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PSC nonetheless awaits 70 late replies to fireplace hydrant survey despatched to water utilities in June

MORGANTOWN — Cities and cities throughout the state proceed to trickle of their responses to the state Public Service Fee’s hearth hydrant security survey — properly after the unique July 28 deadline and following a Sept. 1 PSC letter to 117 delinquent utilities.

The Sept. 1 letter carried a menace: “If you don’t reply to the [original June 30] order inside 10 days, the fee will contemplate issuing a Present Trigger continuing for every utility that has not responded.”

A Present Trigger continuing would require the utility to justify its failure to reply.

By Friday, PSC chair Charlotte Lane stated in a press release, the variety of delinquents had dropped to about 70.

“We’re calling every of them to attempt to get the knowledge earlier than we do the rest,” she stated. “Our aim is to attempt to get the knowledge, not punish them.”

PSC despatched out the fireplace hydrant survey to all water utilities on June 30. Rural hydrants are required to have a 500 gallons-per-minute stream, whereas the statewide minimal is 250 gpm. They have to have the ability to operate for 2 hours — needing 60,000 gallons of storage within the system.

The American Water Works Affiliation units the accepted consensus normal that hydrants should be inspected yearly, and stream examined each three or 5 years.

PSC has stated the survey will permit it to develop a extra in depth database on upkeep and testing of the tens of 1000’s of hydrants throughout the state, what number of are in compliance and what the PSC or the Legislature must do to encourage compliance. It’s by no means earlier than required any utility to supply something apart from the variety of hydrants.

The PSC instructed legislators in August that hydrants are designed to final 100 years, and there are a couple of that outdated, however the majority — in response to the responses filed up to now — are lower than 50 years outdated and elements are nonetheless obtainable.

Prices for changing hydrants could be a deterrent for small utilities, the PSC stated. New hydrants on new water strains price about $5,000 every. New hydrants on current strains, as a part of an even bigger challenge, price $10,000 every, and one utility reported changing 10 at $13,000 apiece.

Domestically, the most-recent survey submissions got here from the city of Worthington and town of Mannington, each in Marion County.

Worthington despatched its response in on Sept. 13 and famous it’s within the midst of a water challenge improve, which might include some new hydrants.

Worthington has 19 utility-owned hydrants, its response stated, with the oldest being 19 years outdated. It inspects, on common, 5 hydrants per 12 months. Its most-recent stream testing was executed in 2018.

Mannington despatched in its reply on Sept. 14. It has 90 utility-owned hydrants, with two older than 50 that should be changed. It inspects all of them yearly. The Mannington Fireplace Division does the stream testing.

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