Morgantown Utility Board will have representation on new PSC fire hydrant task force

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The Morgantown Utility Board  is preparing for their role as part of the state Public Service Commission’s Fire Hydrant Maintenance and Testing Task Force.

Mike McNulty

MUB General Manager Mike McNulty and engineer Cory Jones will join 13 individuals and groups, including the PSC Legal Staff, Engineering, and consumer advocate divisions. The task force was created by order of the governor to investigate the maintenance practices for the estimated 50,000 fire hydrants in the state.

“MUB was specifically named to serve on that task force,” MUB General Manager Mike McNulty said. “Myself and Cory Jones will be the MUB representatives to the task force.”

The group will develop rules for inspection, testing, flushing, and flow testing of hydrants. The final report by the task force is due no later than June 30.

“We’ll be developing rules for testing, maintaining fire hydrants, and marking the hydrants for fire flow,” McNulty said.

A report on the state’s fire hydrants sent to the state Legislature from commission staff recommended that the supervision and maintenance of the hydrants be placed under the PSC.

“Staff noted that there were significant issues with the way fire hydrants are being inspected and flow tested,” the PSC order said.

The Legislature passed a bill this year “that provides the Commission with the authority to adopt and enforce rules regarding the inspection, flushing, flow testing, and marking of fire hydrants owned by public water utilities.”

According to the PSC report that was finalized in late-January, the agency learned there are 49,906 fire hydrants across the state, 95% of them are owned by utilities. West Virginia American Water Company owns more than anyone else at 10,548.

According to the investigative report, not enough utilities are testing the water flow through their systems and hydrants. The study also found many of the hydrants are old and should be replaced on a faster cycle.

More News

Fit + Active Schools Face-off returns to State Culture Center
It was the third year West Virginia Department of Education held the competitive event between nine elementary and middle schools.
May 17, 2024 - 4:51 pm
Yeager Airport, American Water team up to bring water bottle refilling stations to the airport terminal
The filling stations are expected to boost sustainability efforts at CRW.
May 17, 2024 - 4:36 pm
Kanawha County Commission meets Monday to begin filling Carper's vacant seat
Former longtime Commissioner Kent Carper resigned last week following health problems and an investigation into alleged misconduct.
May 17, 2024 - 4:33 pm
Judge dismisses lawsuit over changes made to Beckley's form of government
Businessman Doug Epling filed the lawsuit earlier this year because he believes the change violates state law.
May 17, 2024 - 3:40 pm