California and San Francisco fire codes may require installation of a new fire hydrant or relocation of an existing fire hydrant based on the type and occupancy of the building, and its proximity to existing hydrants. During the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection (DBI) building process, the San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD) reviews the location of existing and proposed fire hydrants. Once SFFD review is complete, their hydrant location and installation recommendation must also be approved by the SFPUC City Distribution Division.
Prior to hydrant installation, SFPUC may perform a hydraulic analysis of the water distribution system in the vicinity of the project. The hydraulic analysis determines whether the system has adequate capacity to support a new or relocated fire hydrant. If existing water distribution system pressures and flows are inadequate, the Project Sponsor will be responsible for any system improvements required to meet the proposed fire hydrant pressure and flow requirements.
New and Relocated Fire Hydrants At a Glance
To provide hydrants for fire suppression according to applicable code requirements.
Who Must Comply?
All construction projects planning to install a new fire hydrant or relocate an existing fire hydrant.
California Fire Code, current edition
San Francisco Fire Code, current edition
Fire Department - Permit Center
49 South Van Ness Ave. STE 560
SFPUC Customer Service Bureau
525 Golden Gate Avenue, 2nd Floor
SFPUC City Distribution Division
If the results of the hydraulic analysis indicate that capital improvements to the water distribution system are required, SFPUC will determine the cost to the Project Sponsor.
Do the requirements apply to me?
The requirements apply if your project plans to install a new fire hydrant or relocate an existing fire hydrant.
How do I comply?
To obtain a new hydrant or to relocate an existing fire hydrant:
What happens once a Request for Cost Estimate for Installation/Relocation of Low Pressure Hydrant is submitted?
- Obtain a recommendation of the proposed fire hydrant location from the San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD) Plan Check.
- Submit a completed Request for Cost Estimate for Installation/Relocation of Low Pressure Hydrant form in person to the SFPUC Customer Service Bureau.
- If the proposed hydrant location impacts San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority (SFMTA) facilities, SFMTA approval may be required.
- The SFPUC Customer Service Bureau will forward the request to SFPUC City Distribution Division (CDD).
- CDD will conduct the hydraulic analysis and investigate the proposed location.
- CDD will notify the applicant of the results of the hydraulic analysis within an estimated three weeks. The notification will address the adequacy of the water distribution system and, if found to be inadequate, the scope and estimated cost of upgrades to meet the desired flows. The Project Sponsor will be responsible for all costs associated with upgrading existing water facilities to meet the project’s demands.
- SFPUC will estimate the cost for standard or custom hydrant installations and issue the estimated cost to the customer.
- Once payment is received, SFPUC will schedule the installation.
- SFPUC will issue an invoice or refund depending on the actual construction cost after the hydrant is installed.
The New and Relocated Fire Hydrant Application and Installation Process Flow Chart outlines the process to obtain a new hydrant or relocate an existing hydrant.
If you have specific questions concerning whether a new or relocated fire hydrant is required for a project, contact the Permit Center Information line at (628) 652-3472 or visit the Fire Department Plan Check website.
If you have specific questions about compliance with the requirements of hydraulic analysis, contact the SFPUC City Distribution Division at CDDEngineering@sfwater.org.
These resources are available to help you comply with San Francisco's New and Relocated Fire Hydrant Requirements