Newsletter Sign-up Email a Friend Printer Friendly Format Translate This Page Text Size Small Medium Large


May 11, 2005

Contact: 311

Fire Department Conducting Semi Annual City Wide Survey of Fire Hydrants. Brown Water Is a Short-Term Condition

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection and the New York City Fire Department are in charge of keeping our vital fire fighting infrastructure in working order.

To accomplish this, the Fire Department checks all the City’s 108,000 fire hydrants, twice annually, once in the spring and once in the fall. When they discover hydrants that are out of service they report their location to DEP. DEP is responsible for repairing the individual hydrants. In order to check and repair hydrants, the DEP must turn off valves and various pipes leading to the hydrants to ensure that they are working. This on-off process can cause temporary brown water conditions in adjacent residences. This is not a public health issue; it is a short-term aesthetic problem. The importance of this process is that fire hydrants be available for fire fighting at all times. The program is done on borough by borough and/or neighborhood by neighborhood basis. There is no need for concern. If you experience brown water for a short time as a result of the hydrant survey program, just let the tap flow until the water runs clear.

In addition, at other times of the year, DEP and the Fire Department depend on the public to notify them about leaking hydrants or hydrants that appear to have been knocked down by vehicles. If anyone is aware of these conditions, please call 311 immediately

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600