Fire Hydrants


FIRE HYDRANTS IN FAIRFAX COUNTY

Typical Fire Hydrant
With the exception of private fire hydrants installed on private fire service mains supplied by a private water supply, nearly all fire hydrants located throughout Fairfax County, and the cities and towns within the county, are principally maintained and supplied by five water purveyors (i.e., public water supply agencies or water suppliers) from the following local jurisdictions:

Fairfax County City of Falls Church Town of Vienna City of Fairfax Town of Herndon

Identification. Each water purveyor identifies its fire hydrants with a specific color scheme and/or identification ring. These identifying features are not meant to identify the water capacity of the hydrant, but to identify the water supply system the hydrant is connected to. Fire hydrant capacities are determined through flow testing which is primarily the responsibility of the water purveyor. The water purveyors also issue fire hydrant use permits and/or or temporary hydrant meters to persons, firms, or corporations needing to temporarily obtain water from the public water supply systems (PWSS) by way of a fire hydrant.

Temporary Use Permits & Meters. With the exception that fire departments may use fire hydrants to obtain water for fire fighting or training purposes, use of a fire hydrant as a temporary source of water by any person, firm, or corporation is prohibited until permission is obtained from the water purveyor. Permission is typically granted in the form of a fire hydrant use permit and/or through use of a temporary water meter supplied by the water purveyor. For information about obtaining a fire hydrant use permit and/or temporary hydrant meter, contact the appropriate water purveyor listed above. The Fire Marshal does not issue fire hydrant use permits and/or temporary hydrant meters.

Installation. Public fire hydrant systems in Fairfax County shall be located and installed in accordance with the Water and Fire Regulations section of the Fairfax County Public Facilities Manual (PFM). Furthermore, public fire hydrant installations require plan approval from the water purveyor having jurisdiction. Questions related to the installation of fire hydrants on public water supply systems should be directed the appropriate water purveyor listed above. Private fire hydrants (i.e., hydrants not supplied by a PWSS) shall also be installed in accordance with the Water and Fire Regulations section of the PFM, however, only require plan approval from the Fire Marshal. Questions related to the installation of private fire hydrant systems may be directed to the Engineering Plans Review Branch at 703-246-4806.

Flow Test Data. Flow testing of fire hydrants is primarily the responsibility of the water purveyor. For information about obtaining hydrant flow test data, contact the appropriate water purveyor listed above. The Fire Marshal does not supply fire hydrant flow test data.

When it Snows - Adopt a Hydrant!  Building owners, business operators, and residents can help the Fire and Rescue Department during periods of moderate to heavy snow fall by adopting a fire hydrant serving your business location or neighborhood and clearing away accumulations of snow and ice so that fire hydrants are easily visible and readily accessible in the event of a fire. Snow and ice should be cleared away from fire hydrants a minimum of four (4) feet in all directions so firefighters have plenty of room to make critical hose connections and operate the fire hydrant as quickly as possible during a fire emergency. Remember, it is much easier to clear snow and ice away when it has only accumulated an inch or so, rather than wait until a fire hydrant is buried and not immediately usable.


FUNCTIONS OF FIRE HYDRANTS

Fire hydrants are an essential part of the PWSS serving Fairfax County, and are routinely used for fire protection, water supply system maintenance, and as a temporary source of water.

  • Fire Protection. The main function of most fire hydrants is to supply water for manual firefighting operations usually undertaken by the local fire department. Because of this critical function, fire hydrants must be maintained in an operative condition at all times, periodically inspected and tested, protected from physical damage, and free from obstructions that would prevent its immediate use.
  • System Maintenance. Fire hydrants can also provide a means to periodically flush out water line debris and sediments. During flushing operations, a hydrant diffuser is often used to disperse the water so that it doesn't damage property. Some diffusers also de-chlorinate the water to avoid ground contamination. Hydrants can also be used as entry or exit points for pipe cleaning apparatus.
  • Temporary Source of Water. When no other water source is reasonably available, a fire hydrant can provide a means for obtaining water from the water supply system. This process involves obtaining a fire hydrant use permit and/or portable water meter from the public authority or utility (i.e., water purveyor) responsible for the water supply system.
 
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LOCATE A FIRE HYDRANT or FIRE STATION

Many insurance companies providing homeowner's insurance want to know the name of the fire station closest to your home and the distance from the home to the nearest fire hydrant. You may be able to determine the proximity of the hydrant by simply looking around for the closest fire hydrant and estimating the distance. Most homes in Fairfax County are located within 500 feet of a fire hydrant.

To assist you in determining this information more accurately, contact the Fire and Rescue Department's Information Technology GIS Section via email. Provide the home address and your email address. Request the station name and address that would respond first due as well as the distance to the closest fire hydrant. A response will be sent to your email address with the requested information.

