A Mount Pearl City councillor said he has received reports that people are using fire hydrants in an inappropriate manner in the city and he wants to stop it before it goes any further.
“We have had a couple of incidents in recent weeks where we have had folks who are not supposed to be using our fire hydrants tapping into them, using them as a source of water and not using them in the proper fashion,” Coun. Andrew Ledwell told reporters following Tuesday’s council meeting.
“Obviously when it comes to fire hydrants it’s very much a matter of public safety, a matter of life and death, and we’re very interested in making sure those units are not used improperly,” said the chairman of the engineering services committee.
Ledwell told council he intends to seek a motion to implement a bylaw that will regulate the use of fire hydrants in the city.
“These are not public car washes, but more businesses (are) tapping in. We haven’t had any residences tapping in, but moreso businesses for commercial water use. Not only does it affect fire safety, but it also affects water levels.
“If people out there are using water in (an) unpermitted basis, we have to be careful in terms of water supply,” he said.
“So there are all kinds of problems with the unauthorized and unpermitted use of fire hydrants. I don’t mean to create the illusion it is an epidemic of any proportion, but we have had a couple of issues and we’re aiming to curb it before it gets to be a bigger issue than what it is.”
Ledwell said he has asked engineering staff to look into the creation of a set of regulations that would govern the use of fire hydrants, making sure only those who have the proper training, background and authorization would have access to them.
“I’m not actually sure how they are accessing them.
“I guess folks think they have the proper training and are using hoses to connect to them.
“But this is very much a matter of public safety, and when it comes time — we pray we never have to use them, but if we do — we want them to be in good working order,” he said, adding as it stands now there aren’t any regulations in place.