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D.C. Council Weighs Water Changes

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D.C.'s Water and Sewer Authority and D.C.'s Fire and Emergency Medical Services are considering changes after an investigation into the fire that destroyed the home of philanthropist Peggy Cooper Cayfritz in July.

Possible changes include revising the water flow standards required for fighting fires in the district and marking hydrants to make them easier to find.

But in testimony before a city council committee, representatives from D.C. WASA and the district's fire and emergency services said that there are no easy answers to the question of what caused the fire in Northwest Washington's Foxhall neighborhood.

They said that the water pressure in the chain bridge road area meets current standards. Fire Cheif Dennis Rubin said there were other problems,including the distance from house to the hydrant, and the closest water main.

Chief Rubin and interim D.C. WASA director Avis Russell agree the topography challenge in the chain bridge area most likely exists elsewhere in the District. Both say they will examine other neighborhoods, 37 in all with similar issues.

The committee is expected to hold another meeting on the matter but did not set a date.

Elliott Francis reports...

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