From the Times Newsweekly:
City Council Member Elizabeth S. Crowley, chair of the Fire and Criminal Justice Committee, introduced legislation on Tuesday, Aug. 2, that would require the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to fix fire hydrants throughout the city in a timely manner.
According to Crowley, the bill aims to ensure that, when fire companies respond to a fire, they will have a working hydrant to hook up to.
The legislation comes after an audit done by City Comptroller John C. Liu, which revealed that a significant amount of repairs did not meet the DEP’s internal time goals. The comptroller’s audit revealed that, on average, it took the DEP over 15 days to fix high priority fire hydrants, which the FDNY defines as hydrants near schools, hospitals, and seniorcitizen housing, among others, and 18 days to repair regular hydrants.
Citywide, 43 fire hydrants went over a year without being properly repaired, according to a report. One hydrant in particular, at 116th Street and Liberty Avenue in Richmond Hill, took 368 days to fix.
Crowley’s office noted that the DEP does not have any written standards for repairing hydrants in New York City, only an internal goal to repair high-priority hydrants within 10 days. Consequently, 38 percent of the hydrants surveyed did not meet this standard.
As described, the legislation will require that the DEP repair high-priority hydrants within seven calendar days of receiving a complaint and regular hydrants within 10 days. The agency will also be required to establish a method for reporting tracking the repair of all hydrants.