Busted fire hydrant, never replaced, worries Hanover neighbors

Posted at 1:03 PM, Sep 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-30 13:03:54-04

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- Hanover Farms neighbors concerned about a fire hydrant that was destroyed years ago, but was never replaced, should be able to rest a little easier thanks to the CBS 6 Problem Solvers.

Frances McCauley said she remembered six years ago, when a car crashed through the front entrance of the community and took out the fire hydrants. Since then, she said she has repeatedly contacted the county to see if they could get the fire hydrant replaced. Without the hydrant, there was just an open hole in the ground with a pipe sticking out of it.

"I first noticed it when I came up here years ago to decorate our sign for Christmas," she said. "I stepped right in the hole."

She also worried about how firefighters would get water quickly if a fire threatened a home near the subdivision's entrance.

McCauley, who said she contacted the county about eight times in the past six years, said she would not be satisfied until she got answers.

She never got answers as to why Hanover never replaced the hydrant at Gaines Mill Road and Cold Harbor.


Then she called the CBS 6 Problem Solvers We reached out to the county and found the answer.

Battalion Chief Jason Williams said it was because the county was not responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the hydrants in her community.

According to the Hanover County Utilities Director Steven Herzog, Hanover Farms is served by a private water system owned and operated by Aqua Virginia.

Herzog said if residents were to contact Hanover County’s Dept. of Public Utilities about a missing hydrant they would be referred to Aqua Virginia.

Williams said if they were to respond to a fire in Hanover Farms, they would have a back-up plan.

"Part of our plan for this neighborhood is to use a county hydrant or bring water with us," he said. "Any response into a neighborhood like this automatically gets three high-capacity tanker trucks. Each truck holds three thousand gallons of water. There’s a wealth of water."

He also pointed out that the nearest county hydrant is about 800 feet away from the privately-owned hydrant that worried McCauley.

Williams added they have responded several times to McCauley’s neighborhood in the past.

Even without the hydrant, he said they have never faced the issue of not having enough water.

He said he hoped that helped neighbors rest easier.