Fire hydrants are maintained and available at all times for the use of fire fighting, training, and water system maintenance. The opening or closing, tampering, connection to, or withdrawal of water from any publicly owned or privately owned fire hydrant connected to the City of La Crosse Water Utility water system is expressly prohibited, except in compliance with the terms of the City of La Crosse Hydrant Use Policy and the Fire Hydrant Use Application and Agreement.
Completed Fire Hydrant Use Application and Agreements can be returned to one of the following:
- La Crosse Water Utility Meter Shop: 800 East Ave N
- By Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- City of La Crosse Utilities Office: 400 La Crosse Street, 5th Floor
City of La Crosse Hydrant Use Policy
The purpose of this policy is to protect City fire hydrants and the water system from damage and contamination. This policy establishes rules and requirements for permitted uses of water system hydrants in the City of La Crosse.
- All hydrant users shall be required to have a current Fire Hydrant Use Agreement in-place and on file in the Utilities office.
- Fire protection and water system maintenance are the primary, intended uses of system hydrants. Fire hydrants are designed for short-term, infrequent use. Continuous or long-term use causes hydrant damage and will not be permitted. Examples of uses that are not permitted include, but are not limited to, seasonal lawn and garden watering and other recurring uses where a permanent water service is warranted, as determined by the Water Utility Superintendent or his/her representative.
- No hydrant use will be allowed under conditions that may cause damage to the hydrant or the water system, or potentially affect the quality of the public water supply, as determined by the Water Utility Superintendent or his/her representative.
- The La Crosse Water Utility (Utility) reserves the right to limit the number of hydrants that are available for use, designate specific hydrant locations, or deny use of hydrants.
- Any use of hydrants in the City of La Crosse shall require installation of an approved method of cross-connection control AND a water meter or other approved water use recording method.
- The Utility will provide a water meter/cross-connection control Assembly (Assembly), and installation & operation guidelines for approved use of City hydrants. The following conditions shall apply:
- Except for fire protection and emergency water system maintenance, hydrant use will be limited each year between November 1 through March 31. Hydrant use may be allowed during these times, weather and temperature permitting. Any person who is permitted to use hydrants during these times must report the location(s) of hydrants (608/789-7384) daily by 2:00 PM.
- Persons using a La Crosse Hydrant shall agree to legibly complete and sign a Fire Hydrant Use Agreement and provide the Utility with all required information.
- Persons using La Crosse hydrants shall provide the Utility with a weekly report summarizing the location(s) of hydrants used in the City.
- Persons using La Crosse hydrants are responsible for all damages to the hydrants caused by their use.
- Hydrant Assemblies (5/8-inch & 3/4-inch) shall be returned only during normal business hours for the Utility’s Myrick facility. Similarly, 3-inch Assemblies will only be retrieved by the Utility during normal business hours for the Utility’s Myrick facility. Normal business hours for the Myrick facility are Monday – Friday, 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM, excluding holidays. Returned items will be inspected by the Utility. Any hydrant Assembly returned in damaged condition will be charged back to the hydrant user at full repair or replacement cost.
- Meters used with hydrants shall be supplied by the Utility. Meters are available from the Myrick Pumping Station only during normal business hours for the Myrick facility.
- Hydrant meter sizes are limited to 5/8-inch, ¾-inch, and 3-inch. Fixed quarterly charges for the meter, and water use charges, will correspond to current rates as reviewed and established by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission.
- Cross-connection control devices
- For 5/8-inch and ¾-inch hydrant Assemblies, cross-control control devices for hose connections will be provided.
- Integral Assemblies for 3-inch hydrant meters are available from the Utility with the following conditions:
- The Utility will stock and certify a maximum quantity of eight (8) Assemblies suitable for use with the 3-inch hydrant meters. Depending on certification status, all eight units may not always be available. Assemblies will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Unless specifically approved, contractors will be limited to one, 3-inch Assembly for their business. Under no circumstances will more than two, 3-inch Assemblies be allowed per business. If all available Assemblies are in-use, no additional 3-inch hydrant meters will be permitted.
- A minimum of one day’s notice shall be required to schedule installation, removal, and relocation of hydrant Assemblies.
- Utility personnel will initially install the Assembly to assure proper installation at the hydrant. Unless the user is specifically authorized by the Utility to remove and re-install the device, Utility personnel only shall install, remove, and move Utility-owned hydrant Assemblies.
- Hydrant use requiring installation of a Utility-supplied hydrant Assembly will not be permitted on weekends or City-observed holidays.
- Charges, as established the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, shall be charged to cover costs for operation, maintenance, replacement and testing/calibration of Utility-owned hydrant Assemblies.
- Overtime labor costs resulting from requests to install, remove or relocate hydrant Assemblies will be charged to the hydrant user.
- Permitted hydrant users may purchase and use their own cross-connection control device, to be used with a Utility-issued 3” water meter, provided:
- The device is approved by Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS).
- The device is maintained as required by manufacturer’s recommendations.
- The device is certified as required by current Wisconsin DSPS Code. Hydrant user shall be required to submit and maintain documentation of current certification status of the device to the Utility.
- The device shall exactly match the pipe thread standards of the hydrant meter supplied by the Utility, with no adapters or modifications allowed. 3-inch hydrant meters are supplied with a 2-1/2” NPT male connection.
- The installed, private meter/cross-connection control device assembly shall be supported from the ground such that the hydrant is not bearing the weight of the assembly.
- The Utility will provide information instructing permitted hydrant users on the proper operation and use of City fire hydrants. Hydrant users are responsible for reading and following these operating instructions, as well as for damage to the hydrants resulting from improper use.
- Any hydrant damaged by improper use will be repaired by the Utility. Charges for hydrant repairs will be billed to the party responsible for the damage.
- Violation of any part of the City of La Crosse Hydrant Use Policy will result in immediate loss of hydrant use privileges.
- The current Hydrant Use Policy will be filed with the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. Penalties may result for violation of this Policy in accordance with the requirements of current City of La Crosse Municipal Code.
Originally Approved by the Board of Public Works: April 11, 2003. Updated and approved by the Board of Public Works: December 18, 2017.