Chris Schulz Published

Fire Hydrant Task Force Set To Issue Findings, New Rules

A red fire hydrant sprays water out of a fixture. The hydrant is in front of a green field cast in shadow. Farther in the background is a road in sunlightkarenkh/Adobe Stock

A task force created by the Public Service Commission of West Virginia to write rules governing the testing and safety of the state’s 50,000 fire hydrants completed its work Monday after holding three public meetings.

Awareness around fire hydrants in the state rose after a Charleston man’s house caught fire and multiple fire hydrants were not functioning.

The PSC created the task force earlier this year after investigations into service providers revealed a significant percentage of the state’s hydrants are fifty-years of age or older. 

A report resulting from the investigation advised the prompt replacement of more than 5,300 hydrants based on age alone.

Rules for the inspection and testing of public fire hydrants must be submitted to the commission by June 30, and will be open to public comment for 30 days.

After that time, the commission will issue an order enacting the state’s first rules for overseeing the integrity of fire hydrants including requiring that all fire hydrants be inspected annually and that they be tested for an adequate flow of water at least every five years.