Sec. 341.03585: Fire Hydrant Flow and Pressure Standards in Certain Municipalities

(a) In this section:

(1) "Industrial district" has the meaning assigned by Section 42.044, Local Government Code, and includes an area that is designated by the governing body of a municipality as a zoned industrial area.

(2) "Municipal utility" means a retail public utility, as defined by Section 13.002, Water Code, that is owned by a municipality.

(3) "Residential area" has the meaning assigned by Section 341.0358.

(4) "Utility" includes a "public utility" and "water supply or sewer service corporation" as defined by Section 13.002, Water Code.

(b) This section applies only to:

(1) a municipality, including any industrial district within the municipality or its extraterritorial jurisdiction, with a population of more than 7,000 and less than 30,000 located in a county with a population of more than 155,000 and less than 180,000; and

(2) a municipality, including any industrial district within the municipality or its extraterritorial jurisdiction, with a population of more than 11,000 and less than 18,000 located in a county with a population of more than 125,000 and less than 230,000.

(c) The governing body of a municipality by ordinance shall adopt standards requiring a utility to maintain a sufficient water flow and pressure to fire hydrants in a residential area or an industrial district located in the municipality or the municipality's extraterritorial jurisdiction. The standards:

(1) in addition to a utility's maximum daily demand, must provide, for purposes of emergency fire suppression, for:

(A) a sufficient water flow not in excess of 250 gallons per minute for at least two hours; and

(B) a sufficient water pressure not in excess of 20 pounds per square inch;

(2) must require a utility to maintain at least the sufficient water flow and pressure described by Subdivision (1) in fire hydrants in a residential area or an industrial district located within the municipality or the municipality's extraterritorial jurisdiction; and

(3) notwithstanding Subdivisions (1) and (2), if the municipality owns a municipal utility, may not require another utility located in the municipality or the municipality's extraterritorial jurisdiction to provide water flow and pressure in a fire hydrant greater than that provided by the municipal utility.

(d) Except as provided by this subsection, an ordinance under Subsection (c) may not require a utility to build, retrofit, or improve fire hydrants and related infrastructure in existence at the time the ordinance is adopted. An ordinance under Subsection (c) may apply to a utility's fire hydrants and related infrastructure that the utility:

(1) installs after the effective date of the ordinance; or

(2) acquires after the effective date of the ordinance if the hydrants and infrastructure comply with the standards adopted by the ordinance at the time the hydrants and infrastructure are acquired.

(e) After adoption of an ordinance under Subsection (c), the municipality shall encourage any responsible emergency services district, as described by Chapter 775, to enter into a written memorandum of understanding with the utility to provide for:

(1) the necessary testing of fire hydrants; and

(2) other relevant issues pertaining to the use of the water and maintenance of the fire hydrants to ensure compliance with this section.

(f) After adoption of an ordinance under Subsection (c), the utility shall paint all fire hydrants in accordance with the ordinance or a memorandum of understanding under Subsection (e) that are located in a residential area or an industrial district within the municipality or the municipality's extraterritorial jurisdiction.

(g) Notwithstanding any provision of Chapter 101, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, to the contrary, a utility is not liable for a hydrant's or metal flush valve's inability to provide adequate water supply in a fire emergency. This subsection does not waive a municipality's immunity under Subchapter I, Chapter 271, Local Government Code, or any other law and does not create any liability on the part of a municipality or utility under a joint enterprise theory of liability.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 606 (S.B. 1086), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2013.