Fire hydrants are a vital component of fire operations and constant maintenance is required. The City of South Portland contracts with the Portland Water District (PWD) in order to supply the community with over 600 fire hydrants for emergency use. As part of this contract, the PWD is responsible for maintaining the hydrants, which includes regular cleaning, flushing, painting, and all needed repairs. Fire department personnel are responsible for the initial flagging and snow removal after all winter storms. During the summer months, it might also be necessary for department personnel to trim around some of the hydrants as needed.
In the city are numerous private hydrants (shopping centers, industrial areas, and even housing developments). Hydrants in these locations are required by City Ordinance to be maintained by the property owners, which includes ensuring the hydrants are shoveled after a storm.
As a reminder, it is illegal to block any fire hydrant. Vehicles found to be blocking a hydrant will be ticketed and/or towed. It is also illegal to bury a hydrant with snow by either snow plowing or snow blowing.
Use of hydrants for other than fire suppression activities’ (such as filling pools) are forbidden unless prior arrangements have been made with the Portland Water District and the South Portland Fire Department.
Do you have a hydrant near your home? If so, do you take the time to clear snow and debris away from it? Snow covered hydrants are of no use to anyone and during emergencies firefighters must take the time to clear snow/debris away before they can be used. This leads to a time delay in supplying water to the fire ground, which could make a difference in saving a life or further property damage. After each storm department personnel have to go out and make sure that all 600+ hydrants are accessible. As part of the adopt-a-hydrant program we ask that the next time you are shoveling your property, please take the time to shovel the hydrant nearest you. We do not require notification when adopting a hydrant; this is a voluntary/informal program. Your help is greatly appreciated and will not go unnoticed as it will reduce the time and cost of clearing hydrants in addition to ensuring that the hydrant closest to you will be available.