Hydrant & Construction Meter Rental

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ADOPTION DATE: May 5, 2009
SUPERSEDES: DOU 2-1 dated June 20, 2000

The Bulk Water Policy establishes the procedures for the sale of water for temporary services.

I. Bulk Water Permits
Bulk water is available for purchase to provide temporary water service for water haulers, contractors, non-profit organizations, and other users in accordance with this policy. Bulk water purchases are a privilege and not a right. No availability fees are required for bulk water customers. Customers who desire to purchase bulk water within Stafford County must first obtain a bulk water permit from the Department of Utilities.

A copy of this policy will be provided to all bulk water permit holders. The customer shall acknowledge the receipt of this policy, in writing, as a condition of obtaining the permit.
The Department of Utilities will maintain a list of the fire hydrants that are authorized for use by bulk water customers. Each fire hydrant on the list will be marked with a red flag.

All vehicles that transport bulk water and all backflow preventers to be used with fire hydrant meters must be inspected annually and approved by the Department of Utilities for proper backflow prevention prior to use.

The bulk water permit and a current vehicle backflow inspection certificate must be in the possession of the individual who draws the water. The bulk water permit shall be visible to the public at all times when water is being taken. The name of the company whose name is on the permit shall be displayed on the truck.

The Department of Utilities will maintain a list of the customers who have current bulk water permits.
Customers shall be responsible for damages to the hydrant meter, fire hydrant, and the adjacent areas.

II. Classes of Customers
A. Construction Meters Customers
Customers who desire to use water at a construction site may be issued a construction meter, which can be installed in any meter setter inspected and approved by the Department of Utilities at a construction site.

B. Fire Hydrant Meter Customers
All other customers must utilize a fire hydrant meter. Customers may obtain either a small (5/8”) meter or a large (2 ½”) meter from the Department of Utilities. Fire hydrant meter customers can only use fire hydrants with a red flag. Customers who desire to utilize water from an unflagged on-site hydrant may apply for a fire hydrant waiver. If approved, the customer to whom the waiver is issued may connect a hydrant meter to the hydrant in accordance with this policy. In no case may water be taken from a fire hydrant that has not been accepted into the County’s system.

III. Bulk Water Meters
Only water meters obtained from the Department of Utilities in accordance with this policy may be used for bulk water purchase. Customers may obtain construction meters, 5/8-inch hydrant meters, and 2 ½-inch hydrant meters from the Department of Utilities upon payment of a meter deposit as established in accordance with Chapter 25 of the Stafford County Code. Customers are required to return all meters to the Department of Utilities during January of each year for inspection. Meter assemblies must be used as issued and may not be modified by the customer.

IV. Fire Hydrant Waivers
Customers who desire to utilize on-site fire hydrants for bulk water purchase may apply to the Department of Utilities for a Fire Hydrant Waiver. The request must include the number and location of the fire hydrant desired, a description of the requested use of the water, a description of the project, and the time period for which the waiver is requested. A copy of the customer’s bulk water permit must be attached. Waiver requests must be received five (5) business days prior to the date requested. Waivers will be issued only if the Director of Utilities determines that use of the hydrant requested will not adversely affect the water system, vehicular traffic, or private property. Waivers will be issued for a maximum of 12 months, but may be reissued upon application by the customer. Waivers may be rescinded if necessitated by future conditions or if the customer violates a condition of the waiver or bulk water permit.

V. Billing Procedures
All bulk water shall be paid for monthly in accordance with rates as authorized in Chapter 25 of the Stafford County Code. The monthly customer service charge applies to those metered customers who are issued bills generated by the county’s billing system. Customers shall inform the Department of Utilities monthly of the amount of water used. Customers who do not inform the Department of Utilities of the amount of water used shall be billed for a minimum of 10,000 gallons. Failure to inform the Department of Utilities of the amount of water used for three consecutive months will result in forfeiture of the entire meter deposit and termination of the account.

VI. Operating Procedures

  1. The hydrant meter shall be attached to the 2 1/2 inch outlet of the hydrant. The connection shall be tightened so as to prevent leaks. The meter and any backflow device shall be adequately supported to avoid stress on the hydrant.

  2. Adequate backflow prevention devices must be installed. Construction meters shall only be used in meter settings equipped with an approved double check valve. Small hydrant meters are equipped with double check valve assemblies when issued by the department. Either an approved backflow device furnished by the customer or an adequate air gap must be used with a large hydrant meter. 

  3. The hydrant valve must in the full open position when in use. A separate valve on the meter must be used to control the flow of water.

  4. All valves must be opened and closed slowly to prevent damage.

  5. Only hydrant wrenches shall be used to turn the hydrant on and off.

  6. The main valve located in the street cannot be used.

  7. All public and private property must be protected while the hydrant is in use.

  8. Meter readings must be called or faxed to the Department of Utilities between the 20th and 25th of the month. When submitting a reading, the account number, permit number, and meter number shall be made available.

  9. All meters must be presented to the Department of Utilities annually during January for inspection. Failure to comply will result in revocation of the permit.

VII. Suspensions
Any customer may have his right to purchase bulk water suspended for a period not to exceed one year for any violation of this policy, including but not limited to, the following actions:

    1. No valid permit in his possession and displayed when taking water, 

    2. Failure to have the name of the permitee on the vehicle taking water,

    3. The use of an unauthorized hydrant,

    4. Damages to the hydrant or adjacent property,

    5. Failure to report the monthly meter reading,

    6. Failure to have a valid backflow prevention certificate or failure to use the backflow prevention device.

VIII: Fees

  • 5/8” Construction Meter requires a $500.00 deposit

  • 5/8” Hydrant Meter requires a $500.00 deposit

  • 2 ½” Hydrant Meter requires a $1,000.00 deposit

Monthly rates include a $10.00 per month rental fee plus charges for consumption. The current bulk water rate (per thousand gallons) is listed under Water/Sewer Rates.