In an unbelievable bit of hysteria about lead pollution, the EPA has just blocked pretty much all installations/repairs of fire hydrants? Why? Because they have a small amount of lead in their composition.
Now this would be almost, almost, just barely, defensible if there was real concern of significant amounts of lead going into the primary water mains but that’s not the issue.
They’re worried that… someone might turn on the hydrant and drink from it. Ok, in a worst case scenario there might be, might be, an annoying amount (to the EPA) of lead in the water that’s been sitting in the hydrant, namely the first couple of gallons. But if anyone’s drinking from a hydrant it’s been running for hours and thousands of gallons have washed through it.
So the fire departments have to sit back and seal up any broken units, and have to waste precious minutes and resources tapping into the next one down the block. People’s lives and properties at stake, for no good reason whatsoever.
More info here.