change or appeal the same.

(Prior Code, § 30.01)


            The City Council shall have control of all utilities that have been accepted by the city and all work done on the utility or to be done within the right-of-way of any street, highway, alley or other public lands to the end that a proper and sufficient system be maintained.

(Prior Code, § 30.02)

 51.03 REPAIRS.

            Every person applying for water, electrical or heat from the city systems and every owner of property for which application is made shall be deemed by such application to consent to all rules, regulations and rates contained in the resolutions or ordinances of the city and to all new rules, regulations or rates duly adopted.  All service, service devices and plumbing maintained by the consumer shall at all reasonable times be subject to inspection by duly authorized representatives of the city. The owner shall be notified of any repairs found to be necessary by such representative and if the owner fails, neglects or refuses to make the proper repairs, then the Council may order the Director of Public Works to correct the situation at the owner’s expense.

(Prior Code, § 30.03)

  • 51.04 APPLICATION.

            No person shall make any type of connection to the city water system, power system or heating system except upon making application therefor on a form provided by the city and receiving a permit issued by the city for such purpose. The application shall include an exact description of the property to be served, the uses for which the connection is requested and the size of service lines requested or to be used. The application shall be accompanied by a fee determined by resolution of the City Council for each service applied for. All connections shall be made under the supervision of the Director of Public Works or the City Engineer.

(Prior Code, § 30.04)


            The City Council may from time to time by resolution establish which phases of the connection to the city services for water, power or heat the landowner or the city is responsible for. The City Council may further determine whether the city or the landowner shall provide meters to read the amount of water, electricity or steam consumed on the premises.

(Prior Code, § 30.05)

  • 51.06 RATES.

            The City Council may from time to time, by resolution, determine the rates to be charged the consumers of water, power and steam heat.  These rates shall be set forth in a rate schedule, a copy of which shall be kept in the office of the City Administrator and which shall be open to examination by the public during reasonable business hours.

(Prior Code, § 30.06)

  • 51.07 POWERS.

            The Director of Pubic Works shall have the right to enter upon the premises for any purpose to carry out the intents of this section, and if he or she should find that any water line or drain connected with any main public water lines, sewer or ditch lines should become obstructive or broken if not fit for the purposes of drainage, then he or she shall notify such property owner and if the owner fails or neglects or refuses to make the proper repairs, then the Council may order the Director of Public Works to correct such situation and the Council shall assess the expenses thereof against the property owners.

(Prior Code, § 30.07)

  • 51.08 LIABILITY.

            The owner, agent, occupant or other person having charge of the premises shall be liable for all costs and expenses in connecting from the main line to the property line, and the city shall limit its liability for the repair or maintenance of any city owned public utility to that part of said utility located within the right-of-way or any highway, street, alley or other public land.

(Prior Code, § 30.08)



            (A)      Sump pump systems required. Sump pump systems shall be recommended in present and required in new residential, commercial and industrial buildings, except in situations of an on grade construction.

            (B)       Storm water discharge prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any owner, occupant or user of any premises to direct into or allow any storm water, ground water, roof run-off, pond overflow, well water or water from residential, industrial, or commercial air conditioning systems to drain into the sanitary sewer system of the City.  No rainspout, or other form of surface drainage and no foundation drainage or sump pump shall be connected or any substance other than sanitary sewage discharged into any sanitary sewer except as provided herein.  It is unlawful for any person or residence to discharge any water from roof, surface, perimeter drain tile, footing tiles, swimming pools, hot tubs or other natural precipitation into the sanitary sewer or adjoining properties.

            (C)       Sump pump discharge. Dwellings, buildings and structures may use a permanently installed sump pump and discharge line to the outside to prevent the inflow infiltration of clear water into the sanitary sewer, except as provide herein. A permanent installation shall provide for year round discharge capability to the outside of the building, connected to a storm sewer, or discharges through the curb to the street. When required, the discharge line from the sump pump shall be of rigid construction without valving or quick connection for altering the path of the discharge.

