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Obstructed hydrants can delay emergency response
Epic powder helps the summertime water supply outlook; it also shifts public water system maintenance activities to clearing fire hydrants. Eagle River Water and Sanitation District reminds community members that fire hydrants are essential to public safety and must be kept clear of obstructions, including snow.
With over 2,000 fire hydrants to dig out following snow storms, District crews work through priority clearance routes. The first hydrants to be cleared are located near hospitals, schools, and high occupancy properties, such as hotels, due to the associated risk.
District employees clear a space around fire hydrants to meet minimum distances required for operation – front: 10 feet; back: 4 feet; sides: 7 feet; above: 25 feet – so they are readily accessible to firefighters. This cleared space must then be maintained per District Regulations; other activities may not fill in the cleared area.
The District appreciates the voluntary efforts of residents who clear their neighborhood fire hydrant of snow. Even a small walkway to a hydrant makes a difference until District crews can clear a larger area.
Communities such as Beaver Creek, Bachelor Gulch, Arrowhead, and Cordillera help speed up the process by clearing fire hydrants after essential plowing operations. “Those communities get a lot of snow and we’re thankful for their help, especially after storms that drop so much snow in a short period of time,” said Distribution and Collection Manager Roby Forsyth.
A fire hydrant covered with snow can seriously delay its use in an emergency. The District reminds contractors that snow removal activities must not obstruct access to fire hydrants and operations must conform to applicable municipal ordinances in their areas of operation.

For more information on keeping fire hydrants clear, contact Eagle River Water & Sanitation District