Fire hydrants are used by many people for different reasons as outlined below. Use of public fire hydrants by unauthorized persons poses a threat to the health and safety of our customers, as well as a potential loss of revenue.
Fire Protection. The main function of fire hydrants is to supply water for firefighting operations. Because of this critical function, fire hydrants must be maintained in an operative condition at all times, periodically inspected and tested, protected from physical damage, and free from obstructions that would prevent its immediate use.
System Maintenance. SCWA uses fire hydrants to periodically flush out water main sediments. Hydrants are also used by us to conduct fire flow tests for fire rating organizations, insurance companies, fire departments and other interested parties.
Temporary Source of Water. When no other water source is reasonably available, a fire hydrant can provide a means for obtaining water from the water supply system. Accordingly, appropriate rules and procedures have been set up for proper legal hydrant use. This process involves obtaining a fire hydrant permit from SCWA as outlined under "Obtaining a Hydrant Permit"
When it snows - Adopt a Hydrant! Building owners, business operators, and residents can help the Fire Departments during periods of snow by clearing away accumulations of snow and ice so fire hydrants are easily visible and readily accessible in the event of a fire. Snow and ice should be cleared away from fire hydrants a minimum of four (4) feet in all directions so firefighters have plenty of room to make critical hose connections and operate the fire hydrant as quickly as possible during a fire emergency.
Obtaining a Hydrant Permit:
Except for the fire departments and the Suffolk County Water Authority, anyone using a fire hydrant must have a permit. This is to prevent water contamination from back-flows and improper operation. The Authority inspects user’s equipment, vehicles, certifications, registrations, and provides instructions on proper use prior to issuing permits. A permit is required for each vehicle that will be using hydrants.
The following entities can apply for a permit to use fire hydrants:
•Tree / pesticide sprayers
•Charitable and Non-Profit Organizations, Community Groups
*Water transport permit holders must submit daily number of fills and hydrant locations.
Hydrant Use Permits will not be issued for a property in lieu of obtaining a water service.
Hydrants are for non-potable use only.
In addition to the permit fee, a vehicle inspection fee will be charged to applicants requiring vehicle inspections. Fee is per vehicle.
All permits expire at the end of the calendar year of issue.
A blue and white decal and a hydrant ring imprinted with the current year will be issued along with a written permit to represent the approval of use by the Suffolk County Water Authority. A copy of the permit must be kept in the user’s vehicle and shall be made available upon request from employees of SCWA, Suffolk County Department of Health Services, NYS DEC, fire department, police or local Code enforcement officials. A list of permit holders / vehicles will be provided to Suffolk County and Municipal Police Departments for enforcement purposes.
Non compliance with any operating provisions, procedures and or rules of hydrant use, constitutes a violation of Suffolk County Administrative Local Law #1-1984, Chapter 471 and would mean a loss of permit use, and or a potential violation fine of up to $2,000.
Concerned individuals who witness non-compliance of operating provisions should obtain vehicle make, model and license plate number of offender and contact SCWA Customer Service Center at (631) 698-9500.