(a) All Permit Holders.
(1) Applicants may apply for a fire hydrant use permit, and pick up or return a hydrant meter and wrench at the Shop Operation Unit, 4102 Lloyd Street, Hyattsville, Maryland. The Shop Operation Unit office hours of operation for leasing fire hydrant meters are 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for Commission observed holidays. Additional locations where fire hydrant meters may be secured include: the WSSC warehouse located at the WSSC Gaithersburg Service Center, 112 West Diamond Avenue, Gaithersburg, Maryland; or at the WSSC warehouse located at the WSSC Temple Hills Service Center, 8444 Temple Hills Road, Temple Hills, Maryland; or at the WSSC warehouse located at the WSSC Lyttonsville Service Center, 2501 Lyttonsville Road, Lyttonsville, Maryland. The warehouse hours are 8:30 a.m. through 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. through 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for Commission observed holidays.
(2) The Shop Operation Unit will require individuals who request a fire hydrant use permit to complete a permit application. Each individual wishing to lease a fire hydrant meter must produce a letter or complete the attached form (Appendix A) stating the intended use of the hydrant and include the names of any chemicals or additives the applicant plans to use in connection with the proposed fire hydrant use. If the individual represents a business, the company stationery letter or WSSC form must list the firm’s actual address or location (not simply a post office box) and its federal tax identification number. The letter must be signed by a company official giving authorization to sign the permit application. The individual must also produce personal identification, e.g., a Maryland, District of Columbia, or Virginia driver’s license. If the individual represents another person, the requirements regarding presentation of an authorization letter and personal identification are the same.
(3) The Shop Operation Unit will review the application and accompanying letter or completed form to determine whether a permit should be issued, for how long the permit should be issued, what size meter (large or small) should be issued, and whether the permit holder will be allowed to attach the meter directly to WSSC hydrants, or be required to mount the meter on a vehicle. This review will include a determination of whether the applicant has been delinquent in the payment of charges previously incurred for use of WSSC fire hydrants. In the event of such delinquencies, the WSSC reserves the right to either deny the issuance of a permit or increase the amount of required security deposit.
(4) If the applicant’s intended use is determined not to be temporary, the applicant will be referred to the proper Commission office to apply for a normal metered service connection.
(5) If the applicant’s intended use is deemed to be temporary, but appears to require backflow protection measures, the applicant will be referred to the Commission’s Code Enforcement Section. If backflow prevention equipment is required, the Code Enforcement Section will provide information about the type of equipment necessary. Written authorization from the Code Enforcement Section certifying the applicant’s compliance with the backflow protection requirements will be required before the fire hydrant meter will be issued. If backflow protection equipment is required, the cost and means of providing such protection shall be the responsibility of the permittee. Additionally, the installation of such equipment will be required prior to the issuance of a fire hydrant meter.
(6) Applicants who plan to use the hydrants to fill a tanker truck, a tank mounted on a trailer, or any other type of mobile unit will be issued a permit which requires that the WSSC meter be mounted on their vehicle. (See subsection (b) of this section, Tank Truck (Special) Permit Holders.)
(7) Generally a permit will be issued for a maximum of six months. However, permits requested by an individual to simply fill a swimming pool or by a charitable organization in connection with a fundraising activity will be issued for two weeks.
(8) Generally, applicants whose hydrant use applications are approved will, before being issued a fire hydrant meter, be required to provide WSSC with a deposit covering the costs of the meter, currently $150.00 for a small (three-quarter-inch) meter, and $700.00 for a large (three-inch) meter. The deposit must be in the form of a certified check, money order, cashier’s, or treasurer’s check. However, if the applicant has had an existing water and/or sewer account with the WSSC for at least three years, and has a good payment record, a personal check will be accepted covering permits of a normal six-month duration. If such an applicant is requesting simply a two-week permit, WSSC will, beginning February 1997, accept an authorization from the applicant to charge his/her water/sewer account following return of the hydrant meter for all applicable charges, in lieu of any security deposit.
(9) During the term of the permit, the meter’s registration (reading) must be reported monthly to the Shop Operation Unit by calling (301) 206-4343. Such reports can be made at any hour. Additionally, the permittee must immediately report any lost or stolen meter or any registration problems to the Shop Operation Unit at (301) 206-4230 during normal operating hours. If the meter has been stolen, the permittee must also report the theft to the county police. When informed that a meter has been lost or stolen, the Shop Operation Unit will promptly contact the Office of Security and Safety Services.
