Detroit has a broken system of fire hydrants — and it's a problem


  • Via Flickr Creative Commons, user Larry Miller
Over at Motor City Muckraker, reporter Steve Neavling is chest-deep in his yearlong examination of Detroit's beleaguered fire department. Besides already finding the Detroit Fire Department dramatically underreported the total number of arsons in the city last year to the FBI, Neavling published an insightful overview today of something many have likely never considered: Detroit's broken fire hydrants and the problems they've caused.

While city officials said only 70 of Detroit's 30,000 hydrants are broken, Neavling discovered nearly 300 as part of his two-month investigation. The result? Mayor Mike Duggan plans to change things up.

The Duggan administration insisted it had no idea the problem was so widespread and pledged to waste no time correcting it.

“The Mayor has directed DWSD and the Fire Department, along with CIO Beth Niblock, to build a web-based reporting system that will track hydrant inspections, work orders and the status of repairs that can be updated dynamically,” mayoral spokesman John Roach told me. “The system will also allow the public to report broken hydrants.”

Check out the full report here