EPA fire hydrant mandate could cost Suffolk Water Authority expensive stock of equipment

Gaughran says the water authority was informed last month that a law passed in an effort to reduce lead from drinking water has been expanded to include fire hydrants.

Gaughran says the water authority was informed last month that a law passed in an effort to reduce lead from drinking water has been expanded to include fire hydrants. (12/9/13)

WOODBURY - Suffolk Water Authority Chairman James Gaughran says a stock of about 400 fire hydrants and other equipment, valued at nearly $450,000, will have to be discarded due to the Environmental Protection Agency’s interpretation of a 2011 law.

Gaughran says the water authority was informed last month that a law passed in an effort to reduce lead from drinking water has been expanded to include fire hydrants.

The 2011 law was concerned with brass fittings on the hydrants that contained lead. Gaughran says the Suffolk Water Authority complied with the law by replacing and buying new fittings for the county’s hydrants.

He says that he was told by the EPA that he will now need to replace the fire hydrants, rendering his current stock useless.

“It’s ridiculous,” said Gaughran. “Especially since no one is drinking water that comes out of fire hydrants.”

Sen. Charles Schumer has since asked the EPA to delay the mandate that would force municipalities to replace the hydrants by Jan. 4.

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