 
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FIRE HYDRANTS AND THE LAW


  • Parking within 15 Feet Prohibited. No person shall park a vehicle within 15 feet of a fire hydrant located on private or public property. Fairfax County Code, Section 82-5-1(4). Parking is prohibited within 15 feet of a fire hydrant located along the curb line or edge of any public or private roadway. No special curb marking is required for enforcement.
  • Removal or Tampering Prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person to remove, tamper with, damage, destroy, use without just cause or authorization, or otherwise disturb any fire hydrant, fire detection and alarm system, fire suppression system, or other fire appliance required by this code or installed in any building or structure within the county except for the purpose of extinguishing fire, training purposes, recharging or making necessary repairs, or when approved by the fire official. Fire Prevention Code as amended by Fairfax County, Section 901.8
  • Unlawful Use Prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person to use, tamper with, damage, or destroy any fire hydrant, valve, or water main within the county, except that fire departments may use such hydrants for fire fighting or training purposes. Such hydrants may be used by a person who has obtained a permit for its use from the public authority or utility having jurisdiction over these items. A person who has a valid permit shall comply with all policies as outlined on the permit or application. Fire Prevention Code as amended by Fairfax County, Section 901.11
  • Obstruction Prohibited. Unobstructed access to fire hydrants shall be maintained at all times. The fire department shall not be deterred or hindered from gaining immediate access to fire protection equipment or fire hydrants. Fire Prevention Code, Section 507.5.4
  • Clear Space Required. No person shall plant or erect any obstruction within 4 feet of any fire hydrant or 10 feet of any fire department connection. Fire Prevention Code as amended by Fairfax County, Section 507.5.5
  • Physical Protection Required. Where fire hydrants are subject to impact by a motor vehicle, guard posts or other approved means shall comply with Section 312 of the Fire Prevention Code. Fire Prevention Code, Section 507.5.6
 
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FAIRFAX COUNTY

Serving the greater part of Fairfax County including the Town of Clifton

Fire Hydrant Use Permit Application
Not Available Online. Call 703-289-6402 to obtain an application.

Fairfax Water (Meter Shop-Hydrant Permits)
4400 Henninger Court
Chantilly , VA 20151

Phone: 703-289-6402, TTY: 711, Fax: 703-289-6412

Shop Hours: Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.

Other Telephone Numbers
- Report Unauthorized Hydrant Use - 703-698-5600
- Damaged or Inoperative Hydrants - 703-698-5613
- Hydrant Flow Test Information - 703-698-5600

Typical Fairfax County Fire Hydrant

Identifying Features - Silver Top/Caps, Red Body, No Jurisdiction Identification Ring

Typical Fairfax County Hydrant

 
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CITY OF FALLS CHURCH

Serving the City of Falls Church & portions of eastern Fairfax County

Fire Hydrant Use Permit Application
City of Falls Church Fire Hydrant Use Permit Application (PDF)

Public Utilities Division
800 W. Broad Street, Suite 207
Falls Church , VA 22046

Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Phone: 703-248-5070, TTY: 711, Fax: 703-248-5214

Other Telephone Numbers
- Report Unauthorized Hydrant Use - 702-248-5044
- Damaged or Inoperative Hydrants - 703-248-5071
- Hydrant Flow Test Information - 703-248-5070

Typical City of Falls Church Fire Hydrant

Identifying Features - Red Top, Silver Body & Caps, No Jurisdiction Identification Ring

Typical City of Falls Church Hydrant

 
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TOWN OF VIENNA

Serving the Town of Vienna & portions of Fairfax County

Fire Hydrant Use Permit Application
Not Available Online. Call 703-255-6383 to obtain detailed information.

Department of Public Works Water and Sewer Services
127 Center Street South
Vienna , VA 22180-5799

Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Phone: 703-255-6383, TTY: 711, Fax: 703-319-8609

Other Telephone Numbers
- Report Unauthorized Hydrant Use - 703-255-6366
- Damaged or Inoperative Hydrants - 703-255-6366
- Hydrant Flow Test Information - 703-255-6383

Typical Town of Vienna Fire Hydrant

Identifying Features - Solid Red Top/Caps & Body, No Jurisdiction Identification Ring

Typical Town of Vienna Hydrant

 
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CITY OF FAIRFAX

Serving the City of Fairfax & portions of Fairfax County

Fire Hydrant Use Permit Application
Not Available Online. Call 703-385-7815 to obtain an application.

Utility Services
10455 Armstrong Street, Suite 300A.
Fairfax , VA 22030

Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.

Phone: 703-385-7920, TTY: 711, Fax: 703-934-8427

Other Telephone Numbers
- Report Unauthorized Hydrant Use - 703-385-7924
- Damaged or Inoperative Hydrants - 703-385-7920
- Hydrant Flow Test Information - 703-385-7918

Typical City of Fairfax Fire Hydrant

Identifying Features - White Top, Red Body & Caps, Jurisdiction Identification Ring

Typical City of Fairfax Hydrant

 
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..

TOWN OF HERNDON

Serving the Town of Herndon & portions of Fairfax County

Fire Hydrant Use Permit Application
Town of Herndon Fire Hydrant Meter Rental Permit Application (PDF)

Department of Public Works (Water & Sewer)
1479 Sterling Road (Town Shop)
Herndon, VA 20170-3647

Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.

Phone: 703-435-6860, TTY: 711, Fax: 703-435-6899

Other Phone Numbers
- Report Unauthorized Hydrant Use - 703-435-6846
- Damaged or Inoperative Hydrants - 703-435-6860
- Hydrant Flow Test Information - 703-435-6856

Typical Town of Herndon Fire Hydrant

Identifying Features - Silver Top/Caps, Red Body, Jurisdiction Identification Ring

Typical Town of Herndon Hydrant


Fire Marshal Patch
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department
Office of the Fire Marshal
10700 Page Avenue
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Telephone: 703-246-4800
Fax: 703-691-0209
Fire Marshal Announcements RSS Icon
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Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. Reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request. In addition, materials such as forms and publications may be available in alternate formats. To request reasonable ADA accommodations or materials in alternative formats, call the Office of the Fire Marshal at 703-246-4803 (TTY: 711 or 1-800-828-1120) or write us at the following address: 10700 Page Avenue, Fairfax, VA 22030.

 


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