Charles County, MD – The Department of Public Works is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying and reporting illegal connections to county fire hydrants.  Any connection to a hydrant without a hydrant meter or with a hydrant meter issued by another water company or jurisdiction is theft of water service.

Charles County hydrant meters are painted orange to make them easy to identify.  A hydrant meter of any other color, or not painted at all, is an illegal connection. In addition to a county-issued hydrant meter, all connections to a fire hydrant must include a backflow preventer.  Connection to a hydrant without the use of a backflow preventer has the potential to contaminate our water supply.

The County only rents hydrant meters to qualified commercial establishments, such as land developers, landscapers, brick masons, swimming pool companies, and construction companies.  The County does not rent hydrant meters to residents.

Should you observe someone connecting to a fire hydrant without an orange hydrant meter and backflow preventer, excluding the Fire Department, contact the Charles County Sheriff’s Office at 301-932-2222.  When calling the Sheriff’s Office, please provide them with the street location of the hydrant connection and any identifying information regarding the vehicle.  Please do not approach the individual.

For additional information about hydrant meter connections, please contact Kristy McAndrew at 301-609-5606.  Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 866-269-9006.