Who'll Stop the Fire

Officials in cities across the nation say they were caught off guard by a recent ruling by the Environmental Protection Agency that fire hydrants must meet new stricter lead-content rules for plumbing fixtures. Officials say that means that hydrants and hydrant parts they have already bought can't be installed after Jan. 4, and manufacturers say they'll have to completely change the way they make them. The new rules are supposed to reduce lead in drinking water, but city officials and manufacturers note that water from fire hydrants is rarely used for drinking.


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