News & Announcements

March 25th, 2024

WV PSC appoints MUB to state Fire Hydrant Maintenance and Testing Task Force

The Public Service Commission of West Virginia has appointed Morgantown Utility Board to the newly created Fire Hydrant Maintenance and Testing Task Force. The task force was created following a June 2023 statewide investigation into the maintenance and testing of the state’s 50,000+ fire hydrants.

“We appreciate the opportunity to work with the PSC and other stakeholders on finding practical, cost-effective solutions to improve fire hydrant testing and maintenance practices among all water utilities,” said MUB General Manager Mike McNulty.

In 2023, the Commission ordered that utilities owning fire hydrants answer a questionnaire on hydrant maintenance and testing. The PSC received answers to those questions from 257 water utilities throughout the state. As part of this process, the PSC also requested records related to each hydrant.

MUB reported owning 1,065 hydrants and spending nearly $100,000 annually in maintaining and replacing hydrants. The utility also conducts roughly 1,100 hydrant inspections annually.

“In addition, we contract with Strand Associates for modeling of fire hydrant hydraulic capacities while working closely with the Morgantown Fire Department to flow hydrants,” McNulty said. “We keep detailed records of these activities and other hydrant maintenance practices.”

MUB’s comprehensive hydrant management program is one of the reasons the PSC identified the organization to sit on the task force.

“Having the Commission specifically identify MUB as being one of the required members of the task force speaks volumes about our commitment to protecting public health and safety,” said McNulty. “It similarly reflects well on MUB’s continuing leadership role in our state, something for which we take great pride.”

McNulty says that MUB looks forward to contributing to the PSC’s efforts.

“Fire safety is something that we take very seriously, and we completely support the idea of standardizing hydrant maintenance, testing, and record retention procedures. Practical solutions are needed to achieve those goals along with obtaining funding to ensure consistent implementation without burdening ratepayers,” he added. “We look forward to getting to work.”