Fire Hydrant Permit Program
The water system and the water it provides to Baltimore County residents is owned and maintained by Baltimore City . The County is responsible for the use of fire hydrants in its jurisdiction by the public. The Fire Hydrant Utilization Policy (PDF) must be followed and a fee is charged by Baltimore County to use one of these fire hydrants to fill swimming pools, irrigate landscaping, wash down construction sites, etc. Once you determine the meter size you need, you would go to Building Permit Processing Division to fill out a request for a Public Works Fire Hydrant Connection Permit.
Permits, Approvals and Inspections Building Permit Processing
County Office Building
111 West Chesapeake Avenue Room 100
Towson, Maryland 21204
Fax: 410 887-5039
TTY Users call Maryland Relay 1-800-735-2258
To obtain a permit, you will need to provide the following:
- Company or individual’s name
- Contact person
- Full address of business or residence
- Phone number
- Hydrant location (provide nearest cross streets)
- Security deposit
A sample of the Fire Hydrant Connection Permit (PDF) and regulations is provided here only as a reference. The actual permit is not available online.
- If you request a two-inch meter, Building Permit Processing Division will send you to the Bureau of Engineering to approve the hydrant location you are requesting before issuing the permit.
- If you request a three-inch meter, the Building Permit Processing Division will provide you with a list of pre-determined hydrant locations from which to choose.
- The security deposit amount will vary depending on the size of the meter being requested. The security deposit rates, rental fees and price per gallon, are available on the Public Works Fire Hydrant Connection Permit.
Once the Building Permit Processing Division issues you a permit and the receipt for the deposit, take both of these items to:
Meter Sizing Guide
- 3 quarters-inch Meter - Garden Hose End used for general water, e.g., lawns, flower beds and general construction use.
- One inch Meter - Pipe Nipple - Construction or Contractor use, e.g., construction site dust control, large scale watering and filling tanks under 500 gallons.
- Note: 3 quarters-inch and one-inch meters may be used on any public fire hydrant in Baltimore County.
- Two-inch Meter - Pipe Nipple - Construction/Contractor use, e.g., construction site wash downs, street wash downs, filling tanks 500 gallons or larger and swimming pools.
- Three inch Meter (2 and one-half inch NST - Male Fitting) Used to fill tanker trucks over 2,500 gallons. Tanker trucks must be inspected and approved by the Bureau of Utilities prior to a meter being issued.
The Bureau of Utilities will issue you a fire hydrant meter along with the appropriate wrench and instructions for proper use.
Meter permits are good for a maximum of six months. Prior to the end of the six month period, return the meter and the wrench to the Bureau of Utilities. The Bureau of Utilities will test and verify that the meter is in good working order, and determine the water usage while you wait. You will be advised if the meter is not in good working order. You will be invoiced for the rental, water consumption and any equipment repairs and any remaining security deposit will be returned to you. Failure to return the meter and wrench by the expiration date of the permit will result in having your hydrant water usage privileges revoked and initiating collection activities.
Note: Using a fire hydrant meter with an expired permit is a criminal offense.
If you wish to renew the permit, return the meter to the Bureau of Utilities by the end of the six month period so they can test and verify that the meter is in good working order and determine water usage. your security deposit will remain intact and you will be invoiced for the rental, water consumption and any equipment repairs for the prior six months.
Upon final return, rental fees, water consumption charges and fees to repair broken equipment will be deducted from the security deposit you provided when you applied for the permit. If your charges exceed the amount of your security deposit, you will be billed for that amount. If you are to receive a refund, Baltimore County Government will issue a check for the difference.
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact:
Bureau of Utilities
4421 Bucks Schoolhouse Road, Suite 100
Baltimore, Maryland 21237
Revised September 25, 2015
Revised April 6, 2016