City of Augusta, ME
Kennebec County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added by Ord. No. 13-112]
The following article is promulgated in order to regulate the inspection, testing, maintenance, correction, and repair of fire hydrants located on private property in the City of Augusta and those fire hydrants located in the rights-of-way of public highways of the City of Augusta that the Greater Augusta Utility District does not own.
The purposes of this article are to:
A. 
Provide standards and requirements for the inspection, testing, maintenance, correction, and repair of fire hydrants located on private property of the City of Augusta, as well as fire hydrants located in the rights-of-way of public highways in the City of Augusta that are not owned by the Greater Augusta Utility District.
B. 
Ensure that every private fire hydrant to which the Fire Department of the City of Augusta or other municipal fire department connects in the event of a fire or other emergency will function as designed to produce the water necessary to respond appropriately to the fire or other emergency.
C. 
Protect the public health, safety and general welfare of the City of Augusta.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
EMERGENCY IMPAIRMENT
A condition where a private fire hydrant is out of service due to an unexpected occurrence, such as frozen or ruptured hydrant components or an interruption of the water supply to the system.
FIRE DEPARTMENT
The Fire Department of the City of Augusta.
HYDRANT
A private fire hydrant as defined below.
IMPAIRED HYDRANT
A private fire hydrant which is not operational due to an emergency impairment or a preplanned impairment.
IMPAIRMENT
A shutdown of a private fire hydrant which renders the hydrant nonoperational and therefore out of service.
IMPAIRMENT TAG
A tag affixed to a private fire hydrant to indicate that the hydrant is out of service. The Fire Department may determine the requirements of an impairment tag and the means and location of its attachment to a hydrant.
INSPECTION
An examination of a private fire hydrant to verify that it appears to be in operating condition and is free from physical damage.
MAINTENANCE
Work performed to keep a private fire hydrant operable or to make repairs.
NFPA STANDARD
Publication 25 of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), titled "Standard for the Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems," 2002, and any subsequent amendments or revisions thereto.
OWNER
The person that holds record title to the property upon which a private fire hydrant is located. For fire hydrants located in the right-of-way of a public highway in the City of Augusta that are not owned by the Greater Augusta Utility District, the owner is the person that owns the fire hydrant itself.
OWNER'S DESIGNEE
Where the owner is not the occupant of the premises upon which a private fire hydrant is located, the occupant, management firm, or managing individual designated by the owner through specific provisions in the lease, written use agreement, or management contract to assume the responsibility to inspect, test, and maintain, correct and repair a private fire hydrant located on the owner's property.
PERSON
Any institution, public or private corporation, individual, partnership, or other entity.
PREPLANNED IMPAIRMENT
A condition where a private fire hydrant is out of service due to work that has been planned in advance.
PRIVATE FIRE HYDRANT
A valved connection to a water main for the purpose of supplying water to a fire hose or other fire protection apparatus and that is not located within the right-of-way of a public highway of the City of Augusta. A private fire hydrant also includes any fire hydrant located in a right-of-way of a public highway in the City of Augusta that is owned by any person other than the Greater Augusta Utility District.
QUALIFIED
Having knowledge of the installation, construction, operation, maintenance, correction or repair of a fire hydrant and the hazards involved.
RECORD
Written documentation of the inspection, testing, maintenance, correction, or repair of a private fire hydrant.
SHALL
Indicates a mandatory requirement.
TESTING
A procedure of periodic physical and operational checks used to determine whether a private fire hydrant is capable of being operated as intended and will perform as intended, e.g. water-flow tests. These tests follow up on the original tests at intervals specified in this article.
A. 
Responsibility for properly maintaining a private fire hydrant shall be that of the owner of the property or the owner's designee. Where the owner of a private fire hydrant has designated an occupant, management firm, or managing individual, through specific provisions in the lease, written use agreement, or management contract, to be responsible for the inspection, testing and maintenance of a private fire hydrant in accordance with this article, the owner's designee shall comply with the requirements of this article and shall be subject to enforcement of this article in the event of a failure to so comply.
B. 
By means of periodic inspections, tests, maintenance, correction, and repair, every private fire hydrant shall be maintained in proper working condition, consistent with this article, the NFPA standard, and the manufacturer's specifications or recommendations.
C. 
Inspection, testing, maintenance, correction and repair shall be implemented with the procedures meeting or exceeding those established in this article and the NFPA standard, and shall be in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications or recommendations. This article shall control in the event of a conflict among any of the aforementioned applicable standards. Inspection, testing, maintenance, correction, and repair shall be performed by qualified maintenance personnel or a qualified contractor.
D. 
The owner or owner's designee shall notify the Fire Department of the City of Augusta and the Greater Augusta Utility District before testing or shutting down a private fire hydrant or its water supply. This notification shall include the purpose for the shutdown, the private fire hydrant involved, and the estimated time that the hydrant will be impaired.
E. 
