Let’s stop ignoring leaking fire hydrants in NYC

Video editing by Eva Scazzero. Video sources can be found at the bottom of this article.

There are 8.4 million people who live in NYC and only 568 hydrant complaints to 311 have been recorded over the last six years.

A leaking New York City fire hydrant can waste up to 1,000 gallons of water per minute, according to the city’s Department of Environmental Protection.

Although we don’t have the exact cost of NYC hydrant water per gallon, if we use the same scale the NYC 2015 Drinking Water Supply and Quality Report uses for the average single-family household’s water service, the cost of 1,000 gallons of water in NYC is around $5.11.

This means a hydrant that is on full blast for 12 hours is potentially costing the city, $3,679.20. And that’s just one hydrant.

New York City is committed to prioritizing hydrants reported as “running full blast” by inspecting them within 24 hours.

There are three categories for reporting fire hydrant leakage in NYC:

Taken from nyc.gov http://on.nyc.gov/KApGPR

The city provides a way for passerby-ers to report hydrant defects, helping the city save water and money. You can either call 311 to report it or fill out an online form.

Want to learn more?

Here is a map of hydrant complaints 311 has received from 2010 to present (the data is updated automatically).

Here is a CartoDB map by Timothy Martin that shows the significant increase of open hydrant complaints during summer months.

Data sources

Video sources:

  • Leaking Fire Hydrant, YouTube video published by Dies Weijschedé
  • Morning at The Fire Hydrant With Litter, YouTube video by StuffSeenInTheBronx
  • NYC Fire Hydrant running full blast, YouTube video published by Carlos Bedoya Ortiz
  • Free car wash by Fire Hydrant in Manhattan, NY, YouTube video published by KC CHUB
  • Leaking Fire HydranT!, YouTube video published by Coolness Rising
  • How do I report a leaking fire hydrant? YouTube video published by nycgov
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