Private Fire Hydrants

Private Hydrant Policy

Purpose:

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines to allow private fire hydrants to be operated and maintained as part of the La Crosse Water Utility’s normal program, and to enhance the reliability of private fire hydrants. This policy establishes minimum requirements for private fire hydrants to be considered for operation and maintenance under the Utility’s program.

Policy:

  1. For any private fire hydrant to be considered for inclusion in the Water Utility’s operation and maintenance program, the following minimum conditions shall be met:

    • Hydrant equipment shall comply with current requirements of the City of La Crosse standard specification.

    • Hydrant installation shall include a functional hydrant isolation/control valve.

    • Hydrant installation shall be calendar year 2000 or newer, or

    • In lieu of requirements of item 1. B., hydrant owner shall provide records of minimum annual/bi-annual hydrant maintenance following installation. No hydrants will be considered if installed before 1990.

    • Prior to including private hydrant in its normal operation and maintenance program, the Water Utility will inspect the location and condition of the hydrant and determine if it’s functional. The hydrant owner will be notified whether the hydrant is acceptable under this policy or if repairs or modifications are necessary before the hydrant can be included. The owner will also be notified of possible concerns related to property damage that could result from flushing.

    • Hydrant location shall be accessible for Fire Department use as determined and approved by the La Crosse Fire Department.

    • Hydrant shall be painted blue for identification as a private hydrant.

    • Hydrant owner shall provide written easement to the private hydrant in a form as approved by the City Attorney.

  1. Operation and Maintenance of Private Hydrants

    • Private hydrants will be operated and flushed as a part of the La Crosse Water Utility’s normal program. Flushing frequency and schedule will be determined by the Water Utility and may vary year-to-year. As much as possible, private hydrant owners will be notified in advance of the approximate flushing schedule. Private hydrant owners are specifically notified herein that water system flushing may be conducted during overnight hours, from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM, or as determined to best provide system service.

    • The Water Utility will take reasonable precautions (diffusers, splash boards, etc.) to control the flow of water while flushing. The Water Utility will not be responsible for damages to property that result from flushing private fire hydrants.

    • In the event normal operation and/or flushing results in failure or required maintenance of a private fire hydrant, the hydrant owner shall be responsible for replacement of, or repairs to, the hydrant. The Water Utility will inform the hydrant owner immediately of deficiencies identified during operation and/or flushing. The hydrant owner may hire the Water Utility or a qualified contractor to complete the work needed to restore the hydrant.

    • Charges for the Water Utility to replace or complete maintenance on private hydrants shall be as follows:

      • Hydrant Replacement:
        One crew-day (4 people) of labor and equipment plus actual cost of new hydrant and required parts.

Plumbers & Contractors Links

Locating & Operating the Water Service Curb Box

Plumbers and/or property owners should contact us at (608) 789-7536 before operating the curb box.  We will mark the box and make sure it is working correctly. 

Locate and Check Policy

Diggers Hotline

Call Diggers Hotline® a minimum of three working days before starting any outdoor construction or home improvement project that requires digging. They can help identify costly and dangerous utilities that can be buried just inches beneath your yard's surface.

24 hours a day, 7 days a week you can call 1-800-242-8511 or file a request with Diggers Hotline online by clicking here