Chapter 15.08


15.08.010    Applicability.

15.08.020    Definitions.

15.08.030    Hydrant standards.

15.08.050    Procedure.

15.08.060    Plan submittal review.

15.08.070    Waiver and modification.

15.08.080    Obstruction prohibited.

15.08.090    Administration.

15.08.100    Fire department notification.

15.08.110    Water purveyor authority.

15.08.130    Penalty.

Legislative history: Ord. 85-84.

15.08.010 Applicability.

The provisions of this chapter shall supplement the provisions of Chapter 15.04 MCMC, International Fire Code, 2015 Edition, as adopted by the city of Mill Creek, and shall apply to all plats, short plats of three or more lots, planned residential developments, and all commercial occupancy buildings constructed or developed within the city of Mill Creek after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, wherein the same shall be served by water mains and fire hydrants capable of delivering the required fire flow and installed as required by this chapter unless specifically exempted thereby, or unless waived or modified by the fire marshal, pursuant to MCMC 15.08.070. To the extent there is a conflict between this chapter and the International Building and Fire Codes, the more restrictive provision shall apply.

Decisions of the fire marshal are deemed to be made in the best interest, and with the concurrence of, an affected fire district, in the absence of any credible evidence to the contrary. A final determination of any dispute relating to an aforementioned fire marshal decision shall be made by the hearing examiner pursuant to Chapter 4.34 MCMC.

A. All water mains and fire hydrants required hereunder shall be served by a recognized water purveyor, or in the absence of such, by alternate method(s) as approved by the fire marshal.

B. Exemptions. Except as provided in MCMC 15.08.060, the following permits and approvals are exempt from the water supply and fire hydrant requirements of this chapter:

1. Building permits for structures classified by the International Building Code as Group U-1 occupancies (agricultural buildings, private garages, carports, and sheds) that are restricted to private residential use only; provided, that riding areas or other agricultural type structures used or accessed by the public shall not be exempt. (Ord. 2018-830 § 11; Ord. 2005-609 § 2)

15.08.020 Definitions.

Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, terms and abbreviations used in this chapter have the following meanings:

A. “AWWA” means the American Water Works Association.

B. “Building” means any structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering any use or occupancy.

C. “Chief” means the chief officer, or his authorized representative, of the fire district serving the city.

D. “Commercial building” means classification of all occupancies other than R-3 or M as defined by the UBC.

E. “Developer” means the person, firm or corporation applying for or receiving a permit or approval for a development as defined below.

F. “Development” means all subdivisions, short subdivisions and large tract segregations under county authority; multiple residential structures; planned residential developments, planned community businesses and planned neighborhood shopping centers; industrial parks, campgrounds and mobile home parks; and industrial or commercial buildings requiring land use approvals; conditional use permits; or building permits (except building permits for single-family residences and duplexes in the city of Mill Creek; and other similar projects requiring land use permits or approvals by the city of Mill Creek).

G. “Diameter” means nominal diameter.

H. “Dwelling unit” means a single unit providing complete independent living facilities for one or more persons.

I. “Fire department” means the fire district responsible for fire protection in the area.

J. “Fire flow” means the rate of water delivery needed for the sole purpose of fighting fires. The fire flow volume shall be in addition to the requirements of the water system for domestic demand, and a 20 psi residual pressure should be maintained throughout the system under combined maximum demand flow conditions.

K. “Fire hydrant” means a mechanical device which is self-draining, frost free, and is constructed to provide the required fire flow for the area serviced.

L. “Fire marshall” means the city manager or designee.

M. “GPM” means gallons per minute.

N. “Hydrant branch” means the pipe leading from the water main to the hydrant.

O. “IBC” means the International Building Code as adopted and amended by the city of Mill Creek.

P. “IFC” means the International Fire Code as adopted, updated, and amended by the city of Mill Creek.

Q. “NFPA” means the National Fire Protection Association.

R. “Occupancy” means the purpose for which a building or part thereof is used, or intended to be used.

S. “Private hydrant” means a fire hydrant which is situated and maintained so as to provide water for fire fighting purposes, with restrictions as to its use and accessibility as to public use.

T. “Public hydrant” means a fire hydrant that is situated within a public or private easement or right-of-way and maintained so as to provide water for fire fighting purposes without restrictions as to use or accessibility for fire suppression.

U. “Public water system” means any system or water supply intended to be used for human consumption or other domestic uses, including, but not limited to, sources, treatment, storage, transmission and distribution facilities where water is furnished to any community, collection or number of individuals, or is made available to the public for human consumption or domestic use, excluding water systems serving a single-family residence, water systems existing prior to September 21, 1977, that are owner operated and serve less than 10 single-family residences, and water systems serving no more than one industrial plant.

V. “Residential, R-3 dwelling” means any building which contains one or two dwelling units.

W. “Water main” means the piping used or which may be used to deliver domestic or industrial water, and/or fire flows intended for fire protection, in the amount prescribed in this chapter, and excludes storage facilities, hydrants, and service connections.

X. “Water purveyor” means a federal, state, or county agency, or city, town, municipal corporation, firm, company, association, corporation, partnership, district, institution, person or persons owning or operating a public or private water system. (Ord. 2005-609 § 2)

15.08.030 Hydrant standards.

A. Fire Hydrant Spacing. The following hydrant standards shall apply as set forth herein unless waived or modified pursuant to MCMC 15.08.070.

1. Fire hydrant locations shall be determined by the fire marshall, in coordination with the water purveyor, and pursuant to the requirements of Appendix III-B and C of the International Fire Code subject to the following exceptions:

a. Where the buildings are protected by an approved automatic sprinkler system, hydrant spacing requirements may be modified, if in the opinion of the fire marshall or his designee, the level of fire protection is not reduced.

