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Unreliable Hydrants Continue To Hamper D.C. Firefighting Efforts

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The lack of reliable fire hydrants continues to hamper firefighting efforts in D.C.

When fire fighters arrived on the scene to put out the fire at Peggy Cooper Cafritz's mansion on Chain Bridge road it took them about 50 minutes to find fire hydrants that could provide enough water.

The Cafritz fire and several other high-profile fires in the past two years have underscored the lack of coordination between the fire department and the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority to identify the city's working fire hydrants.

Nearly three quarters of the District's 9,000 fire hydrants have not been tested for water flow, according WASA. D.C. Coucilwoman Mary Cheh says its time the mayor appoint someone to make sure the fire department and WASA work together to ensure adequate water supply throughout the city.

"It seems to me that part of the problem is the fact that these two agencies are each able to say, 'no it's your fault,'" says Cheh. "We need someone to take control and make sure we have a comprehensive plan."

WASA says it will take five years to test all of the city's hydrants.

Patrick Madden reports...

WAMU 88.5

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