Chapter 13.11


13.11.010    Purpose.

13.11.020    Definitions.

13.11.030    General applicability.

13.11.040    Procedures for compliance.

13.11.050    Water system requirements.

13.11.060    Fire hydrant requirements.

13.11.070    Purveyor requirements.

13.11.080    Industrial and commercial area requirements.

13.11.090    Compliance.

13.11.100    Waivers.

13.11.110    Exemptions.

13.11.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to better protect the residents, inhabitants, commercial developments and industrial developments in the town against the dangers of fire. (Ord. 91-17 § 1, 1991).

13.11.020 Definitions.

The words and phrases used in this chapter shall have the following meanings:

A. “Agricultural building” means a structure designed and constructed to house farm implements, hay, grain, poultry, livestock or other horticultural products. This structure shall not be a place of human habitation or a place of employment where agricultural products are used by the public.

B. “Board of appeals” means the town council.

C. “Building valuation data” means the building standards issued monthly by the International Conference of Building Officials.

D. “Commercial areas” means any area proposed to be developed with buildings or structures other than family dwellings.

E. “Dead-end main” means a water main over 50 feet long and not being fed from both ends at the time of the installation.

F. “Family dwelling” means a building under one roof which accommodates not more than two families.

G. “Fire department” means the fire authority normally responsible for fire protection in the area.

H. “Fire flow” means the minimum flow of water required for fighting a fire at a specific building, development or within a specific area. The minimum flows shall be determined by the fire marshal based on the criteria set forth in the insurance service office guide for determination of required fire flow (current edition).

I. “Fire hydrant” means a mechanical device which is self-draining and frost-free and is constructed to provided the required fire flow for the area served. The fire hydrant must be approved by the town’s department of public utilities.

J. “Fire marshal” means the building official of the town.

K. “Flush-type hydrant” means a hydrant that is installed entirely below the grade.

L. “Gpm” means gallons per minute.

M. “IBC” means the International Building Code as adopted by the town.

N. “IFC” means the International Fire Code as adopted by the town.

O. “Industrial area” means an area developed with uses first permitted in zone classifications I (industrial) or subareas of A-D (airport district).

P. “I.S.O.” means the insurance service office pamphlet entitled “Guide for Determination of Required Fireflow,” current edition.

Q. “Private hydrant” means a fire hydrant situated and maintained to provide water for firefighting purposes. The location shall be such that it is readily accessible for immediate use by the fire department.

R. “Public fire protection” means the current edition of the pamphlet entitled “Public Fire Protection” published by the Washington Surveying and Rating Bureau.

S. “Public hydrant” means a fire hydrant so situated and maintained as to provide water for firefighting purposes without restrictions as to its use for the purpose of firefighting. The location is such that it is accessible for immediate use of the fire department.

T. “Purveyor” means the federal agency, state agency, county agency, city/town, municipal corporation, partnership, district, institution, person or persons owning or operating a public water system or the authorized agent.

U. “Substantial alteration” means any alteration, remodeling or structural change, with a total cost of 25 percent or more, of the current assessed valuation of the building. Substantial alterations will be cumulative over a five-year period. When the cumulative alteration costs reach 25 percent or more of the building’s current assessed valuation, the building shall meet all water flow requirements.

V. “Travel distance” means that measurements are made by the route the fire engine would travel.

W. “Water main” means the piping used to deliver fire flows intended for fire protection in amounts as required by this chapter. (Ord. 91-17 § 2, 1991).

13.11.030 General applicability.

Except as exempted in this chapter, the following shall be subject to the minimum flow and fire hydrant requirements:

A. New commercial and industrial structures;

B. Subdivisions and/or short subdivisions;

C. Substantial alterations or additions to existing commercial or industrial structures;

D. New water systems, replacements or new extension to existing systems shall comply with the town’s comprehensive water plan and water construction standard;

E. Changing of occupancy of an existing building to a higher classification;

F. A new residential building. (Ord. 91-17 § 3, 1991).

13.11.040 Procedures for compliance.

The following shall be required of all subdivisions, short subdivisions, and commercial and industrial areas:

A. The water main to be installed shall meet the requirements of the town’s comprehensive water plan.

B. Water system plans shall be approved in writing by the public works director and/or the town engineer, and shall be inspected by the same.

C. The approved water system must be installed prior to the issuance of a building permit. The requirement may be waived if a bond or other surety is posted and approved prior to the issuance of the building permit. The amount of the bond or other surety shall be determined by the purveyor supplying the water. The type of bond, or other surety, and the form thereof shall be approved by the town attorney and filed with the clerk prior to issuance of the building permit. The water system, fire hydrants and fire flows shall be installed and approved prior to issuance of the occupancy permit. (Ord. 91-17 § 4, 1991).

