Who is responsible for clearing snow from fire hydrants?

Who's responsible for clearing out the snow around hydrants depends on where you live.

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A lot of people get confused about who is supposed to clear the snow around fire hydrants. One of three parties is usually responsible: either the city, the water department, or you.

Who is responsible depends on where you live, since each city and town does it differently. All you need to do is contact your local city hall or DPW to find out who’s responsible. In Easthampton, the DPW takes care of the job, even if the hydrant is near your property. The same happens in Northampton, but there’s also an Adopt-A-Hydrant program, where residents can register a hydrant they’re responsible for cleaning.

For both cities, resident participation is a huge help. Northampton Mayor David Markewicz told 22News that “If someone has a fire and our department needs to hook a hose up to it, it’s important that we try and keep them clear.”

“If a homeowner wants to help us out, we’re thrilled,” Eathampton’s DPW Director Josph Pipczynski said. “That’s one less [hydrant] that we have to do. So if we’re going by and yours is shoveled out, we’ll go to the next one and it’ll save us a little bit of time.”

Easthampton has 750 fire hydrants in the city and about 5,000 catch basins that need to be cleared. If you live in Northampton and want to adopt a fire hydrant to clean and care for you can sign up on the City of Northampton’s website.