Over 9,000 Hydrants Keep You Safe in an Emergency
A fire hydrant is connected to the water main that runs below the street or sidewalk. To use the hydrant for firefighting, the nozzle cap is removed, a hose is attached to the nozzle and the operating stem on top of the hydrant is turned. Hydrants come in a variety of shapes and colors. Fire flow is not determined by the attractiveness or color of the hydrant, nor does a missing cap or slight defect render it inoperable.
Permitted Use of a Fire Hydrant
To use a fire hydrant as a temporary water source, a Fire Hydrant Use Permit must be obtained from DC Water. This allows the applicant to operate a specific fire hydrant on a temporary basis, typically for construction. The water use may be metered and a water fee assessed. More information on obtaining a permit for fire hydrant use can be found in our permitting section.
Report Misuse of Public Fire Hydrants
Misuse of a public hydrant should be reported to 202-612-3400, the 24-hour Emergency number. Misuse includes those tampering with hydrants and illegally hooking up to hydrants.