13.11.050 Water system requirements.

A. The insurance service office pamphlet, current edition, shall be used as the standard for the amount of fire flow that is required.

B. New or replaced water mains shall be installed or replaced in accordance with the town’s comprehensive water plan. In areas not covered by the town’s comprehensive water plan, new or replaced water main sites shall be determined by the director of public works and/or the town engineer. In cul-de-sacs, an eight-inch main need only extend to the last required fire hydrant, and normal domestic lines may be installed thereafter to the remaining residences. (Ord. 91-17 § 5, 1991).

13.11.060 Fire hydrant requirements.

A. Standard fire hydrants shall have no less than five-inch main valve openings (MVO) with two-and-one-half-inch outlet ports and a four-and-one-half-inch steamer outlet. All ports shall have national standard threads that meet the approval of the affected fire department. Fire hydrants shall meet AWWA standards for private fire hydrants.

B. Fire hydrants shall stand plumb and be set to the finished grade. The bottom of the lowest outlet of the fire hydrant shall be no less than 18 inches above the grade. The area around the fire hydrant shall be free of obstructions which would prevent adequate access to and use of the fire hydrant. Where the street cannot be clearly defined or recognized, the steamer port shall face the most likely route of approach by fire apparatus.

C. Fire hydrants shall not be obstructed by any structure, vegetation or have the visibility impaired for a distance of 50 feet in the direction of the vehicular approach to the fire hydrant. Blue reflectors in the street are also required to help locate the hydrant in the dark by the lights of the fire truck.

D. Fire hydrants are to be accessible for fire department pumpers.

E. Fire hydrants subject to vehicular damage (e.g., those located in parking lots) shall be adequately protected.

F. Table A, as set forth in this subsection, specifies the maximum allowable distance which buildings shall be from a fire hydrant:

Type of Development

Hydrant Spacing Maximum (in feet)

Distance to Structure Maximum (in feet)

Subdivisions and short subdivisions

– limited to family dwellings



Multiple dwelling-low density –

12 or less units

per acre



Commercial and multiple dwelling – high density – more than 12 units per acre



Industrial, hospitals, shopping centers, schools, areas of more than 20 commercial establishments



G. When the center of a building to be protected is greater than the maximum travel distance from the structure to a fire hydrant, on-site fire hydrants shall be installed.

H. Location of the fire hydrants shall be determined by the fire marshal, and/or fire chief.

I. The location of all water mains, fire hydrants and valves to be installed shall be properly and accurately marked on identifiable plans or drawings. Four copies of all plans and drawings shall be furnished to the town building department.

J. All fire hydrants must be approved by the appropriate water authority prior to installation and shall be the brands required by the town.

K. The installation of all fire hydrants and their attendant water system connections shall conform to the design standards and specifications promulgated by the appropriate water authority. (Ord. 91-17 § 6, 1991).

13.11.070 Purveyor requirements.

All purveyors shall continuously supply water at or above the minimum flow requirements specified in this chapter; provided, that the purveyor need not comply with these regulations in the event of vandalism, acts of God, loss of power and temporary shutdown for repairs and/or replacement. (Ord. 91-17 § 7, 1991).

13.11.080 Industrial and commercial area requirements.

The requirement stated in this section applies to all commercial and industrial areas: When the required fire flow exceeds 2,000 gpm, additional fire hydrants shall be required. Fire hydrants shall be served on the property by an eight-inch or larger water main. (Ord. 91-17 § 8, 1991).

13.11.090 Compliance.

If there is a conflict between the provisions of this chapter and any other ordinance or code of the town, then the most stringent requirements shall apply. (Ord. 91-17 § 9, 1991).

13.11.100 Waivers.

Some of the requirements of this chapter may be waived and/or alternate procedures approved by the fire marshal, if the alternate procedure will not result in an unreasonable risk to persons or property. All waivers and alternate procedures shall be in writing; the reasons shall be given for each; a copy shall be placed in a waiver notebook; a copy shall be mailed to the appropriate fire chief; and a copy shall be given to the board of appeals. (Ord. 91-17 § 10, 1991).

13.11.110 Exemptions.

The following may be exempt from these regulations: a single-family dwelling or duplex that is built upon a single lot which is not constructed for the purpose of sale or rental. To apply for this exemption, the owner must indicate in a letter the reasons for the request for exemption and distance to the nearest water main. The owner shall sign an agreement with the town to participate in an ULID or LID or pay a fair share of any water main to be placed in the future in his area and hold the town harmless. (Ord. 91-17 § 11, 1991).