Calls on Company to Restore Service to Fire Hydrants
Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito joined Woodmere Fire Department officials in lambasting American Water for not prioritizing maintenance of fire hydrants and putting Woodmere residents’ lives in danger. At a press conference on the corner of Elm Street and Cedar Lane in Woodmere, he called upon the water company to reverse their previous decision to hold off on the replacement of a water main that feeds multiple fire hydrants, causing those hydrants to no longer work properly.
“American Water Company is putting profits over lives by not immediately addressing the proper maintenance of fire hydrants in the Woodmere community,” said Councilman D’Esposito. “As a former chief of the Island Park Fire Department, I am deeply concerned that this ill conceived plan jeopardizes lives, and inhibits fire fighters from doing their jobs that they are called to do. It is vital for fire hydrants to be fully operational, and American Water Company’s decision for the hydrants in this community to be operating with water pressure at less than one third of what is necessary is appalling.”
Councilman D’Esposito cited emails in which a representative from American Water Company responded to a inquiry regarding the low pressure fire hydrants and explains that they are not doing work in order to “do more work with our budgets.” According to American Water Company, the hydrants are currently served by 4” mains, constructed in 1910 and they are planning to replace the mains with new 8” mains, however, there is no scheduled date for completing this work.
“Not only is the water pressure so low that fire fighters would not be able to extinguish the fire, the low pressure would also harm the fire truck by causing damage to its engine,” added Councilman D”Esposito.
The Councilman spoke about his telephone conversation with Senator Todd Kaminsky regarding working together to immediately remediate this problem. Senator Kaminsky stated, “Having adequate access to water is critical for our fire department, and when that is compromised, so is the safety of our communities. We are working together in a bipartisan matter to fix this as soon as possible.”
“American Water needs to make restoring fire hydrants a priority for the safety of all residents,” concluded Councilman D’Esposito. “This is an issue of life and death, and profits shouldn’t come before lives.”