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Dear PoPville – Broken non-working fire hydrant, down for over a week

by Prince Of Petworth January 17, 2013 at 2:30 pm 15 Comments

Dear PoPville,

Once again someone has run over and destroyed the mid-block fire hydrant in the 1800 block of Wyoming Avenue, NW. Once again no water gushed or even dribbled out, which means the hydrant was not working (for how long, one wonders) and would have been of no use at all had there been a fire in that block. It’s been that way for over a week now, though the City did pick up all the discarded Christmas trees piled next to, but not obscuring it.

The last time this happened, about 18 months ago, I posted a photo and note about it on PoP. Someone from the City posted a response saying I should have sent the information to the City’s 311 website rather than posting it.

So this time I did go to the City website and tried to submit the info. No luck.

I went the City’s website, then to the City “Services” home page, clicked on “Request Center Online.” Then clicked on the “Select Service” tab, the “Submit a New Service Request.” But then I had to select from a drop-down menu a “Service Type” before it would let me try to go forward. I can choose from list of a pretty thorough 87 subjects, ranging from “dead animal pickup” to “potholes” to “sign missing stop investigation” even “parking meter,” but nothing referring to “fire hydrant.”

If I choose the other option of “keyword search, under keyword
fire” and under “F,” I find three choices (all available on the original drop-down):

FEMS: Community Events
FEMS: Fire Safety Education
FEMS: Smoke Alarm Application

Keyword: “hydrant” produces no results.

But I cannot continue without choosing one of the 87 original choices. And that is after spending a good 10 minutes just trying.

So unless a dead fire hydrant qualifies for dead animal pickup, I’m back to PoP, now Popville. Is there a simpler way to report this problem? I just want it taken care of, but not with just a new fire hydrant, but with one that works. THANKS!

  • Prince Of Petworth

    DC Water also said last time:

    “Hi there. You can report a broken or missing fire hydrant by calling the DC Water 24-hour Command Center at (202) 612-3400, or by sending a tweet to @mydcwater.”

    • Anonymous

      Worth noting they’ve changed their twitter handle to @dcwater.

  • Anonymous

    water not coming out doesn’t mean it’s broken. the valve is located below street level.

    • ah

      +1. The big bolt on top turns the valve located below. If the valve stem is broken off while the valve is in the closed position, no water will come out.

  • Anonymous

    When doing this on-line doesn’t work, call 311 (DC city wide call center). They’ll put in a service request and give you a tracking number (which you can then track on-line).

  • I just spent 20 seconds googling the phrase “dc how to report a broken fire hydrant”.

    About 10 seconds after that I was looking at the page on the DC Water website where you can report issues such as broken Fire Hydrants.

  • The valve is below ground, so water wouldn’t leak out. Only in the movies does a hydrant get run over and water come gushing out (atleast in hydrants installed since the 80’s).

    And I gotta say, in situations that are as serious as this PICK UP THE PHONE!

    C’mon folks…step away from the computer every once in a while and realize that you can’t just tweet everything and expect immediate response.

    Organizations like water authorities have one person sporadically checking their tweets or blogs. They have numeous people at 24 hr phone banks.

    • +1.

    • Anonymous

      FYI, for those of us who do not shun technological advancement, such innovations tend to make life easier and expedite a response from the proper agencies. Just so you know.

  • Charles

    I really have to wonder if the OP was actually unaware that the “311” in the 311 website was originally a phone number, and not the District’s tribute to the 1990s alternative rock band.

  • DC Water is the most helpful (semi-)city agency.

    I look forward to having to report things to them, as they are always helpful and see to actually give a two hoots.

  • Anonymous

    sooooo… can you park in front of an inoperable fire hydrant?

  • Anonymous

    I put a parking enforcement request in using the 311 app the other night because I was sick of circling for parking while VA plates lined the residents only side of my block. While I guess I should be happy to get such a timely response, I was fairly pissed off when my phone rang at 1:30 am with the city services center wanting to know exactly what it is that I was requesting.

  • Ward One Resident

    Besides simply calling 311, in the amount of time the OP spent searching online and then emailing PoP, they could have walked to Engine Co. #9 or #21 and reported it to one of the firefighters there. Those guys are great.

  • DC Water

    Thanks for the helpful comments, everyone. Our twitter handle has changed to @dcwater, and we have updated pur mobile website at dcwater.com to allow customers to upload photos and share their location with GPS.

    Fear not. We will roll a hydrant crew over to the 1800 block of Wyoming.

    DC Water
    Office of External Affairs


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