2. For dead-end streets or roads the fire marshall may make adjustments to the lateral spacing requirements to facilitate locating the hydrant at or near the intersection.

3. When hydrants cannot be installed in conformance with the spacing requirements of this chapter, the fire marshall shall confer with the water purveyor and may provide for alternate locations as allowed by the International Fire Code.

B. Fire Hydrant Installation and Maintenance Requirements. In addition to the standards contained in Chapter 15.04 MCMC, Building Code, the following standards shall apply to all new hydrant installations, replacement and maintenance of existing hydrants on public water systems that are required by the IFC to provide fire flow:

1. The installation of all fire hydrants shall be in accordance with sound engineering practices and supplied by mains as prescribed by this chapter. Hydrants shall be installed, tested and charged prior to the start of construction, unless otherwise approved by the fire marshall.

2. Approval of fire hydrant types must be obtained prior to installation from the water purveyor or the fire marshall in the absence of a water purveyor.

3. All elements of fire hydrant installation including water mains, pipes, valves and related components shall conform to the IFC, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 24, 2002 Edition, and American Water Works Association (AWWA) Standard C502-94, as now or hereafter amended.

4. “Stortz” type steamer port fittings shall be provided on new hydrants when required by the fire marshall.

5. For all new hydrant installations, either public or private, the developer shall color code the tops of the hydrant(s) to designate the level of service being provided by that hydrant. Color coding for existing and new hydrants shall be in accordance with the following:

Light Blue

1,500 GPM or greater


1,000 to 1,499 GPM


500 to 999 GPM


Less than 500 GPM


For drafting use only (hard suction/steamer port)


Cross on top of hydrant – for filling tankers only

In addition to color coding new hydrants the developer shall also install blue street reflectors to indicate hydrant locations. Color coding of new hydrant(s) and the installation of blue street reflectors shall be completed prior to final approval of any development or new construction.

6. Internal maintenance of public hydrants shall be the responsibility of the recognized water purveyor. Private fire service hydrants and mains shall be protected and maintained by the owners in accordance with NFPA Pamphlet No. 24.

7. The water purveyor shall submit documentation to the fire marshall indicating which entity is responsible for installation, operation and maintenance of fire protection facilities associated with public water systems.

8. Vehicles shall not be parked within 15 feet of a fire hydrant or fire department connection or a fire protection system control valve. (Ord. 2005-609 § 2)

15.08.050 Procedure.

In addition to other requirements of this chapter, the following are required prior to final approval of any development of activities subject to this chapter:

A. Prior to the installation of any new hydrants or mains serving hydrants, the developer shall provide two copies of the plans for review by the recognized water purveyor and fire marshall. In addition, water system plans and specifications stamped by a registered professional engineer shall be submitted to the director for review.

B. Water system plans shall be approved by the water purveyor, or in the absence of a water purveyor, by the fire marshall.

C. The approved water system must be installed and placed in service.

D. Upon completed installation, and acceptance by the recognized water purveyor, the fire marshall shall be provided with two copies of accurate and identifiable as-built drawings or plans showing the location of all mains, hydrant branches, valves and fire hydrants installed. (Ord. 2005-609 § 2)

15.08.060 Plan submittal review.

The fire marshall, prior to the issuance of a development permit for any new or substantially altered commercial building, plat development or residential complex, shall certify that the hydrant and water system plans have been reviewed. If the plans are found to be in compliance with this chapter, a notice of approval for issuance of a building permit shall be forwarded to the city manager or his designee. Such approval shall be based on the provisions of this chapter being satisfied either:

A. Prior to start of any construction; or

B. Prior to start of any combustible construction; or

C. Prior to the issuance of the certificate of occupancy for the building. (Ord. 2005-609 § 2)

15.08.070 Waiver and modification.

The fire marshall may, subject to acceptance of recognized water purveyor, grant a waiver or modification to the standards contained in MCMC 15.08.030 and 15.08.040 where strict compliance with such standards would create a substantial hardship on the applicant and where such a waiver or modification does not result in inadequate fire protection. Applications for waivers or modifications shall be in writing, state the reasons therefor, and be provided to the fire marshall. (Ord. 2005-609 § 2)

15.08.080 Obstruction prohibited.

Obstructing the view of a fire hydrant for a distance of 75 feet from any direction of vehicular approach is prohibited. Any violation of this section is declared a public nuisance, subject to immediate abatement and application of the civil penalty provided for herein. (Ord. 2005-609 § 2)

15.08.090 Administration.

No development application shall receive final approval, nor shall a certificate of occupancy be issued as to any new or substantially altered building, other than a building of R-3 and M occupancy under the IBC until the fire marshall has verified that the provisions of this chapter are satisfied. (Ord. 2005-609 § 2)

15.08.100 Fire department notification.

The fire marshall shall be notified as soon as practicable when a hydrant or water main is placed out of service and upon restoration of service. The water purveyor and/or developers shall mark out of service hydrants by bagging or other means approved by the fire marshall. (Ord. 2005-609 § 2)

15.08.110 Water purveyor authority.

Nothing in this chapter as adopted by the city of Mill Creek or any rules and regulations as may be adopted by the fire marshall pursuant to this chapter shall be construed to prohibit water purveyors from imposing and enforcing more stringent requirements for the construction of water mains and fire hydrants. (Ord. 2005-609 § 2)

15.08.130 Penalty.

Any person violating the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and may, in addition, be subject to the enforcement of civil penalties of Chapter 1.16 MCMC. (Ord. 2005-609 § 2)