Dry Hydrant Design #62 - Permitting
By President Mark Davis
January 18, 2024

Some recent discussion occurred in our Members Area about the installation of a dry fire hydrant in a stream. The rules really vary from State to State on what can be installed in a body of water. Some of that depends on the type of body of water in terms of navigation, tides, and wetlands. Some of that depends on how the system is installed and how much water draw is expected. The bottom line is that installing a "fixed" pipe into a waterway to access fire protection water can be complicated and a lengthy process, so it is best to do your research before getting started. There most likely will be permits needed to do the work. The good news is that in some States, some variances are granted for fire protection needs...but it is always best to check first. We recommend starting at the local level with any County or municipal or wetland authority. They should be the most knowledgeable about waterway work. Another agency is the local road and/or bridge department since many bridges span waterways and often those bridges have "open" maintenance/repair/replacement permits already assigned. The local agencies will most likely also have a good understanding of State and Federal waterway laws.

In the photo that accompanies this News Story, approval from two different agencies was needed before the installation was approved. The State environmental department had to approve the strainer being installed under water and the County public works department had to approve the attachment to the culvert wall. The State's concern was disturbance of the stream bed and the volume of daily water withdrawal. Because the design of the system did not place the strainer on the stream bed and no work was done in the stream (meaning workers in the stream) no permit was needed from the State. They did however check the final installation.

Because the installation bracket did not require anydrilling or anchoring to the culvert wall, the County required no special permits. The work was done under an existing maintenance permit for the culvert. Everything worked out just fine thanks to the homework that was done first.