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New INDIANA Law on Water and Sewer Main Extensions

Posted By Wessler Engineering on August 25, 2020

Regulations - Folder Register Name in Directory. Colored, Blurred Image. Closeup View.The following information was provided courtesy of Accelerate Indiana Municipalities (Aim).

We want to make sure you are aware of the following INDIANA legislation and to be aware of Accelerate Indiana Municipalities (Aim)’s upcoming September 1 webinar as a resource to learn more. The registration link is at the end of this blog.

A bill that passed during the 2020 session, HEA 1131, requires all municipally-owned utilities to follow the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) rules for water and sewer main extensions (see 170 IAC 6-1.5 for water and 170 IAC 8.5-4 for sewer). Although jurisdictional municipally-owned utilities are already subject to these rules, non-jurisdictional utilities now also must comply when entering into agreements for water and sewer main extensions.

In an effort to make this process more manageable, the IURC has released guidance:

The main impetus for Rep. Jim Pressel (R-Rolling Prairie) to introduce HEA 1131 was to create a standard for non-jurisdictional municipal utilities to pay for “upsizing” mains, so that the utility would be required to pay the difference in cost when the utility is requiring a developer to install a bigger main than is necessary to serve their development.

However, Rep. Pressel and other leaders of this effort felt the cleanest way to do this would be to directly tie to the IURC main extension rules. Our efforts to convince legislators to accept narrower language were unsuccessful, and the final version of the bill requires non-jurisdictional utilities to follow the IURC’s water and sewer main extension rules.

The new law applies only to the IURC’s main extension rules; it does not put non-jurisdictional utilities under the IURC’s full jurisdiction for rates and charges.

For more information and discussion on this topic, Aim is hosting a webinar with utility experts on Tuesday, September 1 at 10 a.m. You can register for the webinar here.