Hydrant meter did not block access to water


POSTED: Wednesday, January 06, 2010

QUESTION: I know contractors are permitted to use fire hydrants for water, but what about the chains some contractors put on the hydrants? Recently, I noticed that a contractor had his back-flow prevention device and water meter connected to a hydrant, chained in such a fashion that would render the hydrant useless to the Fire Department in an emergency. Even if the contractor provided keys to the local fire station, valuable time would be lost unraveling the chain and disconnecting the meter assembly. The meter was located at 66-090 Waialua Beach Road in Haleiwa and marked “;fire 8.”; Water service to contractors is a convenience to them and a service provided by the city. Aren't there rules governing the availability of hydrants to the Honolulu Fire Department?

ANSWER: Access by firefighters was not compromised by the contractor hookup, according to both the Honolulu Fire Department and the Honolulu Board of Water Supply.

Staff from the water agency, as well as the fire captain of the Waialua Fire Station, inspected the fire hydrant last month “;and validated that our temporary hydrant meter did not impede access to the 4-inch outlet,”; said Wayne Hashiro, agency manager and chief engineer.

He explained that hydrants have both a 4-inch and a 2 1/2 -inch outlet. Temporary meters are attached to the smaller outlet and secured in such a way as to “;always remain accessible in case of a fire,”; Hashiro said.

He added that his agency is responsible for providing adequate fire protection to the community in the way of water access so “;greatly appreciates”; hearing of any public safety concerns.

If you, or any one else, have additional questions or concerns about hydrant access, he said to contact the Cross-Connection Control Section at 748-5470.

Meanwhile, see a previous “;Kokua Line”; column to see what a legal hookup gadget looks like. Those authorized to hook up to a fire hydrant pay a $125 fee and are charged the commercial water rate.

QUESTION: I have seen manufactured mobile homes in Hawaii used for classrooms and offices but not for residences. With the high home prices and rents, why not? We checked them out on the mainland, and they are beautiful, not at all like the trailer parks of the past. They also could be manufactured here on our island, providing more employment opportunities.

ANSWER: Mobile homes, as “;manufactured housing,”; are not specifically prohibited on residential lots in Honolulu, according to an official with the city Department of Planning and Permitting. It depends on how they are built and whether they meet specifications of the International Residential Code, he said.

A building industry official speculated costs and regulations might be factors as to why mobile homes haven't become popular in Hawaii, but said the reasons weren't readily evident.



To the people who rushed to aid me when I fell at Kahala Mall on Friday, Dec. 12. They left before I could get their names or thank them, but I want them to know that their kindness and concern were greatly appreciated. I'd also like to thank the Kahala Mall security and the ambulance crew for their capable and reassuring help. It's nice to know that such people are around when one needs them. — Jean S. Gochros


Write to “;Kokua Line”; at Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).