The owner or owner's designee shall notify the Fire Department and the Greater Augusta Utility District when the private fire hydrant is returned to service.
F. 
The owner or owner's designee shall, within 30 days, correct or repair any deficiencies, damaged parts, or impairments found while performing the inspection, testing, and maintenance requirements of this article.
G. 
The owner or owner's designee shall promptly correct or repair any deficiencies, damaged parts, or impairments of any private fire hydrant of which the owner or owner's designee has knowledge or, in the exercise of reasonable care, ought to have knowledge.
This section provides the minimum requirements for the routine inspection, testing, maintenance, correction, and repair of private fire hydrants. These functions shall be permitted to be carried out simultaneously.
A. 
On or before November 1 of each year, the owner or the owner's designee shall inspect, test, maintain and, if necessary, correct and repair each private fire hydrant to ensure proper functioning, with the necessary repair or corrective action taken as shown in Table 1. Records of these actions will be recorded pursuant to § 148-23 of this article. The owner or owner's designee shall also conduct an inspection of a private fire hydrant after each operation of the hydrant.
B. 
Opening and closing hydrants too fast can have the potential of causing some major problems as well as stir up discolored water. Designees acting or testing a hydrant on behalf of the hydrant owner shall register with the Greater Augusta Utility District. Testing of any private fire hydrant as outlined in this article requires twenty-four-hour notification to the Greater Augusta Utility District.
C. 
When conducting a test of a private fire hydrant, the hydrant shall be opened fully and water flowed until all foreign material has cleared. Flow shall be maintained for not less than one minute.
D. 
Private fire hydrants shall be lubricated annually to ensure that all stems, caps, plugs, and threads are in proper operating condition.
E. 
Private fire hydrants shall be kept free of snow, ice, or other materials and protected against mechanical damage so that free access is ensured.
F. 
Repairs.
(1) 
The owner or the owner's designee shall repair as soon as possible a private fire hydrant which is impaired or otherwise does not function as required by this article, the NFPA standard, or the manufacturer's specifications.
(2) 
After completing all necessary repairs to a private fire hydrant, the owner or the owner's designee shall inspect and test the hydrant as necessary consistent with the standards of this article, including without limitation Table 1, to ensure that the hydrant is operational.
Table 1
Fire Hydrant Inspection, Maintenance and Repair
Condition
Remedy
Hydrant is inaccessible
Make accessible
Barrel contains water or ice (presence of either could indicate a faulty drain, a leaky hydrant valve, or a high groundwater table)
Repair and drain; for high groundwater, it could be necessary to plug the drain and pump out the barrel after each use
Improper drainage from barrel
Repair drain
Leaks at outlets or at top of hydrant
Repair or replace gaskets, packing, or parts as necessary
Cracks observed in hydrant barrel
Repair cracks or replace barrel
Tightness of outlets
Lubricate if necessary; tighten if necessary
Worn nozzle threads
Repair or replace worn hydrant operating nut
Availability of operating wrench
Make sure wrench is available
Cracked or peeled paint; exposed rust; unpainted metal
Remove rust; paint hydrant as necessary
A. 
The owner or owner's designee shall notify the Augusta Fire Department and the Greater Augusta Utility District in advance of a preplanned impairment of a private fire hydrant.
B. 
The owner or the owner's designee shall notify the Fire Department immediately of an emergency impairment of a private fire hydrant.
C. 
The owner or owner's designee shall affix an impairment tag approved by the Augusta Fire Department to an impaired hydrant at the commencement of a preplanned impairment and at the time of discovery of an emergency impairment.
D. 
Once the necessary inspection and testing confirm that repairs have restored a private fire hydrant to operational status, the owner or the owner's designee shall remove the impairment tag and shall notify the Augusta Fire Department and the Greater Augusta Utility District that the hydrant is operational.
A. 
Records shall indicate the procedure performed to inspect, test, maintain, correct, and repair a private hydrant. Such records shall include the organization that performed the work, the results, the date work was performed, and other pertinent information as the Fire Department shall require.
B. 
Records shall be maintained by the owner or the owner's designee.
C. 
By December 31 of each calendar year, the owner or owner's designee shall submit to the Fire Chief of the City of Augusta a record documenting the annual inspection, test, maintenance, correction and repair of each private fire hydrant and its components.
D. 
The owner shall retain the original purchase, installation and maintenance records of a private fire hydrant for the life of the private fire hydrant.
E. 
Inspection records shall be retained for a period of one year after the subsequent annual inspection required by this article.
A. 
A civil penalty of not more than $100 may be imposed for a violation of this article. Each week that the violation continues shall constitute a separate violation of this article.
B. 
Corporation Counsel may file a complaint to recover civil penalties for violations of this article.
C. 
Other relief. In addition to the enforcement procedures available, the City of Augusta may pursue any remedy authorized by law, including, without limitation, the maintenance of a civil action in Superior Court to obtain injunctive and other appropriate relief.