Customers must apply for a hydrant use permit before using water from a fire hydrant for construction, landscaping, demolition, street cleaning, drinking fountains for public events and other approved uses.
Hydrant permit uses
Permits can be issued to allow hydrant water use for the following:
- Dust control
- Hydro mulching
- Landscaping work
- Pressure washing
- Sewer flushing
- Street cleaning
- Special events/festivals
Hydrant water should never be used for human consumption without a valid water quality test and chlorination performed by Denver Water prior to usage.
Hydrant water is not permitted for the following:
- Swimming pools
- Retaining ponds
- Landscape maintenance
- Ice rinks
Hydrants cannot be operated during freezing weather (temperatures below 32 degrees) except in cases of emergency and operated only by fire department personnel.
Hydrant permits may be restricted during droughts.
How to obtain a hydrant permit
To obtain a permit, bring your meter and backflow test report to Denver Water’s Meter Shop for calibration (call the Meter Shop at 303-628-6701 to make an appointment).
Please allow up to three business days for calibration testing and permit approval. Once the permit is approved, you will be contacted to pick up your meter and permit from the Meter Shop.
All permitted connections to a hydrant must include a hydrant meter, a reduced pressure backflow prevention assembly, proper support with adjustable jack stands or dolly with the use of a hydrant wrench. Denver Water does not provide or rent this equipment. It is the responsibility of the permit applicant to purchase these items prior to applying for a permit.
Why do you require a reduced pressure backflow prevention assembly?
Reduced pressure backflow devices have the lowest risk of human error and can provide consistent and constant protection while attached to the hydrant. A reduced pressure backflow device is required for all connections to a hydrant to protect Denver Water’s distribution system from potential contamination.
Per state of Colorado drinking water regulations, backflow assemblies must be tested annually by a certified backflow tester. In order to obtain a permit for hydrant use, the applicant must provide a valid backflow test report.
Permits must be on site when meter is in use. Copies can be made and kept in trucks for easy access.
The Meter Shop is located at 1600 West 12th Avenue. Check in at the guard shack on 12th Avenue to be directed to the Meter Shop. Meter Shop hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The shop’s phone number is 303-628-6701.
What kind of support is required for meter and reduced pressure backflow prevention assembly?
Denver Water requires permit holders to have adequate support of the meter and backflow assembly while connected to a hydrant to prevent damage. It is imperative that active hydrants are functioning properly to extinguish fires.
Permit holders failing to use proper support while connected to a hydrant can incur fines and possibly be held liable for the costs of repairs to the hydrant. Per Denver Water’s Engineering Standards, the best means of support is the use of three jack stands. A drawing of the proper placement of the stands can be found here.
An alternative means of support may be allowed, such as the use of a dolly. This will be determined by Denver Water staff on a case-by-case basis and must be approved at the time of permit application.
Hydrant use permit rates
Length of permit Permit fee 1 month $170 2 months $270 3 months $370 12 months $435
One- and two-month permits can be extended an additional month for $100. Extension past three months will be converted to a 12-month permit, and the charge will be prorated.
Permits are nonrefundable and are subject to the hydrant use policy. Consumption through the meter is billed at a rate of $11.72 per 1,000 gallons.
- Acceptable meter manufacturers
Reporting water consumption
For 12-month permits, the applicant must submit monthly meter readings via fax or email. Verbal readings are not accepted. Reads can be submitted any time between the 1st and 15th of each month. Reads received after the 15th are considered late and subject to a $50 late read fee. Readings must be reported even if no water has been used.
Permits for three months or less do not require monthly read submissions. When the permit expires, return the meter to Denver Water’s Meter Shop for a final reading.
Consumption through the meter is billed at a rate of $11.72 per 1,000 gallons.
When providing a reading, report the numbers that appear in the white area of the dial only. The numbers that appear in the black area are not needed for reporting.
Submit readings to:
Renewing a hydrant meter
Hydrant permits are valid for one, two, three or 12 months from the date of issuance. Its expiration date is located on the bottom of the permit.
To renew a permit, bring the meter and annual backflow test report to Denver Water’s Meter Shop for calibration testing. Past due account balances must be paid in full prior to renewing a permit.
The Meter Shop will contact you to pick up your meter and permit once the test has been completed.
Permit fees will be billed to your account. You can call 303-628-6100 to pay with a credit card, or you can stop by Denver Water’s administration building to make a payment with a credit card or check. We accept Visa, MasterCard or Discover.
Violations to the hydrant use policy
Meter readings must be submitted every month that the permit is active. These readings must be supplied by close of business on the 15th of the month
Holidays and weekends are not excluded. Failure to submit a reading by the deadline will incur an automatic $50 penalty.
Failure to comply with the permit regulations will result in fines based on the number of occurrence.
- First violation — $500
- Second violation — $1,000
- Third Violation — $1,500 and 90-day suspension of all active permits
(If a violation is issued, the permit holder may be required to come into Denver Water for education on proper hydrant usage.)
Example of hydrant use violations:
- Use of a hydrant meter with an expired or a revoked permit.
- Failure to properly support the meter when attached to hydrant.
- Failure to attach the meter to an RPZ backflow prevention assembly.
- Failure to elevate the RPZ backflow prevention assembly while in use.
- Failure to provide Sales Administration with documentation stating the permit holder has given permission to a subcontractor to use the permitted meter.
- Failure to provide Denver Water with proper documentation stating ownership of meter if a new owner repermits a meter previously permitted by a different owner.
- Use of a pipe wrench or any device other than a proper hydrant wrench to open and close the hydrant.
- Equipment in disrepair resulting in water waste.
- Nonsequential readings that are submitted and/or verified as out of sequence by Denver Water.
- Other unauthorized use, misuse, theft or other dishonesty involving Denver Water hydrants or hydrant water use.
Denver Water may revoke all existing permits issued to a permit holder, for reasons including, but not limited to, the following:
- Failure to pay Denver Water invoices within 90 days.
- Failure to report meter readings by the 15th of the month.
- Numerous violations issued to permit holder within the same 12-month permit year.
- Any other unauthorized use, misuse, theft or other dishonesty involving Denver Water hydrants or hydrant water use.
How to obtain a fountain and hydrant connection for special events
Denver Water offers permitted water connections for special events on a case-by-case basis.