[Adopted 8-15-1995 by Ord. No. 1043 (Ch. 7, Part 4, of the 1999 Code of Ordinances)]
Unless the context specifically and clearly indicates otherwise, the meanings of the terms used in this article shall be as follows:
- FIRE HYDRANT
- A device with suitable valves and a spout by which water is raised and discharged from a water main; also known as a "fire plug."
- Any person who has a leasehold interest in any realty within the Borough, whether the original lessee or a subtenant, and such term shall include all persons who have actual or constructive possession of the realty.
- Any person vested with ownership, legal or equitable, sole or partial, of any property located within the Borough.
- Any individual, partnership, company, association, corporation or any other group or entity.
- A wet or dry fire pipeline, extending from the lowest to the topmost story of a building or structure, equipped with a shutoff valve with hose outlets at every story and at ground level, and which outlets may be on the exterior or interior of the building.
The purpose of this article is to establish procedures for the annual care and maintenance of privately owned standpipes and fire hydrants, which is necessary for the protection, benefit and preservation of the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the Borough of West Mifflin and for visitors of the Borough of West Mifflin.
The Building Inspector's office, or its successors, is hereby authorized and empowered to undertake within the Borough to establish rules and regulations to require the annual testing of privately owned fire hydrants and standpipes.
All such rules and regulations adopted by the Building Inspector's office shall conform with all applicable laws governing the subject matter and rules and regulations of any administration agencies of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and said rules and regulations shall conform to the following standards:
It shall require an annual testing of all fire hydrants and standpipes situate within the Borough of West Mifflin between September 1 and September 30 of the current year and for each calendar year thereafter.
It shall require the inspection to be done by a qualified person such as a certified plumber, a public utility company, an engineer or such other person who is deemed to have the education, expertise and experience necessary to inspect the privately owned fire hydrants and standpipes and to certify the same as operable.
The regulations will require a certification of operability or nonoperability to be filed by the owner, lessee or person in control or possession of the property under signature of the tester with the Building Inspector's office on or before October 1 of the current calendar year.
The certification shall identify each and every fire hydrant and/or standpipe which is or is not in good operable working condition as discovered by the annual inspection.
The Building Inspector's office shall issue a notice that any nonoperable fire hydrant and/or standpipe shall be repaired within a period of time, not to exceed five days.
Any fire hydrant and/or standpipe which requires repair shall be reinspected and recertified by a qualified testing person.
Any fire hydrant or standpipe not repaired within the time period specified by the Building Inspector's office notice shall have its occupancy permit revoked and be ordered to cease admitting the public to the premises.
The cost of inspection, repair or reinspection shall be paid by the owners or tenants, jointly or severally.
In addition to any other remedies provided in this article, privately owned fire hydrants and standpipes which are inoperative or which are not operating properly, and which are not repaired within the time set forth by the Building Inspector's office to repair, are declared a public nuisance, and the Borough may seek further mitigation of the nuisance by the appropriate legal action, either equitable or legal relief, from a court of competent jurisdiction.
It shall be the duty of any person who owns, leases or uses property upon which a privately owned fire hydrant or standpipe is located to maintain the fire hydrant and standpipe in good operable condition and in conformance with any other rules and regulations of the Borough of West Mifflin and any other administrative agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or Allegheny County. The Building Inspector's office may disapprove and contest the accuracy of any certification applicable to any privately owned fire hydrant or standpipe at any time and may require the owner or the lessee and/or persons in possession of the realty to reinspect and, if necessary, repair said fire hydrant and standpipe at any time.
Prior to any construction, repair or maintenance of any fire hydrant or any standpipe, it shall be the duty of the owners, lessees, persons in charge or persons in possession of the realty to contact the Building Inspector's office and to make arrangements with the existing fire companies in order to determine if new fire hydrant or standpipe dimensions, or any replacement, are in conformity with the valve fittings or nozzles of the fire company's fire hoses of the Borough of West Mifflin's Fire Departments.
Any applicant or affected person may, within 10 days of a decision of the Building Inspector's office, appeal such decision to the Borough Council for a review. The request for a review shall be conducted during the regularly scheduled meeting. The Borough Council may affirm or reverse or modify the findings of the Building Inspector's office. Any person or persons who are adversely affected by a decision of the Borough Council may appeal to the court of competent jurisdiction within 30 days of the date of the decision; provided, however, no such appeal from a decision of the Building Inspector's office or from that of Council of the Borough of West Mifflin shall act as a stay to any decision rendered by the Building Inspector's office or the Borough Council.
In applying the provisions of this article, they shall be interpreted to be the minimum requirements for the promotion of the public health, safety and general welfare. It is not intended to interfere with, abrogate or annual any other ordinances, rules, regulations or permits previously adopted or issued, except as amended hereby, or with any other rules or regulations of any other administrative agency having jurisdiction in this matter. Where this article imposes greater restrictions upon the use of privately owned fire hydrants and standpipes, then this article shall control. It is the intent of the Council of the Borough of West Mifflin that the provisions of this article are severable. Should any section or provision of this article, or subsequent amendments hereto, be declared by a court to be unconstitutional or invalid for any reason, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remainder of this article or as a whole or the validity of any other section or provision of this article other than the one so specifically to be declared invalid.
[Amended 3-16-1999 by Ord. No. 1094]
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this article, especially the failure to annually inspect, shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000, plus costs, and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 30 days. In addition to any other remedy or fine set forth in this article, the Building Inspector's office and/or Zoning Officer may revoke the occupancy permit of realty owners to abate the nuisance or danger of the nonoperable fire hydrant and/or standpipe which are privately owned. The costs incurred to abate the nuisance or danger, including the reasonable cost of attorneys' fees, shall be subject to recovery by a civil suit in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover the aforesaid legal cost by civil suit, which jurisdiction may also include the Magisterial District Judge.