           (D)      Seasonal Waivers. The Director of Public Works shall have the power and duty of hearing and deciding requests for seasonal waivers from the applicability of the provisions of this Ordinance where strict enforcement would cause undue hardship because of circumstances unique to the individual property under consideration or cause a safety problem. Application for waivers shall be addressed in writing to the Director of Public Works, City of Mountain Iron. The application should identify the property for which the waiver is being applied, the name of the property owner/applicant and describe in detail what characteristics of the subject property create an undue hardship. Within a reasonable time, the Director of Public Works shall make a decision on the matter and serve a copy of such order to the applicant by mail.  Upon approval of an application for a waiver, the property owner shall be allowed to temporarily pump into the sanitary sewer system between the dates of November 1 through April 1 provided the applicant agrees to pay a $25.00 per month surcharge.  The holder of a waiver shall request an authorized City Employee to certify that prior to April 15th of each subsequent year their discharge water connection has been removed from the sanitary sewer. Failure to provide such certification will place the waiver holder in violation of this ordinance.

(E)       Variance.  Any application for a variance will be addressed in writing to the Director of Public Works.  The application shall identify the property for which the variance is being applied, the name of the property owner/applicant and describe in detail what characteristics of the subject property create a problem.  The Director of Public Works will discuss and suggest a solution to the problem with the owner/applicant.  If the owner/applicant is not satisfied, the application along with the Directors of Public Works advice will forwarded for review to the Utility Advisory Board.  The Utility Advisory Board will recommend if a variance for non-compliance should be granted and the amount of sewer surcharge that will apply.  Then, the application for the variance, along with the Utility Advisory Board’s recommendation will be forwarded to the City Council for a final decision.

            (F)       Draintile system. A draintile, sump basket, pump, electrical receptacle and pipe connection to the outside shall be recommended for any existing present residential buildings and required for new residential buildings within the City.  The Building Official may determine the need for such installation when slab on grade construction occurs.  The system shall be installed as follows:

                        (1)       The building shall have a draintile placed around the perimeter of the foundation connected to a sump pit.  The sump pit shall be located at least ten (10) feet away from any inside floor drain on all new construction.

                        (2)       When required a discharge pipe shall be installed to the outside wall of the building with recommended rigid pipe (plastic, copper, galvanized or black pipe).

                        (3)       When required the sump pump electrical supply shall be installed according to the National Electrical Code.

                        (4)       When the construction consists of hollow masonry units, weep hoses shall be inserted into every core of each block of the first course and placed into the gravel filled trench in such a manner to protect the hoses from blockage when the concrete floor is poured.

            (G)      Alternate system. The provision of this section is not intended to prevent the use of any material or method of construction not specifically prescribed by this Section, provided any alternate has been approved and its use authorized by the Building Official.  The building official may approve any such alternate, provided that the proposed design is satisfactory and complies with the provisions of this Section and that the material, method or work offered is, for the purpose intended, at least the equivalent of that prescribed in this Section.  The Building Official shall require that sufficient evidence or proof be submitted to substantiate any claims that may be made regarding its use.  The details of any action granting approval of an alternate method shall be recorded and entered in the files of the Department of the Building Official.

            (H)      Existing installations. When a drain tile system is to be installed in an existing structure that had no system of surface water drainage when first constructed, the system shall be installed the same as for new construction.

(Ord. 01-03, passed 4-7-2003)


            (A)      No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged any storm water, groundwater, roof run-off, yard drainage, yard fountain, pond overflow or any substance other than sanitary sewage into the sanitary collection system.

            (B)       Any person, firm or corporation having a roof, sump pump, swimming pool discharge, cistern overflow pipe or any surface drain now connected and/or discharging into the sanitary sewer system shall disconnect and/or remove same prior to December 31, 2004.  Any disconnects or openings in the sanitary sewer shall be sealed or repaired in an effective, workman-like manner.

            (C)       All required sump pumps shall have a discharge system installed to the outside wall of the building.  The pipe attachment may be a permanent fitting such as PVC pipe with glued fittings.  The discharge shall extend at least three (3) feet outside of the foundation wall.

            (D)      Every person owning improved real estate that discharges into the City’s sanitary sewer system shall allow the City of Mountain Iron employee(s) to inspect the buildings to confirm that there is no sump pump or other prohibited discharge into the sanitary sewer system.  Any person refusing to allow their property to be inspected shall immediately become subject to the surcharge hereinafter provided for.  Any property found to violate this Section shall make the necessary changes to comply with this Section and such changes shall be verified by City of Mountain Iron employee(s).

