Chris Schulz Published

PSC Investigating State’s Fire Hydrants

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

The Public Service Commission has initiated a general investigation to examine the maintenance and testing of fire hydrants. 

The commission has ordered that all public utility owners of fire hydrants, or that serve private fire hydrants, provide certain information to the commission by July 28.  

They want to know the number of hydrants owned or serviced, their age, descriptions of the infrastructure supporting them, problems or complaints encountered, and maintenance schedules and practices.

One of the commission’s primary charges is to require public utilities to perform in a manner designed to safeguard the interests of the public, including assuring that hydrants will perform adequately. 

The investigation comes after a fire in May that burned down a Charleston house where firefighters could not find a functioning hydrant.

In a press release, the commission said if adequate flow cannot be delivered by a particular hydrant, that hydrant is not fulfilling its purpose as part of the water distribution system and the utility owning or serving the hydrant is not providing adequate service. 

PSC Chairman Charlotte Lane said they are seeking information and will determine if further action is necessary after evaluation.