(10) When operating WSSC fire hydrants and using the hydrant meter, permit holders are required to abide by all conditions listed on the permit. Failure to do so will result in deposit forfeiture, permit revocation, and hydrant meter retrieval.
(11) On or before the permit expiration date, the hydrant meter and accessories must be returned to the Shop Operation Unit or other WSSC warehouse location. Upon return of the meter and accessories, a service charge, water consumption charges at the rate currently applicable to an average daily consumption (ADC) of 1,000 gallons, and the costs of any repairs required to the meter or accessories will be assessed and deducted from the deposit. (A minimum fee equal to 10 percent of the normal deposit will be charged for water consumption. This fee will be charged even if no water is consumed, to discourage leasing but not using the meter.) Service charges are currently as follows: $10.00 for a two-week leasing period, or $75.00 for any period of time longer than two weeks up to the maximum of six months. The balance of the deposit will be remitted to the permit holder within about two weeks of the return of the meter if the deposit was a certified check or money order. Personal check deposit refunds will take approximately three weeks. If the service charge, water consumption, and any damage charges exceed the deposit amount, the permit holder will be invoiced for the difference. If no security deposit was required, all charges will be made to the permit holder’s water/sewer account in line with authorization provided prior to permit issuance.
(12) If the meter is returned late, a charge of $5.00 will be levied for each WSSC business day that lapses between the permit expiration date and the date the meter is actually returned. Regarding any invoice mailed for charges not covered by a security deposit, a one and one-half percent late fee will be assessed against any portion of the invoice which remains unpaid 30 days after date of sending. Also, WSSC reserves the right to charge a returned check fee in accordance with the Commission’s approved fees and charges.
(13) Other fees and conditions apply to the lease of the meter and are contained in the Fire Hydrant Meter Permit and Lease Agreement. Lease applicants are cautioned to familiarize themselves with all terms of the lease.
(14) WSSC employees wishing to lease a fire hydrant meter will be exempt from deposit requirements and service charges. Consumption will be invoiced at the rate currently applicable to an ADC of 1,000 gallons upon return of the meter.
(15) Applicants requiring the use of a fire hydrant meter in the performance of a WSSC contract will be exempt from deposit requirements, service, and consumption charges; provided, that the use of WSSC fire hydrants as a water source is specifically mentioned within the terms of the contract. A copy of the contract highlighting the contract number and the above-mentioned terms will be required of the applicant to be exempted from all charges. The contractor will be responsible for the security of the meter and any damages incurred during its use. Use of the meter is limited to use required in the performance of the WSSC contract.
(16) Tax-exempt charitable organizations wishing to utilize a fire hydrant meter for a fundraising activity, such as a car wash, will be exempt from deposit requirements and service charges. Consumption indicated on the meter will be invoiced at the rate currently applicable to an ADC of 1,000 gallons upon the return of the meter. The maximum term for this type of meter use is two weeks.
(b) Tank Truck (Special) Permit Holders.
(1) Applicants who plan to use a fire hydrant meter to fill a tanker truck or other mobile unit will be required to mount the WSSC meter in a horizontal position on the vehicle, in a manner which will secure the meter to the vehicle, but still allow removal of the meter. The vehicle must also be equipped with a permanently installed filler pipe protected by a six-inch air gap. See Appendix B.
(2) Special permit holders must have the meter installation and vehicle’s filler pipe inspected by the Shop Operation Unit at its Lloyd Street location. Following inspection of the meter installation and filler pipe, and providing the required conditions are met, the Shop Operation Unit will affix a sticker to the vehicle attesting to the vehicle owner’s hydrant connection permit. A reinspection of the filler pipe and air gap is required every other year to secure an updated sticker.
(3) Special permit holders must fill their vehicles through the meter and filler pipe.
(4) Firms which plan to use hydrants to fill a tanker truck or other mobile unit, but which are unable or unwilling to mount the meter on the unit and equip the unit with a filler pipe and air gap, must restrict their use to six WSSC hydrants which the Shop Operation Unit will identify as being specially protected by backflow prevention devices. (CUS 96-01) (CUS 96-01, 1996.)