            (E)       A surcharge of $25.00 dollars per month is hereby imposed and shall be added to every sewer billing mailed on and after December 31, 2004, to property owners who are not in compliance with this Section.  The surcharge shall be added every month, until the property is in compliance.  The imposition of such surcharge shall in no way limit the right of the City of Mountain Iron to seek an injunction in District Court ordering the property owner to discontinue the non-conforming connection to the sanitary sewer system or from pursuing any other legal remedies available.

            (F)       Upon verified compliance with this Section, the City reserves the right to inspect such property at least yearly to verify compliance herewith.

 (Ord. 01-03, passed 4-7-2003)


Ordinance Number 01-18, Adopted Feb 5, 2018


All publicly owned hydrants shall remain visible and accessible from the roadway for maintenance and emergency use. All sides, including top, shall have a minimum three foot clear zone. No person other than authorized City employees shall operate fire hydrants or interfere in any way with the water system without first obtaining a permit to do so from the Public Works Director as follows:

(A)      Permit: Permit to use a fire hydrant shall be issued for each individual job or contract and for a minimum of 30 days and for such additional 30 day periods as the Public Works Director shall determine. The permit shall state the location of the hydrant and shall be for the use of that hydrant and none other.

(B)       Deposit: The user shall make an advance cash deposit set by City Council resolution to guarantee payment for water used and to cover breakage and damage to hydrant, which shall be refunded upon expiration of the permit, less applicable charges for use.

(C)       Rental Charge: The user shall pay a rental charge set by City Council resolution.

(D)      Hydrant Rentals: There shall be a rental fee for fire hydrants, set by City Council resolution, payable by each owner (including the City) upon whose property such hydrant is situated.

(E)       Temporary Connection to Fire Hydrants: An owner of a private water system may make a temporary aboveground connection to a fire hydrant, subject to the time periods, conditions and payment as specified in subsection C of this Section. In addition, the method of connection to the private system shall conform to all existing requirements of the City Code and the type of meter used shall meet the approval of the Public Works Director.


(A)      Section 508 of the Minnesota State Fire Code requires inspection, testing and maintenance of fire protection water supplies which include water lines and fire hydrant systems. Fire hydrant systems shall be subject to periodic tests, maintained in an operative condition at all times and shall be repaired where defective. Additions, repairs, alterations and servicing shall comply with approved standards. Section 101 of the Minnesota State Fire Code authorizes the city to adopt rules to implement the fire code. The City considers the private hydrants part of the municipal waterworks system. It is in the public interest that private hydrants be inspected and tested by qualified personnel and repaired and maintained in good working order to protect life and property.

(B)       Fire Protection Inspections shall be conducted annually on all private hydrants directly or indirectly connected to the municipal water system. This inspection shall include testing of the operation and flow of the hydrants. The owner of the hydrant may use a City approved plumber that is licensed in the state of Minnesota to perform the inspection or elect to have the City perform the inspection for a fee.

(C)       If the property owner elects to have the City complete the inspection a hydrant inspection fee shall be charged for each hydrant inspected by the City or City’s agent and the fee shall be billed once annually to the owner of the private hydrant as part of the water bill. The city council must establish the rates to be charged for a hydrant inspection to the customer annually within the fee schedule.

(D)      In the event the inspection indicates that repairs are required, the city shall notify the owner of the hydrant or water line, with a copy to the fire department, setting forth the repairs required. If repairs are not made within the time period set forth by the Public Works Department in the notification, the necessary repairs shall be made by the city and the cost billed to the owner.

(E)       The property owner may sign a waiver and petition the city for the repairs. The city will contract for the repairs and assess the property in accordance with the city’s assessment policy.

(F)       If the property owner elects to hire their own City approved inspection company that is licensed in the state of Minnesota, they will be required to submit a completed City provided annual inspection form to the Public Works Department.

(G)      Action to Collect Charges: Any amount due for the above charges in excess of 90 days past due shall be certified to the County Auditor for collection with real estate taxes. This certification shall take place regardless of who requested the inspection services, whether it was the owner, tenant or other person. All applications for inspection services shall contain an explanation in clear language that unpaid bills will be collected in real estate taxes in the following year. The City shall also have the right to bring a civil action or other remedies to collect unpaid charges.


Penalties shall be accordance with Section 10.99 of the Mountain Iron City Code.

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