Who’s Responsible For Shoveling Hydrants? Nobody

Universal Hub posts photo after photo of Boston fire hydrants covered in snow. We received a handful of reports of blocked hydrants on our map of unshoveled sidewalks.

Besides the public-safety risk, it can be infuriating when you’re ticketed for parking in front of an invisible hydrant.

UHub reporter Lexis Galloway tried to figure out whose job it is to dig out hydrants. It turns out the answer is nobody:

Although theĀ Boston Water and Sewer Commission and the Boston Fire Department are responsible for making sure hydrants actually work, there’s no law regulating who has to keep them clear after snowstorms, Boston Fire spokesman Steve MacDonald said.

In an interview with Universal Hub, MacDonald said that while firefighters shovel what they can, there’s only so much they can do in a winter like this. “We have to rely on the owners and neighbors to take care of shoveling the hydrants out,” he said.

The city helped organize a volunteer dig-out in Charlestown last weekend, which may be the best solution for now. You can report blocked hydrants to the Mayor’s Hotline.

2 thoughts on “Who’s Responsible For Shoveling Hydrants? Nobody

  1. Transatlantic99

    It is in the best interest of the neighbors to shovel out the hydrant. I clear the hydrant across the street from us mainly to protect our home, be it a fire in my house, or in one of our neighbors.

  2. Terralin

    I thought if a hydrant was in front of your property, you have to shovel it — that is in the snow guidelines — there is a hydrant in front of my building, it is a no-brainer to shovel out the hydrant along with the walk (especially because having that hydrant there makes all of us more secure)